In order to prolong the life of your vehicle, we’re going to assume you regularly change the oil, rotate the tires and check the air pressure, and keep up with its maintenance schedule, and so on.
Now, while your validation and calibration
equipment don’t necessarily need oil changes or their tires rotated, there are still some important pre-emptive steps you can take to help extend the life of your instruments.
We checked in with the validation
experts at Kaye
and they shared some of their tips and tricks when it comes to keeping your validation equipment in tip-top condition for as long as possible!
1. Getting Moisture into the SIMS - Avoid, Avoid, Avoid!
When performing validation studies on a pressurized steam sterilizer, with an AVS
or Validator 2000, there are extra precautions which need to be taken to avoid moisture wicking up the thermocouple wires into the SIM.
Kaye thermocouple wires are constructed with an inner Teflon sleeve covering each wire (red & blue) as well as an outer clear Teflon coating covering both wires. When ordered as a probe, the Kaye thermocouples also include a welded tip which is covered with a Teflon heat shrink tubing to protect the tip and to prevent moisture from wicking up the wire from the inner and outer sleeving. If you purchase spools of wire and make your own tips you should always order the thermocouple tip kit which include the Teflon shrink tubing to make your own tips. Using bare tip wires without the tip is the cause of 90% of the water which can wick up to the SIM. Water in the SIM can affect the cold junction readings as well as harm electronics and corrode the terminal strips.
Even with a proper tip, the outer Teflon tip is slightly porous or could be damaged or cut during normal use. In this case many customers utilize what is called a drip cut in the wire to avoid any moisture.
How to add a drip cut: Remove 4 inches(10cm) off the outer insulation from each thermocouple at a point where natural drainage can take place without water reaching the SIM. Also, it is recommended to shave open approximately ¼ inch from each of the inner wire jackets at opposite ends of the outer insulation drip cut. This permit condensation drainage from within the individual wires.
2. Ensure you are connecting SIMS properly
SIMS should always be inserted into the AVS
or Validator 2000 prior to turning on the unit. This is to ensure they will be properly read.
On the flip side, do not, we repeat, do not hot swap the SIMS – meaning, don’t pull a SIM out while the AVS is currently on. Always, always, always, power down the AVS first.
Another important tip when it comes to connecting the SIMS, do not force them into the AVS. SIMs were meticulously designed to fit perfectly inside each port – simply lift up slightly and ensure it is lined up with the slot.
3. Be Good to your IRTD - Take proper care of it
Did you know…The IRTD
is a secondary high precision standard which is the heart of the validation system. The traceability and accuracy of all your temperature measurements relies on the stability and accuracy of the IRTD (+/- 0.025 C). Therefore, they should be properly handled to avoid damage.
Do you properly remove the IRTD before transporting your dry block calibrators
? It turns out quite a few of you don’t! Tsk, Tsk! Always ensure that you safely remove your IRTD before moving a dry block calibrator! You’ll thank us for this later.
Here’s another hot tip regarding your IRTD:
1. When inserting it into a temperature reference block, don’t drop it and let it hit the bottom of the well. Make sure you hold onto it and slowly insert it into the well completely. Dropping it can damage the sensor. No one wants that!
4. Proper Disconnection of Validation Console
You know when you have USB flash drive plugged into your computer, you can’t just yank it out (or we hope you don’t) – it could damage the information that’s on it. So, you safely eject the device and wait for your computer to prompt you that it’s safe to remove it, and away you go!
Well, it’s similar to this - a single Kaye Validation Console is compatible with multiple AVS
units, so you’re able to take it off of one AVS and easily put it on another. BUT before doing so, you must first ensure that you properly disconnect it from one AVS before connecting it to the next.
You also need to make sure you disconnect your Validation Console from the AVS before detaching it from the base. This can be done by pressing the “Connect/Disconnect” button on the top right corner of the Console screen. Wait for the green light indicator on the front of your AVS base to go out – now it’s safe to undock the console.
Following these tips and tricks will help extend the life of your validation equipment. If you have any questions – contact us
and chat with one of our validation