Listening to the users


In the universe of contamination control technology, there are various products and solutions ranging from “high-tech” to “low-tech” offerings. But when it comes to meeting real-world user desires and requirements, this distinction may be irrelevant; some of the most ingenious and beneficial innovations may not appear all that significant at first.

At INTERPHEX, held last month in New York, contamination control companies introduced a plethora of new products that certainly spanned this wide realm, all with one thing in common: They were created in direct response to user feedback and industry needs.

To give just a representative sampling, DuPont, for example, introduced its new “engineered elastic nonwoven” technology, a stretchable, latex-free fabric with varying degrees of elastic recovery power that can be specifically matched to different user requirements. Potential applications include stretchable gown sleeves and cuffs for cleanroom apparel as well as elastic protective covers and interlinings.

Similarly, Kimberly-Clark Professional, which also announced that it will consolidate all of its cleanroom products, including the “Safeskin” glove line, under the “Kimtech Pure” brand name, demonstrated a new pre-saturated wiper dispenser that allows individual one-handed dispensing and incorporates a self-closing/self-sealing lid. The dispenser is part of KC’s complete new line of dry, pre-saturated, and sterile wipers for cleanroom environments.

Also responding to customer feedback, Contec’s new “EasyCurve” mop uses a flat, fabric-laminated head attached to a curved, stainless steel frame with a pivoting connector for easier and more effective cleaning of curved surfaces such as those frequently found in ceilings, walls, and floors of critical environments. The mop uses a separate “sling” style wringer that installs over an autoclavable 6.5 gallon (25 L) polypropylene bucket.

Moving along the line, Pall Corporation rolled out a new collection of fluid management and contamination control technologies specifically targeting the biopharmaceutical industry. The “Allegro” line includes single-use biocontainers for collection and transport of process materials, intermediates, and cell culture media as well as disposable filters, tubing, and aseptic connections. Also introduced were the “KleenPak” self-enclosed, tangential flow (TFF) microfiltration capsule and the “Omega” T-Series membrane cassettes for ultrafiltration of high-purity biological products.

In the electronics technology arena, Johnson Controls announced the expansion of its “Metasys” facility management system for validated environments (MVE). The new version operates on an IT-standard, web services platform and provides secure remote monitoring and data acquisition from a greater number of disparate collection points and systems.

Last but not least, Hach Ultra’s new “Anatel PAT700” TOC water-analysis system incorporates an On-board Automated Standards Introduction System (OASIS), which reduces operator intervention and ensures the instrument is always operating in a validated state. If the analyzer detects a TOC or conductivity value exceeding preset limits during operation, it will automatically save a sample for further analysis.

As you can see, while some of these new products and innovations may seem more glamorous than others, they all provide substantial practical benefit to real-world users. And, in that sense, they are all equally of value to the contamination control community.

John Haystead,