Why should laboratory autoclaves (steam sterilizers) be checked and serviced annually? And what exactly is done during the maintenance?
This is the first article in the exclusive news series "Maintenance & Technology", in which various topics concerning autoclaving and your HMC autoclaves are discussed in detail at regular intervals throughout the autumn and winter of this year.
The most important thing in advance: Regular maintenance of the autoclave serves your safety and keeps your product in a safe and stable condition.Why is this so?
According to the currently valid European Pressure Equipment Directive (2014/68/EU), an autoclave is a pressure vessel, i.e. a chamber in which saturated steam (this is what a pure steam atmosphere is called, i.e. there is only water vapor in the chamber, any air particles have been displaced by steam) is located at an atmospheric overpressure of approx. 1 bar at 121°C or approx. 2.1 bar at 135°C.
This saturated water vapor has a great potential for danger and injury, because the water vapor can lead to severe burns if it escapes uncontrollably, and it also has a high destruction potential due to the overpressure.
For this reason, the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV), which is dedicated to the safety of users, explicitly calls for pressure vessels and requires regular inspection. A specific contribution to the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health will be published on the HMC Europe website on 25.09.2020 with further details for your information. After all, the Industrial Safety Regulation forms the basis of regular maintenance of your autoclave.So what safety precautions make HMC Europe autoclaves particularly safe?
The autoclaves of HMC Europe GmbH are protected by electrical and mechanical components against overheating and unintentional opening of the lid. Here also partly form-fitting components help, so that a maximum of safety is guaranteed for you as a user.And how does maintenance at HMC work?
Customers are free to choose the maintenance interval, usually once a year, in the case of frequent use of the autoclave also partly every six months and in the case of very sporadic use also every 24 months.
Our technicians are certified for their work by recurring internal training courses as well as by training courses at external training centers such as the training academies of TÜV Süd, TÜV Nord or BIT Gendorf.
Within the scope of maintenance, all wearing parts and stressed mechanical and electrical components are meticulously checked and, only if necessary, immediately replaced. This also includes the regular replacement of components, which have to be changed in a certain cycle according to the manufacturer's specifications. The replacement of components is always carried out in consultation with the customer as owner of the autoclave.And what are some of the exceptional advantages for me as a customer when I have my autoclave(s) serviced directly by HMC Europe?
Our certified technicians carry all common spare parts with them. Accordingly, we can most probably rule out a second chargeable trip for a repair - which in turn considerably reduces the life cycle costs of the autoclave.
In addition, HMC Europe's factory service also offers the possibility to retrofit certain autoclave types already on the market, e.g. with different options such as media temperature sensor, rapid cooling or counter pressure.
In urgent cases a maintenance contract also gives you access to a cheaper rental unit for the duration of the maintenance/repair so that you can continue working without major interruption.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
We look forward to your inquiry.