Working in sterile conditions

Intelligence built into operator terminals allows different steriliser cycles to be pre-programmed.

Control systems and processes designed for use in the manufacturer of equipment for use in the medical industry has allowed local manufacturers thrive in the continually expanding and highly competitive health market.

One company well versed on the importance of process control in sterile environments is Melbourne-based infection control equipment manufacturer, AE Atherton & Sons.

Manufacturing a range of stainless steel infection control equipment, including Tangent series sterilisers, the company says quality is a priority both on the manufacturing as well as supply front, with the company's processes controlled by its quality management system.

According to Atherton's design engineer, Scott Lipman, the Tangent series takes sterilising technology to a new level.

The series features a full colour touch screen operator interface which guides users through selecting a cycle from a range of pre-vacuum and general purpose gravity cycles. Saved cycles are protected by a PIN to ensure process integrity.

Lipman says that different levels for security can be set-up to guard against access by people who do not have the necessary training or authority.

Atherton sterilising machinery utilises EXTER T100, T70 and T40 units supplied by Global Automation to provide a state-of-the-art operator/ machine interface, together with PLC equipment from Omron.

Global Automation's John Thomson says that the intelligence behind the company's EXTER operator terminals is a high performance Intel XScale PXA270 RISC CPU processor with a Windows CE.NET operating system.

"Use of this operating platform provides the system with the flexibility for future development to keep pace with changing user demands," Thomson said.

"A unique communications feature of EXTER operator terminals is their use of dual drivers with data exchange. This means that an operator terminal can be connected to two completely different devices, such as PLCs or inverters from different manufacturers at the same time without any special configuration."

[Image: qmed.com.au]