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Italvacuum would like to thank all visitors who attended ACHEMA 2009, which took place in Germany last week.

Celebrating our 70th year in the business, Italvacuum is one of the main manufacturers of vacuum dryers and vacuum pumps for the production processes in the chemical, fine chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and cosmetics industries. Italvacuum's mission has always been to guarantee the best quality and innovation of its products.

Life Sciences organizations often overlook active process compliance as part of process initiatives. Compliance is typically considered to ensure inclusion of process steps in workflows and SOPs to address 21 CFR Part 11, GCP, GAMP or other regulatory requirements. The missing piece for sustainable compliance is the automation of business processes (SOPs essentially) in a controlled way — a way that ensures that the appropriate steps, rules and other compliance factors are clearly documented and enforced during process execution.

In addition, Life Sciences companies must have a proactive, systematic way of controlling access, tracking actions and capturing an accurate, 'on demand' audit trail of both human and system actions. Effective deployment of process modelling and business process management (BPM) software has helped a number of the world’s largest Life Sciences companies successfully accomplish this — on a relatively short timeline and for a reasonable cost.

The Vaisala DRYCAP® dewpoint transmitter DMT152 is a small-size dewpoint measurement instrument designed for measuring dry air or gas in OEM applications. The instrument can measure dewpoint even down to -80°C (-112°F) or 1ppm of humidity.

The accuracy and reliability of the DMT152 performance is based on the Vaisala DRYCAP® polymer sensor technology. It has a low maintenance need due to the long-term stability and durability against condensation. The DMT152 mechanics have been designed for harsh environments requiring protection against dust, dirt, and splashed water.

Typical areas of application are air and plastics dryers, dry chambers, pure gases, and high-voltage circuit breakers. The DMT152 measures accurately and reliably also in the combination of low humidity and hot air, typical in plastics drying.

FlexLink launches two new conveyor chains - one with a flat friction top for high-speed applications and another with a goosebump surface for handling wet products.

The flat-top friction chain ensures safe handling of lightweight products, such as blisterpacks or small boxes, at high speed transportation. It also allows conveying of products in up to 30° inclines or declines, without the need for cleated links.

The goosebump chain is especially developed for applications with small, light products in wet or greasy environments. The uneven surface prevents the products from sticking to the chain.

Today Flexitallic officially opens its new manufacturing and administration headquarters at Scandinavia Mill, Cleckheaton. Performing the opening ceremony will be Mike Wood, MP for Batley and Spen. The Cleckheaton-based gasket manufacturer, Flexitallic, has relocated within the town to new, larger premises with the aim of sustaining high efficiency in all aspects of its operations. The several million pound investment reflects the continuing growth of the business and increased demand for its sealing products and gasketing materials.

Currently operating over two sites, the Scandinavia Mill site will allow consolidation of its Rochdale operation (which comprises the research laboratory as well as sheet manufacturing), moving during the first half of 2009. Besides immediate logistic and administrative benefits this will allow a faster response to new product development to meet customer needs.

Flexitallic has been associated with this area of West Yorkshire for over 70 years and had operated from its previous factory at Marsh Works, Cleckheaton for nearly 50 years. Moving to the new purpose-fitted premises at Scandinavia Mill allows the company to continue to grow within its markets. The new site provides over 127,000ft² and will be occupied by Flexitallic’s 150 employees.

Commenting at the opening event, David Mitchell, managing director of Flexitallic, explained, “Environmental efficiency is not just a ‘passing phase’ for Flexitallic – it’s our core business. As such, we have embraced every area possible with the investment to ensure that we not only provide products that improve the environment, but we manufacture them and administer our processes as environmentally efficiently as possible. For example, we have no light switches in the facility – they come on automatically when needed and switch off when not required. Our space heating is provided by a high efficiency warm air system."

He continued, “Operational efficiency is greatly improved by this move and is essential for us to maintain growth in our highly competitive markets. We are able to sustain our market leadership by delivering solutions that provide what our customers need when they need it. To this end, we have ensured complete flexibility of the manufacturing process by accommodating facilities that allow machinery to be installed and positioned anywhere in the factory area. Combined with investment in new machinery this gives us the adaptability to react to market demands rapidly.”

For the past five years, Flexitallic has enjoyed year on year growth driven primarily by increased demand for its high quality and technology-led solutions. Operating in process industries including oil, power, petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical, Flexitallic works closely with customers, developing solutions for complex tasks.

Developing sealing solutions suitable for deep well oil and gas extraction, high temperature sealing, and nuclear power all require Flexitallic material and applications expertise. Working closely with customers globally in these areas increasingly indicates growing demand for its specialist sealing materials.

“Burgeoning technology in many areas including the exciting solid oxide fuel cells, the oil and gas industry, and nuclear power signal a strong future for our business. Technology demands increasingly push the boundaries for sealing products and Flexitallic is recognised globally as a leader in material and solution development. We are very optimistic about the future and this investment allows Flexitallic to expand and sustain growth,” Mr Mitchell concluded.

The new Omega microplate reader: Another level of flexibility

BMG LABTECH announces the new Omega family of multifunction microplate readers with high resolution, full UV/Vis spectrometer based absorbance. This new family of readers combines all of the speed, sensitivity and flexibility needed for life science applications and research.

The Omega line is made up of four models: the SPECTROstar Omega, a spectrophotometer; the LUMIstar Omega, a luminometer; the FLUOstar Omega, a multidetection reader (fluorescence, time-resolved fluorescence, luminescence, and absorbance); and the POLARstar Omega, a multidetection reader with additional simultaneous dual emission and fluorescence polarization mode. Due to the absolute modular concept of the Omega family of readers, the SPECTROstar Omega and the LUMIstar Omega are entirely upgradeable to a multidetection microplate reader whenever the need for fluorescence based experiments arrives.

The Omega readers are fast, reading a 384-well plate in less than 15 seconds. In addition, the Omega series offers a number of outstanding features: integrated injectors with direct access to the measurement position; photometric spectral scans; top and bottom reading; well scanning; temperature control up to 60°C; shaking; stacker and robot compatibility; and a gas vent connection to support all major types of cell based assays.

Main technical innovations of the new reader series include extensive upgradeability, as well as the capability of capturing a full absorbance spectrum (220 – 850 nm) in one second per well, at a fantastic resolution of 1 nm. Furthermore, a new UV-enhanced flashlamp and high speed plate shaking are now available.

The Omega series of microplate readers will be delivered with a new powerful software package, including new proprietary evaluation software. This evaluation software displays and analyzes endpoint, kinetic and spectral data through comprehensive data reduction algorithms and various curve fitting options. It is compatible with the new Windows Vista™ operating system and is fully compliant with FDA regulation 21 CFR Part 11.

FlexLink has developed a platform for efficient manufacturing based on pallet systems, and RFID solutions for track and trace and efficient production flow.

FlexLink presents pallet-based production logistic systems suitable for automation of various machining operations and optimisation of production flows. The system is equipped with RFID solutions for track and trace capability of individual products, and a CO² laser-marking system. The system can run mixed flows and customer order-initiated production. Moreover, it is based on FlexLink standard functions and components.

The standard pallets are equipped with RFID tags for identification, line control to give the product its given route and to record process data to the product status. The conveyor system, locating stations, diverters, mergers etc are equipped with RFID readers for the identification of the products and communication to the line control and manufacturing execution system.

With the integrated CO² laser-marking system, it is possible to write any marking on the individual products. The line control keeps track of the products and ensures that it gets its specific marking. This laser system is easy to integrate into FlexLink lines and is simple to adapt to customised applications.

The line design is compact and allows flexible routing via the line control, and diverters and mergers for the pallets / product carriers. This allows easy line balancing and operations flexibility

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