Flexible disposable containment systems in the form of specially designed plastic bags are an excellent choice for addressing powder transfer challenges. However the bags must be sealed in a way that economical, easy to use, and above all, reliable. Experienced biopharmaceutical manufacturers know that equipment designed for general industry use often falls short and rigid containment and transfer solutions for the biotech industry are often awkward and inefficient. Producers that embrace flexible solutions designed specifically for the challenges of our industry will find an advantage over competitors.
ILC Dover is an industry leader in contained material handling solutions for high tech manufacturers and end users including NASA. The company’s CripmLoc system reliably closes flexible containment systems (often in the form of a plastic bag) to ensure containment and contamination avoidance during and after powder transfer operations for the pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries. The system includes an ergonomically designed applicator gun and one-time-use plastic crimps of various sizes. Two plastic crimps are loaded into the gun in preparation for the closing operation. Each crimp completely closes the bag when installed. Two crimps are simultaneously installed by a single actuation of the gun. Cutting between the crimps thus allows areas of the bag to be separated from one another without losing containment of either section. The flexible containment system is twisted in the area to be closed with the plastic crimp clamping the twisted material together maintaining closure. Each crimp also includes a snap-in-place cap that covers the cut end of the twisted bag—further ensuring containment and resistance to infiltration of contaminants. Crimps are readily removed by the gun by applying pressure to a particular surface of the closed crimp causing it to separate—this avoids the issue of potential plastic shard contamination when other closing devices are cut or broken during removal.