Fully automated column packing, unpacking or clean-in-place (CIP) at the touch of a button
Building upon the proven Resolute® hydraulic column functionality, the AutoPak system is a combination of hardware and software that automates three of the key unit operations necessary in process chromatography. These key unit operations, particularly packing, can be regarded as labour intensive, high risk events. The risks include human error, packing failure and the possible absence of experienced operators which can result in plant downtime, loss of product or sorbent and inefficient use of resources.
By adopting a full automation approach AutoPak functionality greatly simplifies operation, effectively eliminating operator error and reducing the burden on key operators. The automated sequences assure that reproducible, consistent operation is the norm.
- Key features of AutoPak are:
- Ability to pack all the slurry in the tank, eliminating sorbent carry over or wastage
- Simple operator orientated operation for packing, unpacking and CIP
- Simplified set-up, departing from traditional pump pack methods for quicker turnaround of packing and unpacking operations
- Consistent operation and reproducible results
Fully automated priming and packing
The system can pack the column from a single button push, proceeding from a full slurry tank / empty column to an empty slurry tank / optimally packed column without operator input.
Easy to operate
Using the dedicated software an operator is only required to enter a slurry concentration and push the start button for packing to begin. No further operator input is required for the duration of the pack.
The packing sequence will prime, fill and pack the column to give an optimally packed bed.
Use all your chromatography media
For maximum efficiency all of the slurry in the tank can be used to pack the column. The benefits are reduced cost in the purchase and disposal of excess sorbent or alternatively elimination of validation issues if the excess is used in the next packing event.
Automation of the entire packing sequence is enabled by highly consistent PLC operation. Coupled with self-calibration (as appropriate) this ensures that the equipment will deliver reproducible results after maintenance or long periods of storage. Operator error and subjective input (common in packing events) is eliminated.
Fully automated unpacking
The unpacking sequence is initiated by a single button push and continues until the column is unpacked; at end of automated unpacking, the option is given to repeat a buffer efficient rinse cycle to achieve maximum media recovery.
Low unpacking volumes
Unpacking volumes are equivalent to, and often better than, manual unpacking.
The CIP sequence ensures that the column, associated pipework and valves are independently swept with cleaning liquid during operation. All waste liquids are exhausted through a single exit point for easy monitoring of pH or conductivity. Following a manual tank change the CIP sequence will rinse the column.
Highly configurable methodology
All sequences are fully configurable during commissioning to optimize the sequences for all column geometries, plant specific conditions and types of sorbent.
The software enables full manual control of the system, allowing all manual and pack-in-place packing methodologies to be used.
The following equipment and software is integrated with Resolute Hydraulic to enable AutoPak functionality.
A liquid sensor mounted on the top slurry waste port gives AutoPak to full control of the column fill status.
The column is supplied with remote actuated mobile phase and bypass hygienic valve blocks, with an additional tank valve assembly which controls the flow of liquids from the buffer and slurry tanks. This is normally mounted directly onto the bottom of the slurry tank to minimize hold up volumes.
Air sparge valves are provided to both the slurry tank inlet and bottom mobile phase valve blocks to aid re-suspension of settled slurry and packed media beds respectively.
The mobile phase valve blocks are also used as normal process valves to isolate the column and allow connection of a chromatography process control skid.
An AutoPak enabled Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) ships with the AutoPak software integrated into the existing hydraulic platform.
During the execution of the automated sequences the AutoPak system has full control of valves, adjuster movement and nozzle operation.
A process schematic on the screen shows the operator in real-time the pipe and valve status, adjuster movement and which step the sequence has reached.
In addition any alarms are logged into the standard HPU alarm logs.
A range of parameters are available over a Profi-Bus interface included in the column control box to allow monitoring of the sequence over a customer control system.
Using the column mounted control panel, the valves can be controlled when the HPU is not connected. This facilitates the connection of a chromatography system and minimises the working at height associated with operating manual valves at the top of the column.
To ensure an operator is always in attendance during an automated sequence Pall can supply a hand held safety enable device as an option.
Resolute® AutoPak: A Fully-Automated Solution For Column Packing, Unpacking and Clean-In-Place
Resolute® AutoPak: Quick Overview
AutoPak functionality is available on all new Resolute Hydraulics in sizes from 300 – 2000mm. Where applicable, it can also be a retro-fit to installed Resolute Hydraulic columns.
The use of automated packing eliminates the need for a separate packing skid, the packing, unpacking and CIP functions are integrated into the hydraulic power unit.
A Resolute column with AutoPak functionality comes complete with valve blocks, upgraded PLC, level sensor and all necessary cables and hoses. The stroke length of the column will be specified by Pall according to your packing specifications to ensure that AutoPak is possible at the packed bed heights required.
The AutoPak tank valve assembly can be used with multiple columns.
An Autopak enabled HPU is required. A single HPU can operate multiple columns.
Engineered Solutions with AutoPak functionality
Pall’s PASS team have a long track record of the design and manufacture of engineered chromatography systems, commonly this is for applications that require the following customization:
- Changes / additions to flow paths
- Changes to hardware
- Addition of steps to standard sequences
- Enhanced integration with customer control systems
To about AutoPak functionality and Pall’s chromatography capabilities, please contact your local sales representative or submit a web request for more information.