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November 2014

SONTEC sensors in Sartorius bioreactors ensure optimised conditions - development partnership creates good and inexpensive sensor solutions

GUXHAGEN (wl) – Sartorius systems are used in e.g. biopharma production, laboratories and research facilities. The group has production facilities and offices in more than 110 countries with a global headcount of around 6,000. The plant in Guxhagen produces bioreactors in which microorganisms are cultivated under optimum conditions, e.g. for the pharmaceutical and chemicals industry. "Our Biostat Cplus 20-2 holds 20 l and is used for cell multiplication, e.g. for manufacturing antibiotics," explains Thomas Holzborn, Senior Project Manager for process engineering at Sartorius. A nutrient solution is heated to 38-40°C in a glass vessel and is stirred very slowly for several weeks in order to prevent damage to the cells." 20 litres of this media can cost up to 500,000 euros. To be on the safe side, the Sartorius engineer has relied on SONTEC's competence for many years: SONTEC manufactures sensors for this company, such as the screw-in temperature sensor D6967. The 6 mm thick and 30 cm long immersion pipe made of stainless steel 316L holds a Pt100 of the class A with a 4-wire system that securely records temperatures of between -30°C and +150°C. The length of the immersion pipe is designed so that the measuring point lies in the middle of the medium. SONTEC developed the immersion sensor 500-001 to measure temperatures of between 0°C and +150°C in disposable bags containing up to 2,000 litres; the system is based on a 4-wire Pt100A. Its almost 2,700 mm long but just 3 mm thick immersion pipe made of stainless steel 316L is partially equipped with a double shrink foiled area. Limit level sensors of the type CAS-8 in Sartorius filtration systems determine whether there is fluid or pasty media in the pipes. When the level drops, the sensor prevents the filter system from running dry.

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