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Biopharmaceutical Gear Requirements (BPE) updates

Biopharmaceutical Gear Requirements (BPE) updates

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) will quickly publish its 2022 Biopharmaceutical Gear (BPE) requirements replace. The ASME BPE requirements make it clear {that a} passivation therapy differs from the pre-operational flushing of a brand new system.

Biopharmaceutical Gear Requirements (BPE) updates

Picture Credit score: Shutterstock/Kurhan

This tackles the misunderstanding amongst a number of operators {that a} pre-commissioning passivation therapy of a system’s product-contact surfaces is sufficient for eradicating building particles. 

The difficulty primarily arose as a result of a communication breakdown. Operators could have the mechanical contractor, similar to a passivation contractor like Astro Pak, or its in-house staff conduct the flushing operation as a part of the steps vital to position a brand new system.

The issue happens when the passivation supplier assumes that flushing has already been carried out whereas the operator assumes that the passivation therapy will flush the system.

Stream velocity and turbulence are key

The vast majority of BPE programs are usually not put in in a cleanroom setting. Welding finish facings, grinding mud, and particles are typical examples of environmental building particles. Moreover, potential contaminants could also be expelled by mechanically sprucing a vessel’s floor. 

Whereas the passivation therapy often requires the passing of chemical compounds by way of the tanks and tubing of a system, it isn’t vital to take action at a velocity that can take away a big portion of particles. It’s because the aims of every process differ solely. Correct flushing requires an applicable quantity of turbulence in a fluid because it passes by way of the system to bodily transfer any solids out.

Conversely, passivation goals to make the stainless-steel chemically inert. To make sure that that is achieved, the citric acid resolution is circulated at a regular stream price of two ft per second or much less at a set temperature with the suitable quantity of contact time to passivate the metallic.  

As a substitute of utilizing acidic chemical compounds, flushing makes use of deionized or reverse osmosis filtered water to stop erosion, corrosion, and the impact of chlorine, which is current in most potable water programs, on the stainless-steel floor.

Ideally, from the offset, a system ought to already be engineered for pre-operational flushing. But, even when that’s the case, system flushing must be carried out in sections. Cautious engineering research are performed when getting ready the flushing. The optimum stream price to get rid of particles is predicated on stream calculations.

The stream price required to hit the proper stage of turbulence is contingent on the pipe measurement in addition to the size of the run. The kind of system can also be an element. The system necessities that deal with liquids or gasses will differ from these designed to hold lubricants or hydraulic oils.

Relatively than making use of the two ft per second stream velocity for citric acid passivation, stream velocities for applicable flushing will must be between 5 and 25 toes per second, relying on which system is being flushed. A number of system sections can typically be flushed concurrently, flushing persevering with by way of every pipe part till particles is not current within the filters. 

Passivation contractors don’t often embrace flushing when bidding for a cleansing and passivation service. If a contractor arrives on the job web site to find that flushing has not been carried out, delays could come up in terms of bringing the extra tools – similar to a bigger pump – onsite. 

The brand new 2022 adjustments

The newest requirements for flushing building particles, specified as SD-2, are evolutionary quite than revolutionary, and the important thing factors will be summarized as follows: 

  • Cleaned for Oxygen Service programs require extra consideration relating to their area storage, meeting, and welding. 
  • Fabricators are liable for sustaining materials traceability. 
  • Flushing must be carried out after set up utilizing deionized water for liquid-service programs to get rid of particles earlier than injecting chemical compounds. These for gaseous companies must be blown by way of totally utilizing clear air. 
  • Flushing with an alkaline cleansing resolution is just not beneficial, and flushing with acidic options is to be prevented solely to mitigate in opposition to erosion and corrosion of slim pathways. 
  • Pre-cleaning and capping of sections must be performed prepared for cargo to stop contamination en route and throughout storage. 
  • Delicate components similar to gaskets for valves and different parts must be switched out after flushing and passivation actions. 
  • The flushing process and situations to validate the method must be laid out for every system. 

Astro Pak’s function

Astro Pak has an prolonged historical past of supporting ASME’s mission, together with the three present and former staff concerned in its requirements committees. Jordan Schaecher, a regional gross sales supervisor, is a part of the BPE floor ending subcommittee with the recently-retired Patrick Banes, the Chair of Floor End.

Based mostly on area expertise, the committee beneficial that flushing requirements must be clearly outlined. The subcommittee authorized this concept, making a process group to analyze the issue with Mr. Schaecher within the lead. 

One incident that helped result in the suggestion arose when an Astro Pak shopper discovered metallic shavings in diaphragm valve elastomers that had been a part of a system that had been in operation for a yr.

This was found throughout routine scheduled upkeep. After assessing the state of affairs, it was clear that, whereas the system had been passivated and the elastomers had been changed instantly afterward, the system had not undergone flushing. This meant that building and fabrication particles remained contained in the system. The system was flushed and re-passivated earlier than being put again into service.

What does this imply?

If these adjustments are authorized, there will likely be improved communication and understanding of what pre-operational flushing is, the steps required to make sure success, and its key function as a part of pre-operational readiness and commissioning procedures, together with flushing, cleansing, and passivation.

Astro Pak personnel have taken the mandatory steps to make sure shoppers are educated on the significance of flushing and validating flushing performed on new programs. Making these requirements industry-wide will profit each shoppers and suppliers – which is what ASME meant.

About Astro Pak Company

Astro Pak is the chief in offering Passivation, Precision Cleansing, and Excessive-Purity Chemical Cleansing companies for numerous “cleanliness delicate” important programs and parts. Lots of our clients have exterior businesses that drive their cleansing necessities, such because the FDA, NASA, and others. We service such industries as Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Aerospace, Laser, Semiconductor, Water Therapy, and extra, together with Industrial markets. Our companies and merchandise leverage many years of expertise to ship the simplest chemistries and strategies, leading to elevated tools longevity, lowered corrosion-related downtime, and regulatory compliance in shopper services.


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