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  • Karel Schmiedberger

Self-Tests - Let the freeze dryer check itself

The best service is the one that doesn't have to take place. Sure, if something is wrong with the lyophilizer, just call your supplier and a technician will come on site and fix the problem. However, many problems can be solved much more quickly. And to help the user in such cases, we have equipped AMARU with self-tests.

In practice, this works when a customer is not happy with the behaviour of the AMARU or a product that was perfectly dry in previous processes, under the same conditions, dries badly. Normally, in such a case, we would have to blindly advise the usual set of questions, which the customer can check himself or go on site, with the understanding that in the case of out-of-warranty service, the trip would be paid for.

Neither option is ideal, which is where self-tests come in. AMARU offers a cooling unit test and a vacuum system test. Depending on the user's description, we ask the user if one (or both) tests could be performed. The result will thus tell us in advance which way to go next, sometimes even pointing to the most likely solution.

Translated with (free version)

For example, the self-test of the vacuum system. Of course, the crucial thing is whether the test is successful at all. But in addition to that, we also have records from each AMARU of how such a test went when production was completed and can compare the results. If the test ends with a high pressure (e.g. 300 Torr), the vacuum pump is doing very badly or there is a really big vacuum leak somewhere in the system. However, if the test ends up with a pressure between 100 - 200 mTorr, we first ask the user to clean the seals and the chamber collar precisely, as well as the product chamber door. This is usually the most common and simplest solution to the problem and costs nothing.

The self-test of the cooling unit doesn't happen that often, or it's second to none. The cooling unit should get to operating temperature in about 30 minutes. If it doesn't make it even within an hour, the cause can often be a clogged ventilation. If this isn't the cause either, we know we've exhausted all our options and we're off to the site.


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