How Scientific Refrigeration Equipment Works

Video on How Scientific Refrigeration Works

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Many of our posts on scientific refrigeration equipment focus on selecting correct scientific refrigerator and scientific freezer units, and the importance of temperature control, monitoring and alarming systems that protect valuable vaccines, biological specimens and similar temperature-sensitive materials.

It might be a stretch to liken laboratory,  pharmacy and scientific refrigeration equipment purchases with automobile purchases where the savvy buyer is interested in “what’s under the hood?”  Nevertheless we post this post on what’s “under the cabinet” of your scientific refrigerator or freezer.  Our point is to point out how these units protect your investment in their contents.

Your take-away is a better understanding about how refrigeration works, which type of lab refrigerator or freezer to buy, how to maintain it, and where to set it up to get the best performance. 

Critical Procedures to Preserve Valuable Biological Samples

Preservation of biological samples such as tissues, plasma and forensic and pathology specimens relies on maintaining proper storage temperatures and on the type of sample and analysis to be done. Sample temperatures must be monitored and facilities supported by backup systems and tracking. As per the FDA, frozen samples should be kept at –28 to –18 °C and refrigerated samples between –2 and –8 °C; ambient samples should be protected from heat and moisture.  Tovatech’s Dr. Bob Sandor authored an article on this critical topic in American Laboratory’s March 2017 print issue that can be accessed on the LabCompare website.

Guidelines to Selecting Ultrasonic Cleaning Solutions

Ultrasonic cleaning is widely accepted in pharmaceutical, healthcare, electronics, medical device manufacturing, and related industries where product cleanliness is critical during and following production cycles. Powerful but gentle scrubbing action of imploding cavitation bubbles in ultrasonic cleaners is unsurpassed in removing the most tenacious of contaminants. The availability of biodegradable water-based ultrasonic cleaning formulations both broadens the application of sonic cleaning energy and removes disposal concerns associated with earlier used formulations such as trichloroethylene and perchlorethylene.

Correct cleaning solution formulations, along with applicable pre- and post-cleaning procedures, are an important part of compliance with QC and QA standards.  Tovatech’s Bob Sandor writes about this in  the February 1, 2017, issue of Controlled Environments.Read the rest

Selecting Scientific Refrigeration Equipment

Selecting Scientific Refrigeration Equipment

Scientific refrigeration equipment includes refrigerators and freezers used to store vaccines, pharmaceuticals, biological samples and similar temperature-sensitive products and specimens for healthcare, R&D and related applications.  Scientific refrigerators and freezers have critical performance requirements generally unmet by residential and commercial refrigeration systems.  For this reason they are highly recommended to protect contents that lose potency or are otherwise compromised by what are called temperature excursions above or below recommended storage settings. Therefore, selecting scientific refrigeration equipment for your needs is key.

Correct storage temperatures are usually recommended by professional or government organizations.  The CDC, for example, recommends in its 2016 Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit that frozen vaccines be stored between -50⁰ and -15⁰C (-58⁰ and + 5⁰F); refrigerated vaccines should be stored at 2⁰ and 8⁰C (36⁰ and 46⁰ F).  Vaccine manufacturers indicate correct storage temperatures that should apply along what is called the “cold chain” extending from the … Read the rest

How to Pick the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner

Selecting the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner

Among the steps to be taken to pick the best ultrasonic cleaner is a thorough understanding of what the process is to accomplish and then identify ultrasonic cleaner features that let you accomplish the task(s) in the most cost-effective way.  While ultrasonic cleaners are available from a variety of manufacturers and across a broad spectrum of prices, your investment must be based on an assurance that it will accomplish your task(s) quickly and efficiently.  When you do this you’ll be able to identify your best ultrasonic cleaner.

In other words, pick the ultrasonic cleaner you need.  Don’t succumb to “keeping up with the Joneses.”

An Important Ultrasonic Cleaner Priority:  Size

You can’t mount a 19-inch tire on a 15-inch wheel.  Similarly the dimensions (length, width, depth) of the ultrasonic cleaner’s tank must be sufficient to accommodate the largest component you plan to clean.  But there’s more:  Because a majority of … Read the rest

Simplified Validation of HPLC Pump Systems

Consistent and accurate performance is an absolute necessity to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulations regarding installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ) and performance qualification (PQ) of equipment used in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. An example is high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pump systems used to identify analytes. The process demands accurate, reproducible column retention time as an analyte is pumped through the HPLC system.

Preventive maintenance is certainly important. In addition, regularly checking and confirming pump flow rate accuracy must be undertaken by periodic performance verification of the HPLC system.  Learn why the FlowCal 5000 digital liquid flowmeter simplifies what otherwise is a complex, time consuming operation.  Check out Bob Sandor’s article in the December 12, 2016, issue of Flow Control magazine.

How to Maintain Firearms with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

5 Steps for Maintaining Firearms with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Investments in firearms, be it by collectors of antique guns, law enforcement agencies, operators of gun shooting ranges, hunters or shooting enthusiasts of any stripe, can be substantial.  Planning to maintain firearms is an important part of protecting your investment in pistols, rifles and similar weapons. Ultrasonic cleaners are widely employed by gun shop repair services, law enforcement agencies, the military and gun clubs, and for good reason.  Nothing is better when it comes to removing lead shavings, residues from powders, old lubricants, in fact any contaminant that causes wear or otherwise impacts the performance or degrades the value of the firearm.

Several ultrasonic cleaner options are available to gun owners, whether individuals, a club or public safety organization. But before getting into examples of what to look for we’ll start with a description of why the ultrasonic gun cleaning process is so effective when compared to manually cleaning and … Read the rest

Selection Tips for Precision Digital Scales

10 Selection Tips for Precision Digital Scales

Today’s precision digital scales, also referred to as digital balances, perform a broad range of weighing-related functions in R&D, quality control, and similar applications where accuracy and precision are key criteria to meeting government, trade association, and industry-promulgated standards.  For purposes of discussion this post focuses on weighing equipment used in comparatively protected environments vs. scales found on manufacturing floors, shipping and receiving departments.  Let us hasten to add, however, that the need for precision and accuracy is important for any application, and equipment is available to meet required standards regardless of where scales are employed.

Precision and Accuracy Defined

Certain of our posts discussing precision digital scales and analytical balances harp on an important difference between precision and accuracy as selection criteria.  Allow us to cite an example:  A $5,000 wristwatch may be precise, but if the hands are set wrong it does not show the accurate time.  More … Read the rest

Solving Tough Cleaning Challenges with Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic Cleaning Solutions

According to a report available from market research firm IBIS World, “in 2016, the ultrasonic cleaning equipment manufacturing industry is expected to generate $359.6 million in revenue,” and, “over the five years to 2016, industry revenue increased at an annualized rate of 1.8%, including an expected 3.7% rise in 2016.”*

At Tovatech we believe that this positive projection is due in part to the continuing and growing realization that tough cleaning challenges can be overcome with ultrasonic energy.  Many of our posts go into detail on the use of ultrasonic energy to solve cleaning challenges.  We present here a compendium of applications that may or may not be top of mind to folks grappling with difficult cleaning challenges.… Read the rest

Analytical Balance Recalibration – A Critical Exercise

analytical balance calibration

Accuracy and precision (there is a difference) in the performance of analytical balances are crucial when weighing extremely small masses such as to 0.1 or 0.01 mg.  Even the smallest deviation in accuracy can throw off critical measurements when compounding, for example, pharmaceuticals and weighing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).  For this reason analytical balance recalibration exercises and procedures should be carefully spelled out in a company’s standard operating procedures.

The Effect of Gravity on an Analytical Balance

Manufacturers of analytical balances such as the Kern line available from Tovatech call attention to the importance of calibration and recalibration early in their instruction manuals.  Kern points out, for example, that gravitational pull varies throughout the world due to the fact that the world is not a perfect sphere.  This was demonstrated a few years ago by shipping the Kern Gnome to many locations around the world.  The Kern Gnome was accompanied … Read the rest