Requiring precise metering and delivery of high value pharmaceutical media in a challenging environment, Sanofi-Aventis turned to Watson-Marlow's 621 series pumps to offer the solution. The pump was selected for its speed control and the chemical compatibility of the pumps' tubing material, as well as its wide range of flow rates.
Part of the Sanofi-Aventis group based in Frankfurt, the company researches, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products. Precision compounds developed in their research facilities, are optimised for later large-scale production.
Much of this production is achieved with a relatively low degree of automation, as many of the batches are produced as one-offs. Due to the difficulty that the company has in predicting which pumps will be used for what product development, the specification of the pumps on-site needs to be very high. In addition, the apparatus park must be kept as flexible as possible to achieve the greatest use and cost effectiveness. Peristaltic pumps which use tubing elements to meter the pumped media are generally ideal for such applications, since there is no product contact with the pump mechanism, and the tubing through which the product is moved is easily cleaned or replaced. This allows for total sterility and a low cost method via which the pump can be used for more than one application.
Sanofi-Aventis’ selection of the Watson-Marlow 621 series pump was based on a number of factors. It offers a compact enclosed system, covers the required flow rate range and is easy to clean and maintain. Furthermore, the pump is fitted with a compact adjustable drive unit that allows the speed to be reduced to zero in hazardous areas, without neglecting the safety aspect. The zero speed, combined with a range from 10rpm up to a maximum of 250rpm, and a variety of tube diameters, allows a broad range of flow rates to be set accurately and, above all, recorded for recall.
Being able to record and recall flow rates is highly important for the company as quantities of active ingredients and substances in each batch processed can range from 200 grams to 5 kilos.
In addition, the pump is suitable for exothermic applications, and the STA-PURE PCS fluoroelastomer tubing used not only has a significantly longer service life, but also wide chemical compatibility. These benefits combined ensure that the pumped fluid at Sanofi-Aventis remains uncontaminated and that production is as secure as possible.