Application Articles

Dual Operator Glove Box Workstation with Balance Enclosure

Occasionally, containment devices must be made a bit more complex in order to simplify the process taking place inside. Here, a powder ingredient can be manipulated in a 2- stage process involving a Mettler analytical balance and a Senco FC202 glass-jacketed reactor using a dual operator glove box workstation with balance enclosure.

This containment device offers personnel protection during a 2-stage, 2-person process. The hazards and exposure risks of both stages of the process are significant. Complete containment is needed at all times. Removal of product before the process is completed is out of the question.

The client required an enclosed weighing and mixing process involving the manipulation of High Potency Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPI) in powder form. The first step of the process was to prepare a weighed powder sample of prescribed mass using a Mettler-Toledo XS204 analytical balance. This prepared sample was then transferred into a Senco FC202 reactor for mixing with a solvent. Operators were to be protected from dermal exposure and respiratory exposure. Operator breathing zone concentration of the HPAPI was limited to ten micrograms per cubic meter of air (<10 ug/m3) expressed as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA).

FSI determined that a pass-thru chamber between the weighing enclosure and the reactor enclosure would aid in a simpler process flow and prevent loss of product during transfer. The chamber housed a process where Operator 1 (left) transferred weighed product from the left enclosure to Operator 2 on the right. Operator 2 then manipulated the Senco reactor using the 2×2 glove port design on the left side of the enclosure. The pass-thru chamber combined with the 57” [1452mm] height and 2×2 glove port design allowed for safe and efficient completion of the process. Gloves are either of Butyl or CSM. Two ball valves connections are on the enclosure exterior, enabling nitrogen or compressed air addition.

The weighing enclosure on the left featured a top – mounted fan / filter housing which provides single-HEPA filtration and removal of airborne product from the interior of the enclosure. The reactor glovebox on the right featured a lateral flow design, using a side- mounted inlet HEPA filter (left) and a top-mounted inlet HEPA. The two inlet filters work in conjunction to move air laterally across the reactor and into the Single-HEPA filtrated fan / filter housing on the top-right of the enclosure. Exhausted air on both sides of the enclosure system may be connected to house exhaust and/or recirculated into the room.

If you have any questions regarding this containment array, please contact Flow Sciences, Inc. at (800)-849-3429 or send an email to customersupport@flowsciences.com.


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Buchi B-290 Mini-Spray Dryer Enclosure for API Processing

Purpose: Flow Sciences was approached to design and build an enclosure that could house the Buchi B-290 Mini-Spray Dryer during process. Particle sizes would range from 1 to 25 µm, requiring the enclosure to offer containment down to less than one microgram per cubic meter. The client planned to weigh API and dissolve weighed sample into various solvents which would then be introduced into the Buchi B-290.

Process: 50 grams of powder would be dissolved in 725ml methanol outside of the enclosure. Liquid will then be brought into the enclosure in a sealed container and fed into the peristaltic pump of the B290. The maximum amount of powder dissolved in liquid of API at one time is 50g. Upon connecting to the B-290, the client would be spray-drying at a rate of 15mL/min. Upon completion of the cycle, the client planned to remove the collection vessel, seal it with a cap, and remove the vessel from the enclosure via a pass through on right side. The client would then disassemble the glassware and spray down with a misting wand to get as much powder off as possible and then bag out through a continuous liner what glassware was to be sterilized in the cleaning room. All glassware was to be misted, wiped, and then double bagged. Once complete, the client would transfer the product to another room, disassemble all glassware, replace the HEPA filter, and take everything to a cleaning room.

Equipment: Due to its strength but light weight, polypropylene was chosen for the superstructure and a two-position removable sash door style designed with 10” oval glove ports. In order for visual clearance around the entire enclosure, acrylic viewing panels were incorporated into all four sides, with glove ports on both ends to help facilitate cleaning and process assistance. Due to the equipment inside the enclosure, the size of the enclosure was quite large—90” exterior width and approximated 50” deep. BIBO Dual HEPA fan filter units were placed on the top of the enclosure, requiring 968 CFM at the thimble connections connected to house exhaust to maintain 100 LFPM at the face opening, and 842 CFM if recirculating.

Given the weight of the Buchi, as well as the other equipment that would be placed inside the enclosure, FSI designers made a table with a cutout for a cart that would lock into place inside the enclosure. Using this method, the Buchi would be rolled in and out of the enclosure on the table for ease of cleaning and service between cycles.

The client also wanted the base to be a drillable material so the air pump could be brought outside of containment and moved below for easier cleaning. Engineers designed a solution that would move the pump outside of the enclosure by adding more iris ports, connections, and hoses. Also, a sink was designed for the glassware allowed easier access while cleaning.

A one-to-one ratio mock-up made of MDF and acrylic was created and sent to the client who wanted some design changes. The client wanted the pass thru to be bigger so it could fit a 1 liter bottle that is 9.25″ tall out through it. Also, the client wanted a glove port in the upper door so that the customer could reach the top of the B-290 for removing and cleaning parts. They wanted the glove port on right side lowered by 2″ for better ergonomics and wanted the rear plenum split into four pieces for easier cleaning.

In lieu of adding a glove in the door, a fifth glove was added to the draft shield in the center. The entire enclosure’s height was reduced by two inches due to facility constraints. An N2 fitting for the pump was also added.

Evaluation & Testing: Between July 12th and July 18th, 2019, factory acceptance testing was performed on the enclosure in the presence of the client to measure equipment compatibility with the process and to determine the containment effectiveness during simulated operations. Overall performance indicated that the enclosure met the specifications determined. During surrogate powder testing, no individual sample exhibited a TWA exposure of more than 0.316 ng/m3., far better than 1 µg/m3 requested.

Findings: These exposures, well below the CPT, indicate that with good laboratory practices, this enclosure is highly effective at providing containment for compounds with Occupational Exposure Limits (OEL)s < 1000 ng/m3.


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Glovebox and Comil

Fitzmill L1A & Quadro Comil Glovebox

Glovebox Workstation

Glovebox and Comil

Glovebox and Fitzmill

Process:
Flow Sciences was approached to design a glovebox that would enclose milling processes done by either a Fitzmill L1A or a Quadro Comil.

Containment Design:
A panel interface on the right side of the glovebox allowed for the connection of either piece of equipment that would sit on a custom-designed cart to fit each jet mill model. The interchangeable side panel allowed for use of either unit and minimized shutdown time before substitution. The FSI design allowed interface with either machine by using two separate interface plates!

Comil and Connection Plate

Fitzmill and Collection Plate

The L1A panel allows the operator free access to the control panel of the L1A while the outlet blower line runs into the enclosure. Additionally, this panel features two cavities to allow insertion and support of the L1A “feet.” The Comil panel features a cutout where it can be inserted into the enclosure for use. The pass-through on the left side allows easy access for insertion of product. One quick-disconnect on the front left and right sides of the unit allows connection and use of Nitrogen (N2) and Oxygen (O2) gas sources. Oval glove ports on the front hinged door protects the operator from dermal exposure to product. A guillotine door was chosen for the pass-through connection to minimize impact on the work surface.

A 1:1 MDF and acrylic mock-up was sent to the client, who made extensive revisions that were then applied to the enclosure design. The client wanted to add a drain to the base for waste disposal while increasing the depth and width of the isolator. Another glove port was added for cleaning the unit while under containment and the pass-through size redesigned to accommodate larger containers that would be introduced into the unit.

Test Performance:
The original client’s internal policies stipulated protection from dermal exposure and reduction of respiratory exposure concentration of no more than 1 microgram powder per cubic meter air, expressed as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA). The client shipped the Fitzmill L1A and the Quadro Comil to FSI for fitting, finishing, and Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT). Under all configurations, containment down to 0.3 micrograms was achieved.


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HPAPI Processing and Drying Suite

HPAPI Processing and Drying Suite

Purpose: A two-part enclosure consisting of a Single Pass Air Flow Glove Box Enclosure and a Nitrogen Purge Enclosure was designed to provide protection to the operator and product. The left side uses HEPA-filtered supply air as well as HEPA exhaust to create a clean interior environment, while the right side provides a clean, dry nitrogen environment.

Process: The process included wetcake narcotic being oven-dried to a powder to remove water, methanol, ethanol, IPA, DCM, chloroform, acetone, and ethyl ether. After drying in the oven, 9”x13” glass trays were to be moved from the oven to a balance area for weighing. Once the final weight is measured and recorded, the material is moved to the packaging operation.

Equipment: A suite was designed which included flame retardant polypropylene superstructures, a central transfer port, inlet HEPA filtration, dished black phenolic bases, top mount fans with BIBOs and HEPAs, independent hinged doors (24.635 W x 27” H opening), (7x) 10” oval glove ports, 12” H x 16” W access door, FS1650 alarm, minihelic gauge, stainless steel tables, and glass viewing panels. Glass viewing panels and LED lighting to maximize lighting across the workspace. The system had an exterior width of 168”, a depth of 43”, and an interior height of 41”. 245 CFM was required at the thimble connection to maintain 50LFM at center cross section of the isolator, while 216 CFM was measured at the fan to maintain the same LFM at the center cross section. Negative pressure was measured at the mouth of the house exhaust hose at the N2 connection. Multiple glove ports were required due to cleaning requirements, so a design was created to have ports at two different horizontal levels to allow access to the oven controls and oven door in the isolator portion of the enclosure. An N2 generator existed on-site which was hard-piped into the room. Nitrogen is used as an atmospheric replacement during this process. Nitrogen-filled environments can be kept at low relative humidity levels as a consequence of the original purity of the supply. Moisture-sensitive products like nanomaterials and APIs are less susceptible to decomposition in such an environment. Two 0.3 micron cartridge filters were installed on incoming and outgoing N2 to ensure a clean environment.

A custom table for the enclosure was developed as a way of supporting the oven and the enclosure, with adjustable feet beneath the oven that could be used to set height and ensure a proper seal in the wall flange.

Peripheral Equipment: The Binder VDL 115 safety vacuum drying oven for flammable solvents had a max temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, requiring the use of Flametec polypropylene as a material of construction for the Processing and Drying suite. Due to the nature of the materials being manipulated, the oven would typically run within a 50- 60 degree Celsius range. Gasket material was made of high temperature RTV silicone with a maximum temperature rating of 343 degrees Celsius to seal the stainless steel flange to the oven. The Binder VDL 115 oven had two aluminum expansion racks with class 2 independent adjustable temperature safety device with visual alarm— components accessible at the front. The oven needed to able to fully open within the isolator with the door swinging outward from left to right.

Peripheral Equipment Considerations: Completely enclosing the oven created a heat concern, solved by the use of Flametec polypropylene and by installing the oven into the exterior wall and using the custom table for weight support. During on-site installation by FSI personnel, to accommodate an added outer control on the oven, the frame had to be cut by hand on the spot. After installation was completed and validation tests initiated, FSI personnel noted that the interior of the oven was sealed but its exterior shell was not. Particles were coming out of the outside of the oven’s sidewall, which made FSI installers fashion a block-off plate to limit escape of particles during oven processing. The client then revised their internal cleanliness protocol from Class 5 to Class 7 upon this conclusion by FSI personnel.


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CQ11028 - Memmert VO 200 Vacuum Oven Enclosure

CQ11028 - Memmert VO 200 Vacuum Oven Enclosure

CQ11028 - Memmert VO 200 Vacuum Oven Enclosure

Memmert VO 200 Vacuum Oven Enclosure

         Finding a solution to provide personnel protection when working with Highly Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPI) is very tricky. In a business sector where regulations and policies are prevalent, exposure control options are limiting; both physically and financially. Laboratory operations require unwavering precision and physical/financial limitations cannot be avoided in many cases. The information below describes a situation where a containment solution was designed for a benchtop vacuum oven process.

Flow Sciences’ sales process begins by ascertaining information regarding the client’s process and equipment they wish to contain and enclose. From there, proactive and reactive engineering design measures are made in accordance with customer stipulations. The overall purpose of this article is to educate the reader on Flow Sciences’ Discovery process and how it resulted in a containment solution.

         The Memmert VO 200 Vacuum Oven Enclosure was designed to enclose a pharmaceutical vacuum oven drying process for use of the Memmert VO 200 Vacuum Oven. The client stipulated a maximum respiratory concentration of 1 microgram powder per cubic meter air (<1 ug/m3). Flow Sciences collaborated with a distributor to create a Single HEPA-filtrated enclosure with a cutout on the interior left side. Flow Sciences included the cutout on the left side so the oven is able to be connected.

With this design, the operator is able to open the oven door without worrying about hitting anything. This facet of design allows the operator copious space to manipulate product before and after processing. The added ergonomics yield industry-leading utility of space. The additional space increases operator comfort which can improve work quality.

         Let’s address another worry: high temperature. Opening the oven will not negatively impact the integrity of the enclosure’s structure. The phenolic base is more than capable of withstanding the temperature of the outflowing air when the oven door opened. Phenolic doesn’t even begin to thermally decompose until it reaches a temperature of 220 degrees (Fahrenheit) itself. When considering the cooling effect of the fan drawing the heat upwards and the time it takes for phenolic to thermally equalize, there is no room for apprehension in this respect. Additionally, the enclosure features a removable draft shield, which offers the operator protection from dermal exposure with butyl or CSM gloves and the option to complete the operation with open face containment.

         Before the design was finalized, a nonfunctional mockup of the unit was constructed and evaluated by the client at their facility. FSI added the oven “mating” feature to the enclosure design after the client stated that were interested enclosing the sample preparation portion of the operation as well as insertion/removal of product into and from the oven.

         Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) was performed on the enclosure shortly before shipment to the client. FAT testing included ASHRAE 110 testing protocols with the draft shield on and face the enclosure face.


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Vented Balance and Fume Hood Array

Vented Balance and Fume Hood Array

Abstract:

Finding a product capable of containing a process where powdered product is converted into an aqueous solution can be tricky. Especially if such processes evolve toxic vapors and gases. In these scenarios, weighing with an analytical balance is typically followed by adding the powder to a stirred liquid. At this point, vapors and gases may evolve.

In this case study, Flow Sciences worked with a customer to develop a two-section containment system that optimized containment while maximizing process efficiency. Such designs become even more essential when high potency active pharmaceutical ingredients are involved.

The device depicted in Figure 1 is an example of the custom product FSI produced for such an application.

Problem:

Our customer had a limited space to perform stirring, weighing, and calibrated solid-liquid mixing operations. Flow Sciences was made aware of chemicals and quantities used in this process.

Recommendation:

Flow Sciences proposed joining an open-face powder enclosure with a bag-in bag-out filter and fan (thimble connection to building exhaust) with a polypropylene vertical sash fume hood exhausted to the building exterior.

This arrangement became more defined with multiple phone calls and emails until all parties agreed to the process array depicted below:

Key materials of construction were stainless steel, polypropylene, and anodized aluminum. A deep stainless work space in the fume hood section had hinged doors for final product access and removal.

Successful ASHRAE 110-2016 testing (4 Different Sash positions) completed prior to Product Shipment:

Conclusion:

Flow Sciences worked with our customer and devised a unit containing both a HEPA-filtered weighing enclosure and a polypropylene fume hood. A sliding connecting pass-through was also constructed. The weighing enclosure contained the weighing process with HEPA filtration and the fume hood contained the stir plate solvent addition operation. This construction permitted containment of both liquid and powdered substances in two different processes. Process flow was maximized with this design scheme. The weighed powder could be moved from the HEPA balance section to the fume hood through the sliding door, where solvent mixing took place.

All this was done with demonstrated containment in our test room using ANSI / ASHRAE 110-2016.


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PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Flow Sciences, Inc.

Tel: (800) 849-3429

Fax: (910) 763-1220

 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Flow Sciences’ Hybrid Isolator Contains to Less Than 50 ng/mwith Bulk Powders 

LELAND, NC, June 26, 2018 — Flow Sciences, a leading provider of containment systems for laboratory, pilot plant, and manufacturing facilities, now offers a Bulk Powder Hybrid Isolator glovebox that is proven by third-party acceptance testing to facilitate an interior concentration of less than 50 nanograms per cubic meter (50 ng/m3).

 

The system maintains all of the engineering controls of the standard Hybrid Isolator, but is now designed to include a 20” cutout and a membrane set which can accommodate 3 bulk powder drum diameter sizes. The membrane set also prevents powder from spilling over the lip of the drum during pouring operations. In addition, it can be shipped with a hydraulic lifting jack which allows the customer to lift a drum through the base of the enclosure into its interior to work with the bulk powders in a contained environment.

Flow Sciences’ consultation process breeds innovative solutions, which drives the evolution of our standard products. This adaption of our Hybrid Isolator Series is a perfect example of who we are as a company. Every interaction with end users and engineers adds to our growing enclosure repertoire, which continues our corporate vision of providing the best containment solution for numerous applications. Using our TaskMatch application search tool, we combine today’s consumer-oriented market with our own expert consultation to create a product of optimal performance.

In the constantly connected landscape of today, the ever increasing toxicity of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) presents the ever increasing need for personnel and/or product protection. At Flow Sciences, we consistently strive to ensure the safety of the whole process by engineering and manufacturing optimal enclosure. Flow Sciences creates engineering controls for hazards that cannot be eliminated or substituted.

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For a PDF of this Press Release or for questions or comments, please contact us below:

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About Flow Sciences, Inc.

Flow Sciences is the world’s leading developer of containment solutions for research and development laboratories, pilot plants, automation equipment and robotics, manufacturing and production facilities where toxic or noxious potent powders, fluids, or gases require safe handling while weighing, mixing, processing, or manufacturing. Since its start in the 1980s and with the introduction of the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure (VBSE™) in the 1990s, Flow Sciences has gone on to develop a comprehensive line of over 500 enclosures, including industry standards like the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure (VBSE™), the Contained Vented Bulk Powder Enclosure, and innovative laboratory technologies like the FS1501 Nitrogen Controller and the Bag-In/Bag-Out HEPA Filtration System. For its accomplishments, Flow Sciences received an Expert Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for accomplishments in the global marketplace, the Deloitte and Touche North Carolina Technology Fast 50 Award, the UIBS R&D and Technology Collaboration Award, along with many others. During the 1990s, Flow Sciences pioneered the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure Series (VBSE™) which introduced the first independent fan exhaust system to isolate vibrations for balance accuracy, swiftly becoming the world leader in laboratory safety equipment. Flow Sciences technologies are now used to improve safety and containment in virtually every industrial sector around the globe, from pharmaceutical, food processing, robotics, chemical, forensics, agriculture, academia, infectious diseases, asbestos, tires, biotechnology, batteries, and nanotechnology. Flow Sciences has over 30 years of expertise in the development of containment solutions that deliver superior engineering quality and service at each level of controlled airflow containment systems. Flow Sciences offers the incorporation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), further refining the process of presenting personnel and product protection through framed enclosure solutions. The company’s Flow Sciences China division serves as a market leader in mainland China, spearheading the development of solutions throughout Asia. Under its Flow Sciences brand, Flow Sciences offers the best in laboratory containment, and is committed to finding containment solutions that meet your needs.

 

All other product names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Flow Sciences.

 

Headquarters: Leland, NC USA:

Flow Sciences, Inc., 2025 Mercantile Drive, Leland, NC 37912;

Tel: 1-800-849-3429, Fax: 1-910-763-1220, Email: information@flowsciences.com,

Web: https://flowsciences.com/


QC 5324 Particle Analysis

Particle Analysis Suite

Particle Analysis Suite

Professionals in the field of laboratory sciences occasionally encounter a situation where they must enclose several processes requiring the manipulation of product in two or more “phases”. But here’s the catch: some processes are comprised of 2 “phases” while others are comprised of 3 or more. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate the capability of Flow Sciences’ products to facilitate flexibility in a dynamic laboratory work environment. While the following text describes the original purpose behind the design of this enclosure suite, the real intention of this article is to convey the message that Flow Sciences’ product line offers consumers the flexibility to change their operations without compromising the safety of those performing them.

The Particle Analysis Suite was designed to enclose a vacuum cleaner filter changeout process on a Nilfisk vacuum unit as well as a Sympatec HELOS/BF Laser Diffraction Analyzer. The lower section of the middle enclosure is intended to house the Nilfisk vacuum system while the left/right enclosures house the laser diffraction devices. The client stipulated a respiratory exposure concentration of less than one hundred nanograms powder per cubic meter air (<100 ng/m3) during the filter replacement procedure. This exposure is expressed as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) in the breathing zone. A non-functional, fiberboard mockup of the enclosure suite was shipped to the client so they could make additional considerations prior to finalizing the design. After the client analyzed the area with mockup installed, Flow Sciences worked with the client’s facilities and health/safety departments to incorporate more versatility of use. Flow Sciences’ resultant decision was to add guillotine pass-thrus on each side of the sliding sash enclosures to allow interchangeability of the configuration of enclosure; the option

of using any permutation of 1, 2, or 3 enclosures was now possible. To add to the versatility, tables with locking casters were added to the sliding sash enclosures. A Double Safe Waste Chute is on the side of the draft shield enclosure to facilitate waste load-out.

The removable draft shield enclosure was subjected to two “phases” of Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) in FSI’s in-house laboratory. During one phase, the enclosure was tested with the draft shield in place. During the other phase, it was tested without the draft shield. Surrogate Powder Testing produced results proving the enclosure contained to an average respiratory exposure concentration of 30 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3).

Flow Sciences is known for their flexibility and their unique reception of customer needs. The FSI mantra of “…developing a containment solution to fulfill a particular industry need” does not exclude multi-stage processes. Multi-task systems are built for a multitasking world with a seemingly never-ending influx of information.

SKU: 5324


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Oncology Workstation with Ezi-Dock CSV6 HPAPI Transfer

Oncology Workstation with Ezi-Dock CSV6 HPAPI Transfer

 

The Oncology Workstation with EziDock CSV6 HPAPI Transfer was designed to provide personnel and product protection while working with powder substances. It was determined due to the high OEL that a glovebox workstation would best suit the application, and an Ezi-Dock high containment transfer system was integrated into the black phenolic base. The Ezi-Dock transfer system was used due to its capacity to handle hazardous chemical and pharmaceutical products. A containment level of 50 ng/m3 was required.

Powders contained in drums would have to enter the workstation via a passthrough, which had to be large enough to handle multiple dimensions. The door opening in the front of the passthrough, as well as the sliding door which allows entrance into the glovebox work area, had to be congruent. A list of all container sizes was procured and the passthrough was designed to fit over 70% of the proposed containers.

Due to strong cleaning materials that would be used, the viewing panels of the workstation were made of glass as opposed to acrylic, as the potency of the cleansers would craze the lucite material. The single glass panel in the polypropylene frame that contains the glove ports would be affixed to the enclosure via gas shocks. Efforts were taken by the design team to limit the weight of the door in order to ensure longevity and proper function of the hinges and shocks, as well as make the cleaning operation simple enough for one operator. The design team’s precautionary solution was to fabricate a door that was 70 pounds—15 pounds less than the original concept. Other design considerations included increasing the door width to decrease interference with the grooved seals around the edges. The pull of the fan in operation also yielded an issue with the top plenum, which was too light to stay seated. Rabbit edges were designed for a flush fit, and the thickness of the material was increased.

The customer requested that the door angle reach 140-150 degrees when open, knowing that containment would only be provided if the unit was completely closed. The 140-150-degree request of the door was to allow for entry/egress of the powder weighing equipment and containers, in order to facilitate an easier, and more thorough cleaning process. An electrical duplex was added to the back wall with two single outlets and a Roxtec connection besides the outlet on both sides.

Overall performance during acceptance tests indicated that the enclosure met required specifications. The enclosure passed all requirements for ASHRAE and AIHA/ANSI standards and recommended practices and met the CPT of 50 ng/m3. The results indicate that with good laboratory practices, this enclosure is highly effective at providing containment for compounds with Occupational Exposure Limits (OEL)s < 100 ng/m3.

For more information on the Glovebox Workstation series – Click Here


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Flow Sciences Containment

Designing Engineering Controls for High Potency Containment

HPAPI Containment - Flow Sciences

As Potency Increases Across the Industry, the Need for Personnel and/or Product Protection Grows. Flow Sciences is the World Leader in Sophisticated Containment to Meet this Challenge with Engineered Solutions.

Engineering Controls are Necessary to Extract and Remove Toxins to Prevent Inhalation, Dermal, and Other Exposures as well as Cross Contamination of Samples.


CONTAINMENT CHALLENGE: RISK ASSESSMENT

 

Personnel and/or product protection is imperative for the safety of operators and the liability of companies that manufacture and manipulate toxic materials. Arriving at a solution requires careful consideration and expertise. Flow Sciences provides that recommendation based on these factors:

  1. CONTAINMENT – Performance Target is the defined level of acceptable exposure to personnel and/or product from potentially harmful materials during the process.
  2. PROCESS – What you are doing inside and outside of the containment enclosure that requires personnel and/or product protection.
  3. EQUIPMENT – The specific specifications and parameters of the operating machines, instruments, and hardware required to complete the process.
  4. SCOPE – Defining the expectations of all parties involved in the project pertaining to budget, lead time, and complexity of the containment challenge.
  5. FACILITY – The allowances and restrictions in the designated work space required for power, installation, and operation of the containment systems and accessories.
  6. SOLUTION – A recommendation is provided, and the engineering or production process begins.


Our Highest Quality Ensures Your Excellent Results. The Pharma and Biopharma markets continue to grow every year. For these projects, the ability to provide effective and efficient safety protocols continues to be in high demand. Safety and performance are of the utmost importance, as the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies rely on proper engineering controls to develop and produce consistent products and results, while keeping their personnel and/or product safe. At Flow Sciences, we pride ourselves in the ability to engineer solutions that contain applications properly while creating consistent results.

Flow Sciences Containment

Flow Sciences Containment

Flow Sciences has engineered and manufactured products for many applications and equipment needs. As the challenges of containment arrive in the industry, we have adapted and improved our capabilities to meet and exceed the requirements.

Throughout the process, we have learned that the product that is manufactured is the result of a challenge designed specifically for that application. Once the unit is tested and validated, we can use that solution for other clients that have the same application or containment need. This is how Flow Sciences has organically grown and developed thousands of solutions for customers around the world.

Flow Sciences Containment

As the industry grows, Flow Sciences grows with it. New designs and technologies are being engineered every day to deliver the most current controls and effective containment strategies to our customers. This includes expansions in materials of construction like stainless steel, as well as multi-task systems where units are joined together to complete a continuous process.

Strategic partners such as IsoTech Design, are working with us to provide solutions into sterile manufacturing as well, allowing Flow Sciences to deliver complete systems and strategies for labs and facilities in many areas of the industry.

Cultivating strategic relationships with third party industrial hygiene companies as well as other containment solution providers allow Flow Sciences to offer much more than just the system. Services such as factory acceptance testing and site acceptance testing using surrogate powder (naproxen sodium, lactose) give results of actual operators performing applications around equipment. These can be administered or monitored by third party IH in the testing lab at Flow Sciences’ facility in NC or at the customer site. Other services such as IQOQ, cleaning protocols, installation, and more are available as well.

The industry is changing; ingredients becoming more toxic, processes becoming more dangerous, equipment becoming more sophisticated. We recognize that the units and systems being engineered today will help to protect the innovators and innovations of the future. The scope of responsibility we face as a safety community is more important than ever before, and we at Flow Sciences will continue to adapt and progress to provide the best containment systems available.

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Genevac EZ2 Elite

Genevac EZ2 Elite Evaporator and Powder Handling Suite

Genevac EZ2 Elite Evaporator and Powder Handling Suite

            Flow Sciences, Inc. was tasked with designing a modular containment unit that would house a Genevac EZ2 Elite Evaporator and allow for transfer of materials post-manipulation into a separate, connected balance enclosure for weighing. The Genevac equipment required a level, sturdy work surface and a 2” air gap between the evaporator and the bench edge, according to manufacturer installation materials. The Genevac Evaporator was to be housed in a unit alone that connected via a square pass-through to a separate unit where powder handling could commence. Environmental health and safety officers established standards for the lab which required that bag-in/bag-out Dual HEPA filtration be utilized. Due to facility constraints, particularly ceiling height (3.5 feet was designated the maximum height of the enclosure in order to allow for 18” clearance from the ceiling), prohibited the usage of top-mounted fan/filtration systems, so a rear-mounted option was designed. In addition to height restrictions, there was also a depth restriction of six feet and a length restriction of eight feet.

            After using the Genevac, the client’s operating procedure stipulated that material removed from the enclosure would be housed in vials 2.25” high with a one-inch diameter on trays that measured 5”L x 3.5”W x ½”H. The Genevac also produces waste which is evacuated into a 500mL bottle that is eight inches high and four inches in diameter. These dimensions were crucial and influenced the pass-through design between the two enclosures. The Genevac was measured and designers compensated for the 50mm clearance required on all sides for proper functionality and safe usage.

            Due to its resiliency to a variety of cleaning materials, a polypropylene structure was chosen coupled with acrylic for the draftshield, viewing panels, and sliding door. Using a hybrid isolator as a basis for design, as the hybrid units effectively contain using airfoils and plenums to create laminar airflow across the work surface and reduce eddies and turbulence. The fans/filters were moved to the rear of the unit and acrylic panels were placed in the ceiling of enclosure to allow for a better view of the workspace. The draft shield with oval glove ports engineered to be removable from the unit that would house the Genevac to allow for ease of cleaning and for proper equipment installation.

For filter replacement, customer was instructed to leave at least 22.75” clearance at the rear of the unit. The Genevac containment unit was made slightly taller to accommodate the equipment and allow for more freedom of operator movement in using the evaporator. Upon filling the tray with evaporated samples, the operator would open a sliding door to the passthrough where the tray would then be placed. Another sliding door in the second, connected unit allowed for the weighing operator to ensure containment was achieved in their area before allowing the samples into the balance enclosure.

            Factory Acceptance Testing was performed on the enclosure to measure overall performance and to determine the containment effectiveness during simulated operations. Overall performance indicated that the enclosure met the specifications determined by a company. During surrogate powder testing, no individual breathing zone sample exhibited an exposure of more than 34.7 ng/m3.


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API Process Development System

The API Process Development System was designed to provide personnel and product protection when working with powder and liquid substances. The enclosure housed a Mettler Toledo Easy Max 102, vacuum oven, and IKA LR 1000. The unit required a stainless steel base to allow for intensive cleaning protocols with shelves underneath to assist in recirculating the chiller and vacuum pumps needed to operate the process equipment. Operators needed access from the rear of the enclosure for cleaning purposes and there would need to be enough space for movement of equipment inside the enclosure.

The initial task of the process required the weighing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) powder utilizing a Mettler Toledo balance. Proper use of the balance required 12-14” of usable linear width within the enclosure. The powder was then to be placed into liquid suspension by way of a magnetic stirrer—this would preserve the structure of the API without any dissolution. A liquid suspension of powder API can also deliver a higher concentration of API than an equivalent volume of liquid solution. Solvents used were ethanol, acetonitrile, and esthers—some of which had flammable potential. Less than one liter of solution would be in a beaker at any given time. The suspension would then be transferred into a Mettler Toledo Easy Max 102 reactor, a unit that is 26” wide, 30” tall, and 30” deep. Additionally, the unit requires 25” of vertical operator access. The Easy Max 102 utilized a chiller unit connection so feed and return lines were integrated into the enclosure.

The process continued as the API solution was then filtered by vacuum filtration onto a filter paper disk that was to be dried in a vacuum oven. Oven dimensions were 15” width, 16” depth, and 21” height—a vacuum pump was needed so a connection for the pump exhaust line to the system exhaust was engineered. An N2 line connected to the oven for gas purge. Upon removal from the oven, the sample was manipulated by the IKA LR 1000—a 20” wide, 30” tall, and 20” deep unit. The LR 1000 uses a sealed glass reaction vessel to mix powders into a dry or wet cake.

A system was engineered since the sample would need to be contained throughout the process. The sample could only enter or exit the system clean. Given the length of physical travel that the sample would endure through the numerous process steps—and the material of construction requirements given the nature of the different substance manipulations—the design had a substantial number of considerations. Polypropylene was chosen for the superstructure.

The API powder entered via a pass-through into a Flow Sciences Hybrid Isolator as mobility inside the enclosure was as important to the operators as safe containment. However, in order for the sample to be removed, a glovebox workstation was designed for a secondary cleaning of the sample before exit via the final pass-through.

The resulting enclosure had a 252” exterior width, a 30” exterior depth, and a 101” exterior height—including the custom stainless steel table with shelves. A deflector shield was integrated into the table where the vacuum pump was positioned to minimize sound pollution in the lab. The system had inlet HEPA filtration, a black phenolic base, and acrylic viewing panels with a hinged door style. The draft shield with glove ports was removable for cleaning. Bag-In/Bag-Out filtration with dual HEPA filters and top mount fans were coupled with vent kits and five thimble connections for connection to house exhaust. A 6” solid waste port with continuous liner was ported into the base. LED lighting and acrylic viewing panels maximized lighting across the workspace, and iris ports and electrical outlets were installed where needed inside for the process equipment.

In general performance tests, the enclosure passed all requirements for ASHRAE and AIHA/ANSI standards and recommended practices and met the CPT of 1000 ng/m3. During surrogate powder testing, no samples from outside of the enclosure exhibited measurable amounts of naproxen sodium above 0.51 ng/m3 TWA. Additionally, task maximum concentrations did not exceed 5.42 ng/m3. These exposures were well below the CPT of 1000 ng/m3.

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Glovebox Workstation with RTP

Transporting HPAPI Product with Containment

Applying the DPTE® transfer system to the Flow Sciences Glovebox Workstation


Glovebox Workstation with RTP

The purpose of this document is to serve as a case study where a containment device was designed to facilitate “interim containment”, or containment during the portion of a process where the product isn’t inside the enclosure. Rather, the product is intermittently contained between Point A (enclosure) and Point B (another enclosure or otherwise contained atmosphere). In this scenario, Flow Sciences designed an enclosure featuring a Getinge La Calhene DPTE® Alpha Rapid Transfer Port (RTP).

 

Background information regarding the client’s process and equipment was provided, which affected the decision-making process leading up to the engineering design of the enclosure. This includes a discussion on engineering decisions and development of design, level of containment, verification testing, and an explanation of how the Getinge La Calhene Alpha RTP combines with a transport capsule to yield leak-free containment during transport.

 

A client was in need of a containment enclosure for an analytical weighing and solution-preparation operation involving Highly Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPI) in powder form. Their goal was to transfer product from an enclosure to another enclosure. Internal policy stipulated that the operator’s 8-hour respiratory exposure concentration, expressed as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA), be less than 500 nanograms per cubic meter (<500 ng/m3) in the breathing zone. Consultative discussions revealed to Flow Sciences that the client was using a Mettler analytical balance for weighing operations. Additionally, it was ascertained that the client was utilizing polyethylene DPTE® Beta Capsules (DPTE® PE Container) in other parts of the facility. The Beta containers were being used for safe transfer of cytotoxic product from one contained work area to a distant other.

 

When the basis of the design was submitted to the Flow Sciences design team, it was decided that the enclosure could be designed to include a Getinge La Calhene Alpha port to coincide with the Beta containers that the client already owned.  As a result, the enclosure incorporated a 24” x 14” Inlet HEPA and 24” x 14” Dual-HEPA Top – Mount fan / filter housing used in conjunction to create lateral, laminar flow across the work surface.  After air is captured by the inlet HEPA filter, the negative pressure top-mounted fan causes the air to slowly move laterally across the workspace. As a result, the statistical interferences of cross-contamination and product loss are attenuated.

 

When implemented into its practical environment, the enclosure seamlessly integrated into the client’s process flow.  After product was weighed, it was containerized for transport.  Even while containerized, an inherent exposure hazard still existed in the event of a catastrophic spill event during transport. Containment during product transport is yielded synergistically by the combination of the Alpha and Beta Rapid Transfer Ports, thereby serving as an engineering control for this hazard.  The client possessed DPTE® PE [Beta] Containers.  Now, as a result of the incorporation of an Alpha port on the side of the enclosure, operators were able to safely insert weighed product into the Beta Container by performing the following steps in chronological order:









In Flow Sciences’ in-house laboratory, the enclosure was tested in accordance with ISO 14644-1 – ISO Class 5 for particles ≥0.3µm/m3. The average result was 2,276 particles with a diameter greater than or equal to 0.3 micrometers per cubic meter air (2,276 particles with diameter ≥0.3 µm per cubic meter air). Additionally, the enclosure provided personnel protection through its negative-pressure containment design and four (4) 10” oval glove ports on the front of the unit. Specifically, “personnel protection” entails employee protection from exposure via the respiratory and dermal routes of exposure. Similar enclosure models in the Flow Sciences Glovebox Workstation (GBWS) series were evaluated internally using surrogate powder testing. During this test, lactose powder was manipulated into the interior of the enclosure while three operators performed operations similar to that of its real-world application. Air samples were taken in the breathing zone of the operator and in several locations throughout the Flow Sciences laboratory. Upon interpretation of the exposure data, Flow Sciences validated that the GBWS series contained down to a respiratory exposure concentration of 30 nanograms per cubic meter (30 ng/m3), expressed as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA). Compared to the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) stipulated by the customer (<500 ng/m3), the validated containment level is sixteen-times (16x) lower; or 6% of the stipulated OEL.

 

The GBWS is capable of containing today’s most toxic powder substances and the operations that involve them. Ray Ryan, Founder and President of FSI states “Flow Sciences is a solution based company. Sometimes we have the solution on our shelves, but most of the time we have to develop a solution to fulfill a particular industry need”.  This case study serves as a prime example of a project where Flow Sciences used a recently developed containment device and augmented it to fit the specific needs of the client. In this case, Flow Sciences fulfilled a need for temporary mobile containment of HPAPI product through the incorporation of the Getinge La Calhene Rapid Transfer Port system.


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Stainless Steel Mettler Balance Enclosure

Application: Powder Weighing and Dispensing with Getinge La Calhene Alpha-Beta Ports

 

This stainless steel enclosure is designed for powder dispensing applications for facilities performing powdered Highly Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (HPAPI) weighing and dispensing operations. Particularly, it was designed for operations conducted in facilities operating under the stipulations of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). The working space allows operators to freely conduct the operation by weighing a large batch (100 grams or more) of powder, dispensing the powder into a container, sealing the container, and cleaning the enclosure after use. Additionally, two ball valve fittings (3/8” NPT) are located on the right side of the enclosure for connection to inert gas sources. This connection is advantageous for sample protection by facilitating dehumidification and deoxidization of the sample environment for powder substances with attributes incurring the need for inert gas (e.g. pyrophoric powders, hygroscopic powders, high reactivity with oxygen, etc.).

After filling the bag with powder, the operator has the capability of moving the bagged powder from the enclosure to another enclosure with protection from exposure during transport. This function is made possible through the usage of an integrated Alpha Getinge La Calhene Rapid Transfer Port (RTP) on the right side of the enclosure. The incorporation of the Alpha RTP facilitates safe transfer by allowing the attachment of a Beta RTP conjugate capsule to the Alpha RTP. Following attachment, the operator is able to transfer the desired amount of powder (or aqueous solution*) from the enclosure interior, through an opening created by the Alpha/Beta connection, and into a Beta RTP capsule. From here, both the Alpha and Beta conjugates are sealed and the Beta capsule is used as a transport vehicle to the other enclosure. Referring back to the previous paragraph, the enclosure also allows for the transfer process occur, in reverse, after the Beta capsule is transported to the next enclosure or RTP-compatible device.

When designing the enclosure, Flow Sciences also considered ease and efficiency of process flow. Thus, its interior layout accommodates space for 1-2 analytical balances as well as sufficient working space around each balance for safe and effective use during your operation. Specifically, the operator is provided with ample room to move their arms to weigh, removed weighed powder, and dispense the powder into the bag.

After Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT), the enclosure was proven to contain down to an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) concentration of 100 nanograms per cubic meter of air (ng/m3). The actual level of containment was proven to be 0.06 ng/m3.

The “Containment Target”, as depicted in the image above, is the respiratory exposure concentration specified by the customer. The “Surrogate Powder Testing Result” is the actual exposure concentration result from air samples taken during performance validation testing conducted by FSI. The surrogate “contaminant” sampled during the FAT was a powder substance with attributes similar to that of the actual contaminant.

When designing the enclosure, Flow Sciences also considered ease and efficiency of process flow. Thus, its interior layout accommodates space for the Hydro SV and the Mastersizer 3000. Specifically, the operator is provided with ample room to move their arms to fill the cuvette, insert the cuvette into the Mastersizer 3000, and perform analysis; all while retaining space for wiring connections.

*Note:If the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) or Occupational Exposure Band (OEB) for the pertinent HPAPI contaminant(s) are lower than 1 microgram per cubic meter of air (1 ug/m3), dissolution of the sample into an aqueous solution is an alternative method to reduce the risk of overexposure during RTP transport.

 

            Additional Information:

Click here for more information regarding Getinge La Calhene RTP Ports.


GET A QUOTE

  • What is being done inside of the enclosure? What type of material (powder, liquid, gas, nuisance odor) is being worked with? How does the material enter and exit the enclosure system? etc...
  • What type of filtration is required? Single HEPA, Dual HEPA, Carbon, House Exhaust, etc... What is the required OEL (Occupational Exposure Limit) for the process, or any other details about containment goals? What is the quantity of powder or liquid, task duration, composition of powder, etc...?
  • What equipment is being worked with? What is the equipment model, size, scope, function, and any other information that will affect the design of the enclosure, including movement, heat output, etc...? *State the specific equipment make and model if available*
  • Drop files here or
    • Are there any additional notes or information that should be considered? Are there any special design requirements?

    Stainless Steel Malvern 3000 Enclosure

    Application: Small Volume Liquid Dispersion Analysis with Getinge La Calhene Alpha-Beta Ports

     

    This stainless steel enclosure was designed for small volume liquid dispersion/particle size distribution analysis methods involving Highly Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPIs). Particularly, it was designed for operations conducted in facilities operating under the stipulations of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). The working space allows operators to freely fill the Hydro SV cuvette with the aliquot, insert the aliquot into a Malvern Pananalytical Hydro SV, and insert the Micro SV into a Malvern Pananalytical Mastersizer 3000 for liquid dispersion particle distribution analysis. Additionally, two ball valve fittings (3/8” NPT) are located on the right side of the enclosure for connection to inert gas sources for propulsion of the sample into the Mastersizer 3000 for analysis.

    After the analysis is complete, the operator has the capability to transfer and transport analyzed product from the enclosure to another enclosure with protection from exposure during transport. This function is made possible through the usage of an integrated Alpha Getinge La Calhene Rapid Transfer Port (RTP) on the right side of the enclosure. The incorporation of the Alpha RTP facilitates safe transfer by allowing the attachment of a Beta RTP conjugate capsule to the Alpha RTP. Following attachment, the operator is able to transfer the desired amount of powder (or aqueous solution*) from the enclosure interior, through an opening created by the Alpha/Beta connection, and into a Beta RTP capsule. From here, both the Alpha and Beta conjugates are sealed and the Beta capsule is used as a transport vehicle to the other enclosure. Referring back to the previous paragraph, the enclosure also allows for the transfer process occur, in reverse, after the Beta capsule is transported to the next enclosure or RTP-compatible device.

    After Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and surrogate powder exposure simulations, the enclosure was proven to contain to a Time Weighted Average (TWA) concentration below the customer’s specified parameter of 100 nanograms per cubic meter of air (ng/m3). The actual level of containment was proven to be 0.06 ng/m3.

    The “Containment Target”, as depicted in the image above, is the respiratory exposure concentration specified by the customer. The “Surrogate Powder Testing Result” is the actual exposure concentration result from air samples taken during performance validation testing conducted by FSI. The surrogate “contaminant” sampled during the FAT was a powder substance with attributes similar to that of the actual contaminant.

    When designing the enclosure, Flow Sciences also considered ease and efficiency of process flow. Thus, its interior layout accommodates space for the Hydro SV and the Mastersizer 3000. Specifically, the operator is provided with ample room to move their arms to fill the cuvette, insert the cuvette into the Mastersizer 3000, and perform analysis; all while retaining space for wiring connections.

     

    *Note:If the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) or Occupational Exposure Band (OEB) for the pertinent HPAPI contaminant(s) are lower than 1 microgram per cubic meter of air (1 ug/m3), dissolution of the sample into an aqueous solution is an alternative method to reduce the risk of overexposure during RTP transport.

     

    Additional Information:


    GET A QUOTE

    • What is being done inside of the enclosure? What type of material (powder, liquid, gas, nuisance odor) is being worked with? How does the material enter and exit the enclosure system? etc...
    • What type of filtration is required? Single HEPA, Dual HEPA, Carbon, House Exhaust, etc... What is the required OEL (Occupational Exposure Limit) for the process, or any other details about containment goals? What is the quantity of powder or liquid, task duration, composition of powder, etc...?
    • What equipment is being worked with? What is the equipment model, size, scope, function, and any other information that will affect the design of the enclosure, including movement, heat output, etc...? *State the specific equipment make and model if available*
    • Drop files here or
      • Are there any additional notes or information that should be considered? Are there any special design requirements?

      Stainless Steel FTIR Enclosure

      Application: Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis with Getinge La Calhene Alpha-Beta Ports

       

      This stainless steel enclosure was designed for Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy analysis methods involving Highly Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPIs). Particularly, it was designed for operations conducted in facilities operating under the stipulations of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). The working space allows operators to freely load samples and accessories (such as those associated with the Thermo Fisher Nicolet spectrometer series) into the spectrometer. A ball valve fitting (3/8” NPT) is located on the left side of the enclosure for connection to an inert gas source for purposes such as sample column purging, deoxidization of sample column, etc. Additionally, there are two NEMA 4X-rated electrical receptacles located inside of the enclosure for connection to a power source and two iris ports (or “glands”) which facilitate data connections from the spectrometer to your computer.

      After the analysis is complete, the operator has the capability to transfer and transport analyzed product from the enclosure to another enclosure with protection from exposure during transport. This function is made possible through the use of an integrated Alpha Getinge La Calhene Rapid Transfer Port (RTP) on the right side of the enclosure. The Alpha RTP facilitates safe transfer by allowing the attachment of a Beta RTP conjugate capsule to the Alpha RTP. Following attachment, the operator is able to transfer the desired amount of powder (or aqueous solution*) from the enclosure interior, through an opening created by the Alpha/Beta connection, and into a Beta RTP capsule. From here, both the Alpha and Beta conjugates are sealed and the Beta capsule is used as a transport vehicle to the other enclosure. Referring back to the previous paragraph, the enclosure also allows for the transfer process occur, in reverse, after the Beta capsule is transported to the next enclosure or RTP-compatible device.

      After Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and surrogate powder exposure simulations, the enclosure was proven to contain to a Time Weighted Average (TWA) concentration below the customer’s specified parameter of 100 nanograms per cubic meter of air (ng/m3). The actual level of containment was proven to be 1.15 ng/m3.

      The “Containment Target”, as depicted in the image above, is the respiratory exposure concentration specified by the customer. The “Surrogate Powder Testing Result” is the actual exposure concentration result from air samples taken during performance validation testing conducted by FSI. The surrogate “contaminant” sampled during the FAT was a powder substance with attributes similar to that of the actual contaminant.

       

      *Note:If the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) or Occupational Exposure Band (OEB) for the pertinent HPAPI contaminant(s) are lower than 1 microgram per cubic meter of air (1 ug/m3), dissolution of the sample into an aqueous solution is an alternative method to reduce the risk of overexposure during RTP transport.

      Additional Information:


      GET A QUOTE

      • What is being done inside of the enclosure? What type of material (powder, liquid, gas, nuisance odor) is being worked with? How does the material enter and exit the enclosure system? etc...
      • What type of filtration is required? Single HEPA, Dual HEPA, Carbon, House Exhaust, etc... What is the required OEL (Occupational Exposure Limit) for the process, or any other details about containment goals? What is the quantity of powder or liquid, task duration, composition of powder, etc...?
      • What equipment is being worked with? What is the equipment model, size, scope, function, and any other information that will affect the design of the enclosure, including movement, heat output, etc...? *State the specific equipment make and model if available*
      • Drop files here or
        • Are there any additional notes or information that should be considered? Are there any special design requirements?

        Non-Sterile Hybrid Isolator

        Abstract 

        In 2011, Flow Sciences, Inc. was commissioned with providing an isolator for a large pharmaceutical company that was capable of protecting its employees by reducing their exposure below the occupational exposure level (OEL) of highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in an isolator. Here we describe the unit designed and constructed and the in-house testing results. 

        Background 

        In the ongoing search for new therapeutic treatments, pharmaceutical companies are developing a new class of active ingredients known as High Performance Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPI). As the name suggests, these compounds are highly potent and therefore it is critical that exposure to the pure material is minimal. More commonly associated with oncology drugs, an ‘explosion’ of HPAPIs is predicted over the next 5 years due to the high levels of research currently being conducted in this area. 

        Clearly, with the advent of this phenomenon, containment of these compounds from the scientists tasked with working with them is of major concern. One reason for this is the high expense often associated with new equipment designed to handle the task. In order to combat these potentially high capital outlays, many companies are looking at alternative methods of containment, including modification of existing equipment. The Non-Sterile Hybrid Isolator, offered by Flow Sciences, Inc., is one such method of reducing the cost of containment (Figure 1). 

        Figure 1. Non-Sterile Hybrid Isolator with bag in/bag out and main chamber. 

        The isolator is designed to protect personnel from exposure to chemicals including HPAPIs by fully encompassing equipment used by scientists during processes such as weighing, crushing and bag in/bag out procedures. The isolator has been developed using Flow Sciences’ expertise in fluid dynamics and can be designed and manufactured to fit the customer’s needs. 

        Case Study 

        In 2011, Flow Sciences, Inc. was tasked by a major pharmaceutical company with the design, construction and installation of a non-sterile hybrid isolator for use by its employees during powder handling operations. The design of the isolator included a bag in/bag out (BIBO) annex and a main enclosure. 

        After installation of the isolator, a third party industrial hygiene consulting company, IES engineers, was contracted to perform Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) and determine the effectiveness of the isolator. Using industry accepted testing methods; IES performed sampling of the air, surface and the testing area environment to evaluate the containment performance of the isolator using a surrogate powder (naproxen sodium) during typical operator procedures. The design containment performance target (CPT) for the VBE air samples was set at 75 nanograms of surrogate powder per cubic meter (ng/m3) of air. This value was chosen to provide an additional margin of safety compared to the OEL for an API of 150 ng/m3. Surface samples were collected and used for reference purposes. All of the containment verification testing activities were performed using industry accepted practices.1-3 

        Procedure 

        Prior to the containment verification assessment, the sampling strategy developed by IES was approved by the client and included typical and maximum use scenarios. The procedures, using naproxen sodium as an API surrogate, were: (1) reference standard development, comprising of: (a) dispensing approximately 500 mg of naproxen sodium into volumetric flasks; (b) development of a buffer capacity, which included dispensing of approximately 1 g of naproxen sodium into 50 mL water, followed by 5 minutes of mixing; (2) minor cleaning procedures of the VBE interior, including a wipe down of the floor surfaces and gloves with methanol and removal of equipment and materials used during the procedures. Each procedure was performed three times establish a greater level of confidence in the containment verification data. 

        Airborne samples were collected from personal, source, and area locations. Personal samples were collected within the breathing zones of the operators. Source samples were collected at 200 mm from the potential emission source and area samples were collected at distances no closer than 1.5 m from the process or equipment and at a height of 1.5 m. These samples were then analyzed and exposures quantified. 

        Baseline samples were collected for all locations prior to performing the operations. 

        As can be seen from the table above, all samples collected for the various zones were well below the CPT of 75 ng/m3 air 3

        Summary 

        In summary, FlowSciences designed, constructed, and installed a non-sterile hybrid isolator for a large pharmaceutical company to limit exposure of employees to APIs during powder handling operations. Containment Verification Testing of the isolator, using a surrogate powder, was performed at the pharmaceutical company by IES, a third party industrial hygiene consulting company. The test results demonstrated that the isolator provided effective containment of powders to the CPT of 75 ng/m3 for the tasks performed. 

        References 

        1) American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, “Method of Testing Performance of 

        Laboratory Fume Hoods, ANSI/ASHRAE 110-1995” Atlanta, GA, 1995. 

        2) International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, “ISPE Good Practice Guide: Assessing the Particulate 

        Containment Performance of Pharmaceutical Equipment,” Second Edition, 2012. 

        3) Section II: Sampling Measurements and Instruments of the OSHA Technical Manual 

         

        Contributing Authors: 

        • Steve Janz, Flow Sciences, Inc. 

        • Allan Goodman, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Wilmington; 

        • George Petroka, Director BioPharma/EHS Services CIH, CSP, RBP, IES Engineers 

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        For a PDF of this Press Release or for questions or comments, please contact us below:

        [dt_fancy_separator]

        About Flow Sciences, Inc.

        Flow Sciences is the world’s leading developer of containment solutions for research and development laboratories, pilot plants, automation equipment and robotics, manufacturing and production facilities where toxic or noxious potent powders, fluids, or gases require safe handling while weighing, mixing, processing, or manufacturing. Since its start in the 1980s and with the introduction of the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure (VBSE™) in the 1990s, Flow Sciences has gone on to develop a comprehensive line of over 500 enclosures, including industry standards like the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure (VBSE™), the Contained Vented Bulk Powder Enclosure, and innovative laboratory technologies like the FS1501 Nitrogen Controller and the Bag-In/Bag-Out HEPA Filtration System. For its accomplishments, Flow Sciences received an Expert Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for accomplishments in the global marketplace, the Deloitte and Touche North Carolina Technology Fast 50 Award, the UIBS R&D and Technology Collaboration Award, along with many others. During the 1990s, Flow Sciences pioneered the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure Series (VBSE™) which introduced the first independent fan exhaust system to isolate vibrations for balance accuracy, swiftly becoming the world leader in laboratory safety equipment. Flow Sciences technologies are now used to improve safety and containment in virtually every industrial sector around the globe, from pharmaceutical, food processing, robotics, chemical, forensics, agriculture, academia, infectious diseases, asbestos, tires, biotechnology, batteries, and nanotechnology. Flow Sciences has over 30 years of expertise in the development of containment solutions that deliver superior engineering quality and service at each level of controlled airflow containment systems. Flow Sciences offers the incorporation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), further refining the process of presenting personnel and product protection through framed enclosure solutions. The company’s Flow Sciences China division serves as a market leader in mainland China, spearheading the development of solutions throughout Asia. Under its Flow Sciences brand, Flow Sciences offers the best in laboratory containment, and is committed to finding containment solutions that meet your needs.

         

        All other product names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Flow Sciences.

         

        Headquarters: Leland, NC USA:

        Flow Sciences, Inc., 2025 Mercantile Drive, Leland, NC 28451;

        Tel: 1-800-849-3429, Fax: 1-910-763-1220, Email: information@flowsciences.com,

        Web: https://flowsciences.com/

         

        Flow Sciences, Inc. Public Relations:

        Jonathan Mann 2025 Mercantile Drive, Leland, NC 28451;

        Tel: 1-910-332-4846 direct, Email: jmann@flowsciences.com,

        Web: https://flowsciences.com


        Isolator Containment Levels for a Fraction of the Cost

        PRESS RELEASE

        Contact: Flow Sciences, Inc.

        Tel: (800) 849-3429

        Fax: (910) 763-1220

         

         

         

         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

        Flow Sciences’ Hybrid Isolator Contains to Less Than 50 ng/mwith Bulk Powders 

        LELAND, NC, June 26, 2018 — Flow Sciences, a leading provider of containment systems for laboratory, pilot plant, and manufacturing facilities, now offers a Bulk Powder Hybrid Isolator glovebox that is proven by third-party acceptance testing to facilitate an interior concentration of less than 50 nanograms per cubic meter (50 ng/m3).

         

        The system maintains all of the engineering controls of the standard Hybrid Isolator, but is now designed to include a 20” cutout and a membrane set which can accommodate 3 bulk powder drum diameter sizes. The membrane set also prevents powder from spilling over the lip of the drum during pouring operations. In addition, it can be shipped with a hydraulic lifting jack which allows the customer to lift a drum through the base of the enclosure into its interior to work with the bulk powders in a contained environment.

        Flow Sciences’ consultation process breeds innovative solutions, which drives the evolution of our standard products. This adaption of our Hybrid Isolator Series is a perfect example of who we are as a company. Every interaction with end users and engineers adds to our growing enclosure repertoire, which continues our corporate vision of providing the best containment solution for numerous applications. Using our TaskMatch application search tool, we combine today’s consumer-oriented market with our own expert consultation to create a product of optimal performance.

        In the constantly connected landscape of today, the ever increasing toxicity of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) presents the ever increasing need for personnel and/or product protection. At Flow Sciences, we consistently strive to ensure the safety of the whole process by engineering and manufacturing optimal enclosure. Flow Sciences creates engineering controls for hazards that cannot be eliminated or substituted.

        [dt_fancy_separator]

        For a PDF of this Press Release or for questions or comments, please contact us below:

        [dt_fancy_separator]

        About Flow Sciences, Inc.

        Flow Sciences is the world’s leading developer of containment solutions for research and development laboratories, pilot plants, automation equipment and robotics, manufacturing and production facilities where toxic or noxious potent powders, fluids, or gases require safe handling while weighing, mixing, processing, or manufacturing. Since its start in the 1980s and with the introduction of the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure (VBSE™) in the 1990s, Flow Sciences has gone on to develop a comprehensive line of over 500 enclosures, including industry standards like the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure (VBSE™), the Contained Vented Bulk Powder Enclosure, and innovative laboratory technologies like the FS1501 Nitrogen Controller and the Bag-In/Bag-Out HEPA Filtration System. For its accomplishments, Flow Sciences received an Expert Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for accomplishments in the global marketplace, the Deloitte and Touche North Carolina Technology Fast 50 Award, the UIBS R&D and Technology Collaboration Award, along with many others. During the 1990s, Flow Sciences pioneered the Vented Balance Safety Enclosure Series (VBSE™) which introduced the first independent fan exhaust system to isolate vibrations for balance accuracy, swiftly becoming the world leader in laboratory safety equipment. Flow Sciences technologies are now used to improve safety and containment in virtually every industrial sector around the globe, from pharmaceutical, food processing, robotics, chemical, forensics, agriculture, academia, infectious diseases, asbestos, tires, biotechnology, batteries, and nanotechnology. Flow Sciences has over 30 years of expertise in the development of containment solutions that deliver superior engineering quality and service at each level of controlled airflow containment systems. Flow Sciences offers the incorporation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), further refining the process of presenting personnel and product protection through framed enclosure solutions. The company’s Flow Sciences China division serves as a market leader in mainland China, spearheading the development of solutions throughout Asia. Under its Flow Sciences brand, Flow Sciences offers the best in laboratory containment, and is committed to finding containment solutions that meet your needs.

         

        All other product names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Flow Sciences.

         

        Headquarters: Leland, NC USA:

        Flow Sciences, Inc., 2025 Mercantile Drive, Leland, NC 28451;

        Tel: 1-800-849-3429, Fax: 1-910-763-1220, Email: information@flowsciences.com,

        Web: https://flowsciences.com/

         

        Flow Sciences, Inc. Public Relations:

        Jonathan Mann 2025 Mercantile Drive, Leland, NC 28451;

        Tel: 1-910-332-4846 direct, Email: jmann@flowsciences.com,

        Web: https://flowsciences.com


        Containing ADC Development

        80 Years Later: The Fight Against Cancer Continues

         

        This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the National Cancer Institute, established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to support research on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Since the 1940s, cancer researchers have produced nothing short of astonishing science.

         

        The development of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) ranks among one of the most important advancements in cancer treatments in recent history. The ability to precisely target abnormal cells throughout the body and deliver highly toxic drugs to the center of tumors significantly improves upon the negative side effects of traditional chemotherapies that employ a total war approach to defeating cancer.

         

        Anti-cancer drug development has not come without challenges for pharmaceutical companies that manufacture ADCs. The potency and effectiveness of ADCs are dependent upon engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) — the cytotoxic payload that destroys cancer cells — but little is known about the environmental and human health hazards posed by ENPs. The promise ENPs hold for patients is why we continue to wield them in the quest for a cure despite a full understanding of their key physical characteristics, chemical properties, and associated hazards.

         

        Yet, we can still minimize occupational exposure by applying the precautionary principle. When working with nanoparticles, employers must evaluate workplace-engineering controls and include effective source ventilation and capture protocol to minimize exposure risk. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “A well-designed exhaust ventilation system with a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter should effectively remove nanomaterials.”

         

        Flow Sciences, Inc. has partnered with pharmaceutical companies and laboratories that work with hazardous chemicals like those used in manufacturing ADCs. We specialize in designing task-specific containment enclosures that minimize product loss and exposure to nanoparticles during the complex and sensitive manufacturing processes that characterize ADC production.

         

        The Glovebox Workstation series of enclosures provide containment for toxic applications using highly potent APIs requiring isolation that meets or exceeds ISO 5 clean processing. The Glovebox Workstation comes standard with a HEPA inlet that creates a clean environment ensuring product protection; it also uses horizontal laminar flow to reduce turbulent airflow and reproduce consistent, performance-based results. We have submitted the Glovebox Workstation to third-party testing and confirmed containment levels at or below 50 ng/m3 with balance stability to the 7th decimal place. This makes the Glovebox Workstation ideal for the initial phases of conjugation process development that require accurate methods and precise data with minimal scattering.

         

        ADC development depends upon thorough control and tracking of molecular-level characteristics, including: drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR), monomer content, drug distribution, and cell killing activity or antigen recognition. It also depends upon designing a process that controls for successful experimental parameters within selected ranges so that the manufacturing of ADCs can be scaled up to grams. Certain purification techniques that are crucial in the manufacture of ADCs can only be performed on process solution volumes at the gram scale. As ADC production continues to be scaled up for early clinical phases, the success of the manufacturing process will ultimately depend upon careful analysis and control during the earlier experimental phases.

         

        ADC production requires a laboratory that can handle the initial familiarization phase as well as further investigation, observation, verification, purification, and scale-up. Flow Sciences has designed several containment options that cover the entire scope of ADC development. We offer a Hybrid Isolator for working with highly toxic APIs and the LEV III (local exhaust ventilation) enclosure that is built for scale-up operations. All of our enclosures designed for ADC development have undergone rigorous engineering and performance testing so that you can work confidently as you explore new cancer treatments.

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        Contained Environmental Systems – from Flow Sciences

        When it comes to keeping employees and equipment safe and laboratories or production lines hygienic, traditional vented enclosures and hoods are being challenged to provide increased protection for personnel working with the products produced within the workstation. Flow Sciences’ Contained Environmental Systems provide ideal environments for handling a variety of potent powders and mixtures from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials, across the scope of laboratory, production line and research settings.

         

        The Contained Environmental Systems line consists of four enclosure types that are ready for bench top applications in standard sizes; and can be customized to fit industry- or task-specific needs and standards. Each of these systems features ergonomically designed glove ports with Bag-In Bag-Out HEPA filtration (as appropriate) and come in a range of sizes to make maximum use of available bench top space.

         

        Enclosures in the series include:

        Temperature and Humidity Contained Environment (THCE)

        Vented Atmosphere Contained Environment (VACE)

        Controlled Atmosphere Contained Environment (CACE)

        Hybrid Isolators – available in two configurations; one which uses make-up air from the room and the other which uses HEPA filtered make-up air.

         

        THCE – Temperature and Humidity Contained Environment

        The THCE features patented LFBC (Lateral Airflow Bio Containment) technology. A unique Bag-in/Bag-out HEPA filtration system protects employee breathing zones and prevents environmental contaminants from entering the chamber and keeps potent APIs, nanomaterials and other matter from exiting the chamber and causing health and safety concerns within the laboratory environment.

         

        Flow’s design team not only considered safety when designing the THCE, but also employee comfort. Glove ports allow users to reach any part of the THCE while staying protected from potent powders, and LED lighting provides adequate in-chamber illumination with little heat and little energy use.

         

        Included are a touch screen interface and data-logging software, both designed for ease of use and to accommodate a variety of data recording. A temperature and humidity sensor allows users to monitor in-chamber conditions and adjust them to the ideal conditions for work.

         

        Flow Science’s THCE conforms to ASHRAE 110-95. Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) is available to validate the performance and guarantee that each unit meets client containment standards.

         

        VACE – Vented Atmosphere Contained Environment

        The Vented Atmosphere Contained Environment from Flow Sciences features lateral airflow and in one configuration utilizes positive air pressure to reduce the risk of product contamination. Ideal for analysis and dosing of bottling liquid or solid APIs, handling nanomaterials, the VACE draws ambient room air through HEPA filters, providing a non-contaminated, gentle airflow across the work air.  Out-flowing HEPA filters prevent materials from contaminating the work surface environment.

         

        VACE units are customizable to meet industry-specific needs and safety specifications. Options include stainless steel or phenolic work surfaces and various configurations of HEPA filters, and are available in a range of sizes and configurations designed to accommodate laboratory and production-line equipment. Glove ports are also available in a range of sizes.

         

        Each VACE unit is equipped with glove ports and large acrylic windows to allow users to easily see and access the chamber while safely and comfortably completing work tasks, cleanup and routine maintenance. Alternate materials of construction along with Factory Acceptance Testing are available.

         

        CACE – Controlled Atmosphere Contained Environment

        CACE units allow operators to control the atmosphere within the chamber, creating the ideal low-oxygen or inert gas environments as their applications require. Inlet and purge valves make it easy to adjust the makeup of the atmosphere within the chamber, while pressure gauges and probe connections allow for effective monitoring of the chamber.

         

        Each CACE unit features wide glove ports and can be made from a variety of materials including all-acrylic body construction and work surfaces made from stainless steel or chemically resistant phenolic with or without stainless steel insets.

         

         

        Hybrid Isolator

        As new, highly potent APIs and nanomaterials continue to enter the workplace, Flow Sciences Hybrid Isolators are available to ensure the safety and hygiene of workers and work environments. The hybrid isolator was designed to protect workers from exposure by fully-encompassing equipment and products used during research and development; weighing, loading and distributing powders; and other manufacturing processes. Ideal for powder handling, housing sensitive equipment and a host of other applications units are available for customer customization.

         

        Hybrid Isolators are equipped with directional LED lighting, acrylic construction (for increased in-chamber visibility) and air plenums designed to ensure the proper air speed and flow within the chamber. Glove ports from 8”-10” provide workers with ample room for a comfortable work environment, and a removable face allows for easy instrumentation setup and teardown. Standard units come equipped with dual HEPA filters and Bag-In Bag-Out filtration and ante-chamber. Customizable to fit industry- and task-specific laboratory apparatus FAT and Surrogate Powder testing are available to ensure containment for the process.

         

        Jason Frye produced this story with the assistance of Steve Janz, VP Marketing and Business Development for Flow Sciences Inc., which produces containment systems for laboratories, pilot plants and manufacturers. These products are designed to protect operators or product from exposure to hazardous particulates and vapors while performing delicate operations.


        Sampling and Dosing Starts with Containment

        When sampling and dosing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or high-potency APIs (HPAPIs), containment can be critical. Good laboratory practices (GLP) and the proper equipment designed and calibrated to facilitate GLP when transferring, mixing or blending APIs can reduce product waste, product contamination and minimize lost profit as well as create a healthier, contaminant free environment for lab operators.

         

        Part of every lab’s GLP should be the utilization of contained environmental systems, fume hoods or specialty containment solutions designed to help control the mixing or blending environment, making it more suitable to the delicate task at hand. For powdered APIs, a controlled environment means one free of excess humidity, moisture and other contaminants. With liquid APIs, the best environment will be one free of the risk of contamination as well as the proper airflow within the enclosure that will not cause the APIs to evaporate to quickly.

         

        The key to containment and control is airflow. With properly designed hoods and equipment enclosures, airflow within the unit will contain loose particles, allow liquids to evaporate at normal rates, pull hazardous fumes and particles away from the operator and into a safe disposal area. High quality hoods use face-opening airspeed that will safely contain particles within the unit and keep contaminants out while facilitating a good work environment for the operator, making for easier product handling by the operator while still offering maximum containment.

         

        Traditional fume hoods require face-opening airspeeds at or exceeding 100 linear feet per minute (lfpm). That volume of air moving at such a high rate of speed will encourage liquids to evaporate quickly; disturb balances; cause powder loss from transport containers, mixing vessels and sampling tools; additionally, for equipment operators, the noise and speed of the air within the fume hoods can become exhausting and frustrating to work in.

         

        Specialty hoods and enclosures can reduce the face velocity to 70-75 lfpm or lower, depending on the application, while lessening or even eliminating issues that come with mixing and blending API powders and liquids. By using hoods, enclosures and protected systems that incorporate lower wind speeds and engineered solutions that eradicate the hidden vortices, eddies and cross currents that disturb powders and hasten the evaporation of liquids, labs can better control their loss in material and operator time.

         

        Protected systems are alternatives to clean rooms that incorporate a series of benchtop and freestanding units designed to enclose equipment for measuring, transporting, mixing and dispensing APIs and joined by sealed pass-through chambers can help lab operators exercise greater control over employee safety and final product quality. These joined, protected workstations allow laboratories to be configured in the most efficient way and minimize the necessity of bulky and uncomfortable pieces of personal protective equipment, allowing lab operators to be more comfortable and move more freely about the lab while remaining safe and unexposed to harmful APIs.

         

        Jason Frye produced this story with the assistance of Flow Sciences Inc., which produces containment systems for laboratories, pilot plants and manufacturers. These products are designed to protect operators from exposure to hazardous particulates and vapors while performing delicate operations.

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