The INTERPHEX 2018 event has come to another successful close in New York this year. More than 10,000 suppliers, manufacturers and industry professionals were in attendance, representing over 600 exhibitors.

The exhibition saw the debut of more than 160 new technologies for rollout within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. The broad scope of these innovations had the audience eager to learn more, as INTERPHEX 2018 highlighted one overarching trend: the clear shift towards single-use systems.

What led to this industry-wide change?

As you’re probably aware, the industry has been slowly moving away from stainless steel technologies. And while stainless steel systems still play a key role in the industry, they do suffer from several inefficiencies, such as:

  • Long lead times and high capital costs for new facilities
  • Low levels of flexibility to combine components within the production process
  • High levels of cleaning validation and subsequent production downtime
  • High levels of water and chemical consumption
  • Significant space requirement for storage

Essentially, these flaws have led the industry to make a swift refocus of the biopharmaceutical process towards more effective, single-use plastic systems.

Whilst the implementation of single-use systems can cause minor issues for companies that currently use stainless-steel, the long-run benefits to business operations significantly outweigh the initial costs.

How to get the most value out of your single-use systems

Simply put, single-use systems can reduce all the inefficiencies typical of stainless steel systems. Key to their success is the flexibility which disposable systems provide for manufacturers to produce multiple products in a single facility.

As customers make the switch to single-use systems, companies need to prioritise education relating to these new technologies to ensure operators maximise the potential benefits they offer. To help you along this journey, we’ve outlined some of the key takeaways from INTERPHEX 2018 with a focus on topics relevant to Australian manufacturing:

1. Consolidate critical products and suppliers

The consolidation of products and suppliers from critical component groups can help businesses immensely.

Minimising brands and associated suppliers of key components such as tubing, connectors, sensors, and fittings not only reduces headaches related to validation, multiple invoices and delivery orders, but it also creates better business partnerships and higher levels of service and support.

For instance, many customers regularly experience the frustration of trying to connect one supplier’s bag to a competitor’s tube set, or similar equipment.

The CPC AseptiQuick range is a good example of a product which can be specified for all bag manufacturers and offers a generic connection between all major suppliers. Most importantly, the bag manufacturers are willing to install them on their products.

2. Use local suppliers to reduce lead times and lower working capital costs

Key to developing the Australian single-use technology industry is the deliberate use of local suppliers.

This enables the facilitation of local expertise between key industry players and helps minimise lead times — meaning fewer administrative headaches and delays in production. By working with local suppliers who stock products, lead times can be reduced by up to 8 weeks; saving both time and money

Using local suppliers also contributes to the overall development of the Australian bioprocessing and pharmaceutical industry, which is essential for bringing in new domestic projects in the future.

3. Join industry groups to be the first to learn about changes in single-use technologies

One of the most prominent local groups is the BioProcessing Network of Australia (BPN).

BPN is a not-for-profit collaboration of engineers and scientists that have been instrumental in the upskilling of bioprocessing experts.

Association with such a group allows pharmaceutical organisations to utilise an unparalleled pool of Australian expertise, and research; especially when it comes to pharmaceutical instrumentation and single-use systems technology.

What actions are you taking to move toward single-use systems?

The team at VFV are well qualified to support your business through the transition to single-use system technologies.

As the local Australian distributor of CPC, Parker Scilog, Sanisure, Eldon James, and others, we can help design and validate single-use systems quickly and efficiently. 

This allows your staff to spend more time focussed on their product, and less time questioning which products or systems they should be using.

Contact us today to start the conversation about your transition to single-use system technologies. Or if you’ve already made the switch, let us know how we can support you to help streamline your processes even further.

We also provide samples of our bio products to help you understand how they can be applied to your specific process. If this sounds like something you’d like to arrange, give me a call today on +61 3 9873 1400.