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Vacuum, Pressure, Steam… No Problem!

Posted on November 21, 2007

A harsh environment and a tough packaging challenge in the BioPharma and Food & Beverage industries, pretty much sums up the development task for our newest Autoclave Load Cell product: Burns Model 21090.

 

As you may know, the operating conditions of the autoclave process ranges from vacuum to positive pressure steam at temperatures up to 135C. Individually, these conditions are fairly easy to design around, but the combination presents a few interesting challenges in the RTD world – and sealing the device such that the insulation resistance performance is maintained after multiple cycles is the fun part.

 

Other features we designed into our new autoclave sensor include a .125 diameter stainless steel sharp-tipped sensor sheath to facilitate insertion through the rubber membrane of the load cell, and a dual Pt100 element that can support either a 3- or 4-wire operating connection. The cable features a silicone rubber jacket providing the durability necessary to meet the handling concerns that were shared with us from users of large chamber autoclave systems. We also designed a bulkhead/transition system to assist in providing a sealed penetration through the wall of the autoclave.

 

Now back to the sealing challenge!

 

Inside the transition housing (or handle which is laser marked for easy identification) is an elegant design which protects the 8-wire joints, simply yet effectively seals the sensor and involves very few complex parts. The design insures ease of manufacture and an epoxy fill method that results in an extremely stable final assembly.

 

New Autoclave Sensor

 

We're proud of the creativity of the approach and through our design verification testing, we're confident in the high reliability of the Model 21090 in the harsh environment of the Autoclave processing cycle.

 

Got another challenging application?  Comment on the blog or give us a call.

 

- John Zwak, Sr. Design & Metrology Engineer

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"There's an obstruction in the way of getting the sensor in the location....  Help!"

 

That's what our customer told us. So we took on this Sanitary temperature application challenge and had fun looking for creative solutions. In this case, the sensor needed to be broken in order to fit into the measurement location. This was the perfect application for a segmented sensor. For more information, see the Application Notes, "Sanitary RTD Probe for Tight Locations" on our Burns' site.

 

Challenging is the new exciting!

 

- Bill, Applications Engineer

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A Man and an RTD with a Mission.

Posted on November 21, 2007

Serial #16 Serial # 16 was destined for a higher purpose. Measuring temperature was its original calling, yet when Dad (Don Burns) retired 10 years ago and transitioned the company to my brother JD and I, we honored Dad's legacy and serial #16 received a promotion. This RTD, manufactured in August of 1962 became a symbol of longevity, creativity and honor. Appropriately mounted and framed, we presented this original device to Dad in recognition of his retirement as well as his technical brilliance and passion for creative problem solving.

 

Many more serial numbers have followed in the cure cycles and calibration schedules of serial #16, all of which were destined for their own greatness and purpose in various industrial processes and pharmaceutical applications. Number 16 may never experience the energizing environment of a refinery or participate in the creation of a life-saving drug, yet #16 holds an honorable place in the hearts of all who have a passion for solving temperature measurement challenges.

 

I often bump into friends of dad’s from the early days of #16. It's always fun to hear their stories and see the passion in their eyes. (Share yours on the BEblog if you have one!)

 

Congratulations Dad and Thank You serial number 16.

 

- Jim Burns

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ASME-BPE: A Commitment to Life.

Posted on November 21, 2007

ASME-BPE.....  What an amazing group of passionate folks working together through a series of sub committees and task groups to improve the world of BioProcess Equipment. I visited several of the working committees during October in Philly. I was impressed how diligent the groups were about being precise as well as how attentive everyone was to current practices in the industry. As much as the Subcommittees strive to give guidance, they also realize they serve the industry, and they live in the industry. I observed a careful balance of definition and openness; guide but don't handcuff; lead but don't leave behind. The collaboration was beautiful.

 

It appears this group really wants to influence life in the future. The article from Mechanical Engineering, December 2005, Getting a New Life gives an interesting perspective on that commitment, on an international scale.

 

They are working hard to complete the 2007 version of the BPE Standard, targetting an early 2008 release.

 

How have you seen the  ASME-BPE organization help your organization?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

- Chuck

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