Biopharmaceutical Firm Meets Higher Demand With Swagelok PFA Hose
by Jeff Hopkins, on 5/16/13 7:00 AM
Swagelok U Series PFA hose can pass the test. Download two product test reports on insulation and steam cycling. Product test reports »
Customer saves money, gets better performance and increases efficiency with Swagelok U Series PFA hose
Swagelok PFA hose can benefit a company in several ways, as illustrated by one of our biopharmaceutical customers in Northern California. Swagelok Northern Califronia Account Manager Drew Nagel was regularly on-site in the production facility for several months in early 2006 offering support for a large project to fabricate stainless steel sanitary “spool pieces” to exacting tolerances.
"I noticed that the engineers that we were working with were frustrated with the performance of the silicone hoses they were using." Hoses were failing often during demanding steam cleaning cycles and the only solution anyone in the plant had come up with was to replace them more often with the same type of silicone hose. At about this time, Swagelok had introduced its U Series PFA hose. Nagel’s plant operations and manufacturing support contact was the go to guy for solving problems. He was looking to improve the performance, reliability and safety of their process hose.
"When I told him we had a new product, he was anxious to try it," Nagel says.
It turned out that the silicone hose they were using could not keep up with improvements in the manufacturing process. As the plant introduced more effecitve and concentrated cleaning chemicals, one of those ingredients -- phosphoric acid -- was making the silicone hose brittle and subject to premature failure. Some of the hoses also were autoclaved every day at high temperatures for 45 minutes, further speeding up deterioration.
As demand grew for the the company's biopharmaceutical products, production had to step up. A hose failure at a critical time could result in having to scrap a costly production run or injure a worker.
Product test reports
To show what U series PFA hose could do, Swagelok conducted several laboratory product tests. The first test was a hose insulation test where the hose assemblies were tested to observe the surface temperature of the hose with various fluid temperatures being conveyed. The second test was a steam cycle hose test where the hose assemblies were tested to observe the leak-tight performance when the hose was subjected to internal steam and cold water cycles. The third test was a vacuum test where the hose assemblies were tested to observe the performance at temperature in a vaccum application. Each test revealed Swagelok U series PFA hose's unique capabilites and application possibilities. Get details on how to download the Product Test Reports »
Swagelok U Series PFA hose and FDA compliance
In a tightly regulated industry like biopharmaceuticals, plant operators can’t change parts on a whim. Fortunately, Swagelok U series PFA hose has all the necessary FDA compliance, and documentation comes with each hose certifying the materials of construction, and the pressure testing.
The process for changing to Swagelok U series PFA hose went smoothly.
Color coding and tagging
One of the challenges of biopharmaceutical manufacturing is hose management and ensuring that different process hoses are not inadvertently used in the wrong areas causing possible cross contamination. By color coding permanent labels (Perma Tags) on each end of the hose, the plant reduced the risk of cross-contamination with a strong visual and written indication on each hose. We showed them how our Perma Tag option could give them not only color coding, but the process, serial number, the date of manufacture and the lot number. These tags allow our customer to acurately follow their standard operating procedures and stay in compliance.
Versatility and flexibility
Swagelok U series PFA hose also gave our customer economies of scale. The non-aging and chemical compatibility characteristics of the PFA combined with the ultra-flexibility and outstanding kink resistance inherent in Swagelok's unique hose design have resulted in greater reliability and longer life performance than the previous hose. As a result, they have found other applications in their production facility where Swagelok U Series PFA hose has decreased costs and increased efficiency through better overall performance.
Check out Swagelok U series PFA hose for yourself to see all the technical advantages it can provide and then contact us if you would like to discuss your hose application. If Swagelok U series PFA hose is not right for your application, we have a whole catalog of hose solutions ready to go to work for you. You can download it now.
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