The Importance of Reliable Pressure Relief Solutions in Sanitary and Hygienic Applications
Rupture disc devices provide overpressure protection for a variety of storage, process vessels and equipment. The objective of the rupture disc is to maintain a leak-tight seal and be a passive bystander until called upon to relieve excess pressure. Sanitary and hygienic applications demand specific rupture disc requirements, and there are times when rupture disc performance can be adversely affected by application processes and/or operation and maintenance practices.
A very large pharmaceutical manufacturing plant had been utilizing a competitors’ high performance sanitary disc within a sterilization process for injection bottles. Throughout the 7 -8 year time span that the company used these discs, they noticed an unusually short service life, making it necessary to replace the discs an average of every 3 months.
Complex Applications Call for Superior Solutions
Dale Prentice Company, a representative of Fike, approached the pharmaceutical company about trying a new disc.
“Fike has developed a complete line of pressure relief products designed to meet the stringent sanitary and hygienic requirements of the Pharmaceutical market,” said Kevin Biek, Process Safety Engineer confident that if this company would just try the superior technology of the Axius SC, we might be able to solve their disc turnover issues – ultimately saving them money.”
Made with 316/316L Stainless Steel, the Axius SC has the smoothest, indention-free process surface of any low-pressure rupture disc available, is capable of cycling from full vacuum to 95% operating ratio (even at the lowest burst pressures available) and provides the smoothest, indention-free surface of any low pressure rupture disc available.
“We replaced the company’s old discs with Axius SC discs on two Steris units over a year ago. So far, they have experienced no failures or replacements,” explained Kevin. “By now they would have gone through 3 or 4 of the other discs, incurring considerable downtime and labor costs – not to mention the cost of the discs themselves. They have already realized a large cost savings.”
A Cost-Effective Solution With Unbeatable Reliability
In fact, the Axius SC is designed and expected to meet the site standard of a maximum allowed installed period of 5 years. Since they were replacing discs every 3 months, within that 5-year time this pharmaceutical company would have gone through approximately 20 discs for every one Axius SC disc. A savings of over $16,000 per unit over the 5 year period.
“Multiply that by the number of applications, the savings in routine maintenance and unexpected downtime, and the savings realized is tremendous,” exclaimed Kevin. “Needless to say, our customer is very happy!”
When dealing with health and life issues, there is no margin for error. Huge, continually changing and growing markets, the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industries present unique challenges. Fike’s work to develop technologies that address the specific needs of the CIP/SIP environment, have paid off with products such as the Axius SC.
“There simply wasn’t a product on the market that addressed the issues that this company was facing,” said Kevin. “But Fike’s continued emphasis on finding new technologies has lead to the creation of better, more efficient products – allowing us a solution that greatly benefited our customer’s business.”
Critical Success Factors for Pharmaceutical Applications
- Finding the most cost-effective solution to a challenging process concern.
- Offering some of the tightest tolerances, high operating ratio and superior cycling capability, Axius SC is the most advanced sanitary rupture disc available.
- The superior technology of the Axius discs eliminated the need for frequent disc changes on the Steris units, saving down time, labor costs and disc replacement charges.