Monday, March 21, 2016

The Standardization of Single-use Components for Bioprocessing

The focus in the bioprocessing industry is shifting from acceptance of single-use technology to standardization. It is critical that components be included in the standardization discussion. The tubing connector is essential for secure, sterile, leak-free connections between various single-use systems and processes. A user can have the best filter, bag and tubing but this is all pointless if the connector is not reliable, easy-to-use or robust. Improving connector compatibility and interchangeability are great opportunities for standardization, particularly because of complications related to managing inventories.

Inventory Issues

Several inventory issues arise from lack of connector standardization:

• Increased ordering complexity because the user must define which tube set or assembly works with which part of the application. 
• Greater risks of specifying the wrong system or connection, resulting in downtime and last minute adjustments at the end user site.
• Longer lead times because systems suppliers are manufacturing lower volumes of multiple SKUs as opposed to higher volumes of fewer SKUs. This lowers the incentive and likelihood for a manufacturer to stock of these items.
• Increased stocking requirements for end users, including connectors of different genders and other components needed to create make-shift adapters.

Reducing Overhead Costs: Less is More

While overhead cost reductions might be difficult to quantify, they cannot be overlooked. Reduction in SKUs and inventory lowers the cost of managing and maintaining that inventory, which allows capital to be allocated to additional process improvements. One way to help simplify and reduce inventory is to use genderless connectors that enable transitions between tubing of different sizes. Using genderless connections (e.g. CPC’s interchangeable AseptiQuik® G connectors) eliminate the need for reducer fittings elsewhere in the process as the connectors can act as reducers.

Component Standardization

By focusing on the most versatile genderless connectors, component standardization will help bioprocessing companies make the best use of single-use technology. The right connectors will enable end users to:
• Streamline operations with easy-to-use, robust sterile connections
• Eliminate potential ordering mistakes and reduce inventory demands related to gendered connectors • Maintain more flexibility and lessen production bottlenecks with onsite connector assembly 
• Reduce overhead costs, freeing up capital for other projects

Ultimately, standardizing components by incorporating single-use genderless connectors lets end users accomplish more with fewer finished goods, saving time and money, and getting their biopharmaceutical products to market more efficiently. 

Author: Todd Andrews, Global Sales and Business Development Manager, Bioprocessing for CPC – Colder Products Company

The standardization of single-use components for bioprocessing byTodd Andrews, Colder Products Company

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