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Using Advanced MFC Alarms to Diagnose and Solve Bioprocessing Issues

Losing even a single batch from one of your bioreactors not only impacts your business—it can delay delivery of vital biologics people count on every day.

The best digital mass flow controllers (MFCs) feature alarms and diagnostic tools to give you more complete insight into the quality and efficiency of your biopharma processes.

How it helps

This infographic shows you how to use those tools to achieve better control over bioprocessing performance and yield, so you can focus on protecting and enhancing people’s lives.

Totalizer Overflow Alarm

Industry-leading digital MFCs track the total amount of process gases delivered to a bioreactor during a bioprocessing run. They also generate alarms if total gas delivery exceeds preset levels.

How it helps

  • Simplifies and streamlines process data capture and analysis
  • Replaces manual data gathering from multiple sources with a single output from the MFC
  • Points to possible issues in your process gas storage or gas delivery systems

MFC Calibration/
Service Due

MFC generates alert (and triggers blinking light on device) to notify bioprocessing management system that device is scheduled for service or recalibration.

How it helps

  • Incorporates alerts into preventive maintenance management tools and supplements any manual scheduling practices
  • Adds flexibility to your operations: Notification can be preset for total hours of MFC use, rather than time elapsed, so your equipment isn’t taken offline prematurely for servicing

Setpoint Deviation Alarm

Digital MFCs automatically adjust to maintain proper flow rates. If the MFC overadjusts and exceeds established setpoints, there’s a strong risk that the bioreactor isn’t receiving proper amounts of gases like O2 and CO2—throwing off pH and dissolved O2 and harming production of the targeted biologic.

How it helps

  • Alerts operators of significant problems in your gas delivery systems—pressure control valve not opened, delivery lines clogged, etc.
  • Enables diagnosis and correction of gas delivery issues before they impact pH and dissolved O2 and contaminate the biologic production

High/Low/No Flow Alarms

Bioreactor MFCs have specific flow rate “recipes” for each new biologic being processed. Preset alarms will trigger to alert operators if upper and/or lower thresholds have been crossed or there’s no flow at all.

How it helps

  • Alarms may be triggered in conjunction with alarms from sensors within a bioreactor chamber to help isolate and diagnose the problem’s source
  • The faster you diagnose root causes, the easier it is to keep bioprocessing systems operating with peak productivity

MFC Temperature Out of Limits

MFCs record and monitor the temperature of the gas the MFC controls. The MFC can monitor fluctuations in gas temperature that could negatively impact bioprocessing repeatability.

How it helps

  • Bioreactor chamber temperatures are tightly monitored; keeping bioprocess feed gases within temperature ranges helps keep bioprocessing on target
  • Fluctuations in gas temperature can be correlated with other sensors in gas storage areas or delivery lines to further isolate and diagnose issues

Want to make better use of MFC alarms and diagnostic tools in your bioprocessing systems?

Talk to one of our application engineering experts.

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