Palltronic® Flowstar IV Filter Integrity Test Instrument product photo Primary L

Palltronic® Flowstar IV Filter Integrity Test Instrument

The Palltronic® Flowstar IV filter integrity test instrument is the result of Pall's long experience and expert technical knowledge in producing successful, top-quality test instruments. The Flowstar IV instrument introduces many new features, enabling users to reliably and reproducibly test even more filters and in less time, saving time and money. Lightweight, compact and ergonomic, the instrument now features an enhanced touch screen and user-friendly interface, requiring minimal training of operators.

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).

Unique Design

The 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 Proof

The 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 Environment

The 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 Interface

The 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 Reader

An 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.

Options

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, 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)
 
 

Basic

Standard

Wireless

Part Number

FFS04B

FFS04S

FFS04R

Optimized user interface
Multitasking menu

Designed for use in pharmaceutical production
Suitable for use in cleanroom
Splash and dust proof (IP54)
Self test
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
Serial port
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  
Ethernet port  
Printing to network printer  
PDF printing to network drive  
WLAN adapter    
 


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Description
The Palltronic® Flowstar IV filter integrity test instrument is the result of Pall's long experience and expert technical knowledge in producing successful, top-quality test instruments. The Flowstar IV instrument introduces many new features, enabling users to reliably and reproducibly test even more filters and in less time, saving time and money. Lightweight, compact and ergonomic, the instrument now features an enhanced touch screen and user-friendly interface, requiring minimal training of operators.

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).

Unique Design

The 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 Proof

The 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 Environment

The 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 Interface

The 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 Reader

An 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.

Options

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, 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)
 
 

Basic

Standard

Wireless

Part Number

FFS04B

FFS04S

FFS04R

Optimized user interface
Multitasking menu

Designed for use in pharmaceutical production
Suitable for use in cleanroom
Splash and dust proof (IP54)
Self test
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
Serial port
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  
Ethernet port  
Printing to network printer  
PDF printing to network drive  
WLAN adapter    
 
Specifications

Physical Dimensions

 
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.)
 


Function Tests

 
Self Test
Flow Check Test
Printer Test
Network Test
 

Operating System

 
Linux¹
 
¹ The source code which falls under the GNU General Public License (GPL) is stored on the USB flash drive supplied with the instrument

Data Capacity

 
Test Program Storage > 500 programs
Test Result Storage > 10,000 tests
Active User Storage 250 users
 

Language Options²

 
US English, English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Japanese
 
² Ask your Pall representative for further languages

Communication Ports

 
USB
RS232C
Ethernet
Wireless ethernet (optional)
 

Measurement Range/Accuracy

 
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
 

Resolution

 
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)
 


Calibration

 
Flow Measurement ± 3% of measurement
Pressure Measurement ± 0.33% of full scale
 


Electrical Data

 
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
 


Screen

 
Size, Resolution Diagonal 264 mm (10.4 in.), 1024 x 768 pixels
Features Color, illuminated background, adjustable contrast, touch screen
 

Pneumatic Specifications

 
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)
 

Pneumatic Connections

 
Compressed Air Inlet Stäubli Nipple
Compressed Air Outlet Stäubli Coupling
Vent Hose connection 8 mm outer diameter
 

Internal Printer

 
Lifetime of Printout > 10 years depending on storage conditions
Paper Width 112 mm (4.4 in.)
Paper Roll Diameter 50 mm (1.9 in.)
 

Environmental Conditions

 
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)
 
Performance

Test Capabilities

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 Control

The 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 Connections

A 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 Operation

The 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.

Remote Printing

Instead of using the internal printer, the print data can be directed to an external printer. Either a printer that is connected directly to the instrument via the USB port or a network printer can be used. The instrument is also capable of generating the printout as a file, using common data formats, such as PDF or XML or both.
Additional Information

Qualification

The instrument has been designed following the GAMP guidelines. The Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument is classified as a software category 3 and hardware category 1 instrument in accordance to GAMP 5. The components have been carefully selected for long term availability and reliable functionality. All relevant functions have been thoroughly validated. A description of the main functions and an operational qualification (OQ) are usually sufficient to qualify the instrument. An extensive documentation package with all the relevant documents is available.

Calibration

The Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument can be calibrated at any Pall-certified service center or directly on site. Calibration equipment, procedures and training are available. Pall recommends calibrating the instrument at least once a year, with a full service after three years.

Servicing

There are Pall-qualified service centers throughout the world. Please contact your local representative to find the most suitable way to calibrate and service your instruments. All components used in the Palltronic Flowstar integrity test instrument have been carefully selected and tested for quality.

Training

On-site training is also available for the Palltronic Flowstar IV integrity test instrument. Training is also available on instrument validation, filter validation, integrity testing basics and regulatory requirements. We are happy to assist you with a personalized training program.
Ordering Information
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.

 
Item Part Number
Basic Version FFS04B
Standard Version FFS04S
Standard Version with pre-installed Profibus card FFS04SP
Wireless Version FFS04R
Wireless Version with pre-installed Profibus card FFS04RP
Profibus card for use with either Standard or Wireless versions ¹ PDFFS04
 
¹ Only suitable for installation by a Pall trained service engineer
Application
Filter Integrity Testers
Segment
Filtration