This article presents guided wave radar level measurement as an acceptable, less expensive alternate to load cell systems. By David Ladoski and Dan Klees
There is a saying: Go big or go home. But not when dealing with sample testing of pharmaceutical powders. Then the saying is: Waste not, want not. In the cutthroat world of Big Pharma, staying one step ahead of the competition is imperative. Research to create the next new drug is a costly endeavor. Once a new product is developed, speed to market is the next challenge.
Water is one of the most widely used raw materials in the pharmaceutical plant. Several grades of water are used throughout the plant. One grade, Water for Injection (WFI), is water purified by reverse osmosis or distillation as specified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Specific tests for Conductivity apply to WFI Water produced on site for manufacturing purposes.
Biopharmaceutical Chromatography Systems are designed for separating and purifying proteins and bio-engineered products. The systems must maintain a hygienic design. Wetted surface finish must be < 20 μinch Ra and material traceability is important to maintain system integrity. pH measurement plays an important role in the purification process, providing feedback control of buffer and effluent feed through the column. The system’s wetted components must withstand Cleaned in Place (CIP) and Steamed in Place (SIP) cycles, which can stress a sensor with high heat and caustic. The pH sensor must be able to make accurate and stable pH measurements after the cleaning cycles.
In fermentation and cell culture, one of the most critical process challenges is to maintain the optimal pH level. Fermentation process utilizes a living organism such as a yeast, bacteria, or fungus strain to produce an active ingredient. Fermentation process is normally shorter in duration (2-7 days). Cell culture is a process in which a mammalian cell is grown to produce the active ingredient. The cell culture process is typically longer (2-8 weeks).
Conductivity measurement plays an important role in the purification process. Conductivity is one of the determinants of when to start and when to end the collection process. Tighter conductivity controls will increase purity yields. In addition, it may improve secondary collection processing.
Solvent removal is an essential process for sample preparation across a range of applications in many industries. Many sample formats and solvents are used with no single technique providing a universal solution, but despite the variety of specifics evaporation is well-understood and relatively uncomplicated. But while evaporation is an intrinsic step in so many applications it’s rare to find an evaporation expert in a laboratory, and many facilities use systems that are slow and cumbersome simply because they have always been used.