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Last updateFri, 14 Aug 2020 6pm

End-user Industries

What Goes into the SIP Process

pharmaceutical-mfgClean steam sterilization is the heart of the sanitization routine for most biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes, as well as most pharmaceutical processes that produce parenteral medications (those not administered through the digestive tract such as injections and others) or diagnostic agents. Process tubing, vessels, valves, pumps, equipment and anything that comes in direct or indirect contact with the product feeds or end product must be heated with clean steam to at least 250o F (121o C) and kept at that temperature for at least 1/2 hour before the process can be considered sterilized, or free of all live microbial organisms. The process of sterilizing these process and piping components while they are installed is called sterilize-in-place, or SIP.


Mining Faces Many Political Risks

uraniummineBefore the economic crash, the mining industry was seeing new investors – companies such as steel manufacturers that were not miners by trade were getting into the business, said Steve Ralbovsky, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ralbovsky spoke at the Valve Manufacturers Associations’ Market Outlook Workshop held in San Francisco in mid-August.

“You had hedge funds that previously invested in the minerals themselves who were buying the mining operations,” he said.

 

Natural Gas from Shale: A Boon or a Danger?

marcellus shaleThe BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has greatly increased public attention to U.S. energy supplies (as well as severely tarnishing the image of BP and, by extension, the entire oil industry). At the same time there has been great movement in the natural gas arena, with promises that gas, widely perceived as more environmentally friendly than oil, may account for a greatly increased share of U.S. energy.

 

Chemical Plant Security: An Evolving Field

chem securityShortly after 9/11 there was considerable worry about attacks on U.S. chemical plants. So far no plants have been attacked but is that just dumb luck or are we doing something right? This article will look at the nature of the threat, what’s currently available to protect plants, how industrial control systems are dealing with cyber-security threats, and what to expect in the future.

Purging Gas Lines in All the Wrong Places

explosionIt is important to make sure that gas supply lines contain nothing but gas before the equipment they feed is started. Unfortunately, there seems to have been little guidance or regulation on how this should be done, and sometimes the pipes are purged (in pipeline work the process is called blowdown) into the interior of a building. With all that gas around just a spark can blow the place up. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) cites a number of explosions dating back to 1997 caused by improper purging - practices that were in most cases allowable under prevailing regulations.

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