Avidity Science recently sat down with Jörg Winkelmann - the General Manager at Systec GmbH, a global leader in the sterilisation equipment industry, for an interview to discuss their unique range of Autolaves and what role their equipment is playing during the COVID-19 crisis.
1) Tell us more about Systec and what they do
Systec has been working for 25 years in the field of laboratory autoclaves and culture media preparation. Its products, which are manufactured in Germany, are used in research and diagnostic laboratories as well as in cosmetics, food- and beverage, the pharmaceutical industry, and culture media manufacturers. Systec, with its network of factory trained distributors, is a world-wide market leader serving customers in more than 130 countries in the world with highest quality steam sterilization devices as well as services and expertise around steam sterilization, including qualification and validation according to GLP and GMP standards. Focusing on these product segments enables Systec to realize the vision of quality. This vision is as follows: "Making laboratory work safer, easier, more accurate, reproduceable, and validatable, to the end of making laboratory work more economical."
2) What makes Systec autoclaves so different?
All our products are built in a modular way and are capable to be equipped with a vast variety of options and accessories. This enables us to equip our products exactly to customer’s requirements for standard processes such as sterilization of liquids (culture media), solid items or waste, but also for more demanding sterilization processes such as Steam/Air Mixture or Glass-Test and Rubber Closure Test according to Pharmacopoeia. With our R&D laboratory we can develop custom made sterilization processes and options and accessories. All Systec autoclaves and media preparators are built according to the standards and regulations for safety of pressure equipment relevant to the country where the equipment should be supplied to.
3) What tests do Systec autoclaves go through during production?
After mechanical and electrical manufacturing, the most important step follows: Quality control prior to shipping our products to our customers. All products undergo calibration of its pressure and temperature sensors followed by a thorough functional testing of all safety devices (such as overpressure valve, closure system). The last step is performance testing of the sterilization cycles.
Manufacturing and quality control follow a defined manufacturing and quality control plan. All relevant steps during manufacturing and quality control are documented and a complete set of the documentation, the user manual as well as all relevant certificates are supplied to our customers.
All this is reflected in our ISO 9001 certified quality management system and is constantly controlled by our quality managers.
4) What makes Systec autoclaves so energy efficient?
When developing new products or making new developments for existing products, next to safety, functionality and accuracy, energy efficiency and the environmental impact of our products are key subjects.
Energy efficiency is primarily facilitated by our highly effective insulation which strongly reduces the dissipation of energy from the chamber and steam generator. This allows us to reduce energy and water consumption, which on one hand reduces the overall running costs of our products, and on the other hand alleviate the environmental impact. Another advantage of our insulation is that the material that we use is specially designed and certified for cleanroom applications. In contrast to commonly used insulation material such as rock-wool, Systec uses a special foam material, that does not shed any particles into the cleanroom.
In addition to the environmental impact of our products, we further care about the overall environmental impact of our company. Therefore, Systec is one of the first autoclave manufacturers who achieved a certification of its environmental management system according to ISO 14001.
5) How do Systec autoclaves increase safety against COVID-19?
According to recent WHO guidelines, laboratories at which diagnostic work such as virus sequencing is conducted should conform to BSL-2 standard, while laboratories at which the virus is cultivated or otherwise present in high concentrations should operate on the basis of BSL-3.
Systec provides single and double autoclaves that fulfil both BSL-2 and BSL-3 standards and have been proven to be safe and reliable through many installations all over the world. Double-door autoclaves can be built into a wall gastight to divide two safety areas and to allow a pass-through of material between the two areas. With our options and accessories and our experience, we can configure our autoclaves to fulfil WHO guidelines with regards to optimized, accurate sterilization process and work safety. You can read a recent article we published here
6) What advice would you give for someone looking to purchase an autoclave?
First of all, know your national regulations regarding biosafety and work safety. Second, know your application/s. All this information combined will enable us to tailor the perfect autoclave for you. Of course, we assist with our experience and expertise.
7) What can people expect from the new Systec H-Series range?
Our new Systec H-Series is our next generation of autoclaves. Thanks to its new control system, we managed to make steam sterilization cycles up to 25% faster, more efficient, and more precise. Furthermore, we address new technologies such as intuitive touch-screen control, USB download of documentation data as PDF or Excel-files. An internal storage allows the user to store all documentation data internally for at least 10 years. We also developed a new approach to FDA 21 CFR Part 11 using electronic signatures to proof the validity of electronic records. Ethernet and Wireless LAN, allow easy integration into our customer’s workflows as well as integration into SCADA and LIMS systems. To learn more, click here
For more information on Systec, you can visit their website here
About Avidity Science
Avidity Science is a worldwide leader in water purification systems and laboratory equipment for scientific research and healthcare facilities. We have been the exclusive UK distributor of Systec products for 15+ years.