The Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument is available in three different versions. The basic version is designed as a standalone integrity test instrument. The standard version offers all the networking options and can be fully automated. The wireless version includes an internal WLAN adaptor.
Improved pressure/flow calibration preserves measurement accuracy while ensuring faster tests. The latest networking capabilities are incorporated for easy integration within a network, and the optional WLAN adaptor, USB connectivity plus an extended range of remote control/automation options enable even greater flexibility. Developed in accordance with GAMP (Good Automated Manufacturing Practices) guidelines, and offering full compliance with 21 CFR Part 11, the Palltronic Flowstar IV instrument is supported by an extensive qualification documentation package, including guides for Installation and Operational Qualification (IQ/OQ).
Data integrity is fundamental in a pharmaceutical quality system. Get a FREE DEMO of our Palltronic® Flowstar IV filter integrity test instrument
Unique DesignThe Palltronic Flowstar IV filter integrity test instrument is a highly sensitive measurement instrument which is designed for use in all locations including the laboratory or inside the process suite or cleanroom.
Splash and Dust ProofThe use of powder or liquid chemicals in close proximity to an instrument is very common in a laboratory. The Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument has been tested to be splash and dust proof (IP54 rated). The outside of the instrument can be easily cleaned.
Cleanroom EnvironmentThe instrument has been specifically designed to be used in any kind of cleanroom. There is no cooling fan that would disturb the air in a cleanroom. The internal printer is a thermal printer, generating almost no particles during printing. All external components are compatible with common cleaning liquids to reduce surface bioburden.
User InterfaceThe user interface is one of the major benefits of the Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument. The 10.4” (26.4 cm) color touch screen displays all functions that are needed for routine use of the instrument. Use of the instrument is straightforward and intuitive, and all the most common language options are available. The menu has been optimized for routine use of the instrument, and all relevant parameters are displayed on the screen at all times. This allows the operator to easily access the required functions and to avoid mistakes that can occur if relevant data is spread over too many screens. Operators who are trained users of existing Palltronic Flowstar instruments can use the Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument without further training.
Barcode ReaderAn optional barcode reader is available which can read and interpret both one-and two-dimensional barcodes, enabling the user to automatically select a pre-defined integrity test program, and to enter critical data into required fields to run an integrity test.
OptionsThe Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument is available in three different versions. The basic version is designed as a standalone integrity test instrument. The standard version offers all the networking options and can be fully automated, and the wireless version includes an internal WLAN adaptor. Click here to download a copy of the chart below which shows the features of each model. (PDF, 270 Kb)
|Optimized user interface||•||•||•|
|Designed for use in pharmaceutical production||•||•||•|
|Suitable for use in cleanroom||•||•||•|
|Splash and dust proof (IP54)||•||•||•|
|Volume-dosed flow measurement||•||•||•|
|Calibration for flow and pressure||•||•||•|
|Basic integrity test capability||•||•||•|
|Password access control||•||•||•|
|USB port (keyboard, mouse, flash drive)||•||•||•|
|Printing to USB printer||•||•||•|
|PDF printing to USB flash memory||•||•||•|
|Login-based access control||•||•|
|Electronic signatures in compliance with 21 CFR Part 11||•||•|
|Configuration of test parameters||•||•|
|Configuration of main menu||•||•|
|Fieldbus adapter for automation||•||•|
|OPC server for automation||•||•|
|Printing to network printer||•||•|
|PDF printing to network drive||•||•|
|Weight (nominal)||10 kg (21.6 lbs)|
|Width, height, depth||348 mm x 205 mm x 483 mm (13.7 in. x 8 in. x 19 in.)|
|Flow Check Test|
|Test Program Storage||> 500 programs|
|Test Result Storage||> 10,000 tests|
|Active User Storage||250 users|
|US English, English|
|Wireless ethernet (optional)|
|Forward Flow Test||0.1 – 1000 mL/min|
|Water Intrusion Test||0.03 - 50 mL/min water|
|Bubble Point Test||
400 - 6500 mbar (5.8 – 94 psi)
|Forward Flow Test||± 3% of value or ± 0.05 mL/min, whichever is the greater|
|Water Intrusion Test||± 3% of value or ± 0.02 mL/min, whichever is the greater|
|Forward Flow Test||0.1 mL/min (0.01 mL/min for flows below 10 mL/min)|
|Water Intrusion Test||0.01 mL/min|
|Bubble Point Test||50 mbar (0.7 psi)|
|Flow Measurement||± 3% of measurement|
|Pressure Measurement||± 0.33% of full scale|
|Voltage||Automatically adjusted between 100 - 240 V AC|
|Input Frequency||50 Hz/60 Hz|
|Power||Typically 75 W, peak 150 W|
|Fuse||3.15 A, slow blow|
|External Vent Valve||24 V DC|
|Size, Resolution||Diagonal 264 mm (10.4 in.), 1024 x 768 pixels|
|Features||Color, illuminated background, adjustable contrast, touch screen|
|Maximum Gas Supply Pressure||8000 mbar (116 psi)|
|Minimum Gas Supply above Test Pressure (Standard)||Flow Range 0.01 - 150 mL/min 1000 mbar (14.5 psi)
Flow Range 150 - 1000 mL/min 2000 mbar (29.0 psi)
|Test Pressure Range||50 to 6500 mbar (0.7 to 94 psi)|
|Compressed Air Inlet||Stäubli Nipple|
|Compressed Air Outlet||Stäubli Coupling|
|Vent||Hose connection 8 mm outer diameter|
|Lifetime of Printout||> 10 years depending on storage conditions|
|Paper Width||112 mm (4.4 in.)|
|Paper Roll Diameter||50 mm (1.9 in.)|
|Splash Proof||To IP54|
|Operating Temperature||+5°C to +50°C (+41°F to +122°F)|
|Storage Temperature||-20°C to +70°C (-4°F to +158°F)|
|Humidity||95% RH (no condensation)|
Automatic Self Test
When the Palltronic Flowstar IV instrument is switched on, an automatic self test is run. This test can be repeated any time during operation of the instrument. During the self test, the instrument does a full diagnosis of its functions:
- Inlet gas pressure
- Function of the internal valves
- Function and signal of the internal pressure sensors
- Function of the internal pressure regulator
- Check for internal leaks
- Internal communication
- Integrity of the operating system and the software
- Data integrity of user lists, test programs and test results
The full result of each self test is saved and can be printed at any time. The combination of the self test and a regular calibration and service guarantee a continuous reliable operation of the instrument for many years.
Auto Test Time
The Auto Test Time function is available for the Forward Flow Test and the Water Intrusion Test. It has been developed and validated to shorten test times while maintaining the reliability of the result. The results of a Forward Flow or Water Intrusion test are being interpreted by this algorithm during the test. If the measured flow rate is evidently below the limit and the measurement is stable, the instrument will interpret this as a passed test. The filter integrity test times can be shortened by more than 50% without any risk of false pass results.
Forward Flow Test
The Forward Flow test is the filter integrity test that is most common in pharmaceutical manufacturing. All major filter suppliers recommend the Forward Flow test as the method of choice for integrity testing of filter cartridge or capsule assemblies. The Palltronic Flowstar IV instrument performs the Forward Flow test quickly and with extreme accuracy. The volume dosed flow meter can perform a Forward Flow test in a range of 0.1 to 1000 mL/min within minutes and with an accuracy of 0.1 mL/min or 3%.
The features of the Forward Flow test function are:
- The test is performed at constant pressure
- A volume dosed flow sensor is used
- Progress of the test is shown on screen while other operations can be performed on the instrument
- Validated auto test time function to shorten test times
All relevant data for the test result is stored on the instrument and can be printed or transferred to a network location.
The benefits provided by these features compared to other integrity test instruments are:
- No need for time consuming volume measurement before testing
- No loss of accuracy due to inexactly determined volume
- Filters with asymmetric membranes can be tested more reliably at constant pressure
- Test times are very short, usually below 10 minutes
- Progress of the test can be monitored in real time
- Unstable test conditions are detected
- Accurate and reproducible test results are obtained
Water Intrusion Test
The water intrusion test is widely spread in pharmaceutical manufacturing to perform inline integrity test of sterilizing grade gas filters with hydrophobic membranes. The Palltronic Flowstar IV instrument is specially made and validated to perform the very sensitive water intrusion test. The water intrusion test profits from the features and benefits of the Forward Flow test. The additional benefits are:
- The undefined upstream volume has no influence on the accuracy of the test result
- The change in water level during the test does not influence the accuracy of the result
- The very sensitive volume dosed flow measurement technology allows to accurately measure a water flow of down to 0.03 mL/min
Bubble Point Test
The Palltronic Flowstar integrity test instrument can determine the Bubble Point of a filter. The gas flow rate is measured at increasing pressure steps, and the Bubble Point is the transition of diffusive gas flow through wetted filter pores to bulk gas flow through de-wetted filter pores. The features of the Bubble Point test are:
- A gross leak test is performed at the beginning of the test phase
- Gas flow is measured very fast at small steps
- Full Bubble Point curve is determined
- All test parameters are documented with test results
The benefits of this are:
- False pass results due to insufficient filter wetting are avoided
- False pass results in filters with small defects are avoided
- Test result is obtained very quickly
- Reproducible test results are obtained
- All types of membranes from small disc to cartridge can be tested
Combined Forward Flow and Bubble Point Test
The instrument can also determine the Forward Flow and Bubble Point value in a single test. The test procedure has been refined to shorten test times of the combined test without compromising the accuracy of the result.
Leak Test and Pressure Decay Test
The leak test can be used to test for leaks in filter systems or processing systems. It is not an integrity test, since there is no correlation to bacterial retention. The leak rate can be measured either as pressure drop (mbar/min), using the Pressure Decay Test or as flow rate (mL/min), using the Leak Test function of the instrument. Possible applications are:
- Diagnosis of filter systems after failed tests
- Installation check on filter systems or processing systems
- Leak tests on processing equipment during qualification
The Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument can perform all kind of gas pressure tests. It is capable of performing those tests reliably and accurately and of providing reproducible results.
Electronic Data Handling and Remote ControlThe Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument has been designed to be used in a facility that complies with 21 CFR Part 11 for electronic storage of data.
There are three levels of access: Operator, Supervisor and Administrator. Operators have access to the test functions only, Supervisors can also modify test programs and Administrators have full access to all functions and can also perform changes to the system configuration or to the access management. The instrument can be used in two different modes to limit access to the protected functions. When the password controlled access is activated, the supervisor level and the administrator level are each protected by a password. In the login-controlled access mode, each user needs to login to the instrument before having access to its functions. The level of access can be defined for each person separately.
All the changes that are performed on the system or the programs are recorded in the audit trail. The test results can be electronically signed. Configuration, test programs, user data and test results can be easily exported to a computer network or an external flash drive.
Interface ConnectionsA number of connections at the back of the instrument allow interfacing with different systems. The USB port can be used to connect an external printer, mouse, keyboard, barcode reader or a flash drive. The serial ports can be used to interface with other Palltronic instruments or a PLC. An ethernet port and a wireless network adaptor can be used to link to a computer network. There are also additional ports for an external pressure sensor and an external vent valve on the side of the instrument.
Remote OperationThe Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument is equipped with a number of interface connections and it can be connected to a PLC using the internal adapters. The integrity test instruments can then be fully controlled by the PLC, and adapters are available for all common communication protocols. The instrument can also be connected to a computer network using the on-board ethernet port or the on-board wireless LAN adaptor. Data can be transferred to the network in a controlled manner. The instrument can also be fully controlled from a SCADA system using the available OPC server protocols.
A Profibus card (only suitable for installation by a Pall trained service engineer) is available for use with either Standard or Wireless versions, part number PDFSS04.