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The following article was published in ferret.com.au

Posted on July 14, 2004

Guaranteed instrument sterilization

THE Eurotherm 5180V 180mm video graphical recorder's latest firmware update allows for the direct calculation of time at sterilization, providing guaranteed sterilization periods and temperatures.

Eliminate guesswork.

This new function eliminates any guess work in determining if the appropriate amount of sterilization has been provided to the instruments.

This system is ideal for all hospitals, medical laboratories as well any application where sterilization is required, including autoclaves.

This new function is part of the advanced mathematics functions incorporated in the 5180V, enabling calculation of the 'equivalent time at sterilising temperature' for temperatures above, at, and below the sterilizing temperature.

Calculations for both dry and steam sterilizing environments can be carried out, by entering the appropriate constant in the simple to use embedded calculation.

The value can be held, using a 'Disable' job or set to zero (prior to the next run) using a 'reset' job. The function value is retained during power off.

User configuration consists of entering the channel which is measuring temperature, the relevant sterilizing temperature and temperature interval and a low cut-off value, below which killing credits are not to be counted if required.

To ensure that sterilizer loads which contain materials with differing thermal inertias are thoroughly sterilized, a typical sterilizer has up to 12 different measuring points within the load.

To ensure accuracy, the temperature sensors should be calibrated, and the channel adjustment facility used to compensate for any inaccuracies found.

If each of the inputs is used to compute an F value, each of these values can then be used as an input to a Group Minimum function, with a high absolute alarm set at the correct F value.

The alarm output can be used to sound a warning, or an associated relay can be linked into the autoclave control system to signify the end of a sterilization cycle.

Equilibration time begins when the drain sensor achieves the sterilizing temperature. It ends when the load sensor achieves the setpoint. Holding time begins when all sensors have passed the sterilizing temperature and ends when the first sensor falls below it.

Up to 96 channels of data can be recorded via direct analogue inputs, Modbus RS232/RS485 Serial data or Ethernet TCPIP modules. Provided with Ethernet comms as standard, processes can be directly monitored on an existing office computer network via the 5000 Series allowing monitoring and charting in real-time from any desktop PC.

The user has the choice of either automatically downloading the data via the Ethernet comms on demand or the system can be setup to automatically download the data, thus eliminating the possibility of data loss from memory overflow.

Data is stored in an encrypted format, ensuring data security and reliability, allowing the 5180V to be using in applications where FDA or EPA regulation needs to be met.

The 5180V has a large 180mm full colour TFT LCD touch screen with a simple to use user interface. The touch screen user interface allows the user to easily access bars and trend graphs, alphanumeric displays as well as customised user displays.

It can also be upgraded via simple keycodes on site to add additional features such as advanced maths, totalisers and counters, batch control, full audit trail complete with digital signature security meeting CFR21 Part 11.

Fully automated data management and archiving software is provided, ensuring data is never lost and allows users to chart recorded data and print in either a graphical or spreadsheet format or export to programs such as Excel.

Real-time viewing and configuration is also available providing live data to be monitored on any PC connected to the network.



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