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A UV Sight Glass Light Optimizes your Process Vessel Inspection

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Gail in Blog

For pharmaceutical manufacturers, maintaining the cleanliness of their facilities, especially their stainless-steel process vessels, is Job #1. A UV light for your sight glass can help, as UV light can be used to inspect and verify SIP and CIP procedures have done an adequate job.

Vessels must be cleaned and sterilized thoroughly between each product batch. This is important to prevent contamination from previous batches or residual cleaning agents from adulterating the product. Depending on the type of drug being produced, an inadequately cleaned vessel could potentially force the facility to quality reject millions of dollars’ worth of compromised product.

Drug makers rely on a variety of clean-in-place (CIP) and sterilize in place (SIP) solutions to maintain their process vessels. Depending on the particular drugs involved, the cleaning process can involve alternately flushing with water, caustic solutions, acid solutions, sanitizing solutions, or steaming to kill microorganisms. However, vessels often have “difficult to clean” challenges and obstructions like agitators, vortex breakers, nozzles, man-ways, fittings, projections, etc. that can create spray “shadows” limiting the cleaning efficacy. The CIP spray equipment must remove any contamination completely.

How can pharmaceutical manufacturers make sure their CIP spray equipment is operating properly and removing contamination completely? That’s where Vitamins B2 and UV come in.

UV is short for the high-powered ultraviolet luminaires designed to mount outside the vessel through a sight glass to illuminate its interior while its cleanliness is checked through separate inspection windows. And the Vitamin B2 is a harmless riboflavin dye used to ensure the CIP process has removed all traces of contamination and cleaning solutions.

Here’s how it works: A maintenance technician sprays the inside of the vessel with a 100 ppm solution of riboflavin and water just prior to running the CIP equipment. After the CIP process is complete, the interior of the vessel is carefully inspected through the sight port. The UV light makes any residual dye inside the vessel show up as a bright fluorescent green color. The CIP system is then optimized and retested until it achieves a compete interior clean.

As the world’s brightest compact sight glass UV-LED Luminaire, the LumiStar365UV™ sight glass light is perfect for stainless steel vessel illumination after CIP riboflavin testing. It provides 4.6 W of 365nm UV light with an internal reflector that delivers an ASME compliant 5 mW/cm2 at 15 inches. Unlike mercury bulbs, the filtered light the LumiStar365UV™ produces ensures a tight spectrum of emitted UV light and eliminates all emitted visible light for easier identification than UV fluorescents.

As an LED luminaire, the LumiStar365UV™ offers a safer alternative to mercury bulbs and allows for continuous cool operation with temperature-based current limiting and automatic dimming with over temperature shutdown. These LED lights provide long service life and are vibration and impact resistant with no infra-red heat radiation emitted into the process vessel.

To learn more about how the LumiStar365UV™ luminaire can help ensure the health of your process vessels, visit www.ljstar.com/product-line/lumistar365uv-led-luminaire-series-usl-13-33-stainless-steel/