- What We Do
- Rinse Stations
- Engineering Services
- Specs & Drawings
Women know the importance of accessorizing. Men...not so much. As men, we may change our watch or belt, but our accessories are commonly pretty limited. At Terracon, we have a solutions category of "Accessories" - essentially items we offer to our customers to complete and enhance the fluid management solution. The other day I realized how important the right accessory can be. It was a bit of an 'aha' moment.
Terracon has been designing and engineering spray balls into our complete tank custom solutions for nearly twenty years. We have done this so often that we may have stopped recognizing the important role that spray balls, one of our accessories, play in meeting critical requirements of our customers.
We have a monthly in-depth meeting with our sales and marketing teams. This meeting includes reviewing recent incoming inquiries to assess if there are patterns that we can learn from. At the last such meeting, when it came to this agenda item our Inside Sales Team shared that a common inquiry was around spray balls. We dug into it more and discerned that our customers commonly are trying to solve one of two challenges and turn to Terracon for spray balls to make that happen.
We realized that we take spray balls for granted as they are second nature to us. We had an opportunity to better convey our capabilities when it comes to spray balls including the detailed analysis and testing we complete to ensure there is complete reach within a tank's interior surface to eliminate the risk of bacterial growth in an ultrapure water application. Additionally, we can and do deliver regularly all the testing required for Biopharma CIP applications to support the validation testing that our spray balls complete. The light went on for us. Spray balls are important accessories. We need to market how we automatically design and deliver spray balls for important, meaningful applications. We take them for granted, but our customers don't.
Come to think of it, I may even wear a different watch tomorrow.
We had a customer ask for a custom plastic freezer tray for 2D pillow bags. They were mixing biopharmaceuticals in 2D pillow bags using a tubing loop and a peristaltic pump. The single-use, disposable bags are awkward to handle when in use and storage was an issue. Another issue with the bags was time required to thaw the contents.
Terracon's solution was a stackable, high density polyethylene tray with plenty of slots to make it easy for lifting and improved air flow that helped reduce thawing time. To go the extra mile and help the production process, a space for batch labels and a removable tube port were added.
Based on your life sciences / biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes, what challenges do you have with your freezer trays, existing racking system, freezer dimensions or other set parameters? Contact Terracon to help design and deliver a solution.
At the end of last week, our corner of New England was getting hit hard with another snowstorm. Schools were closed, tides were high and we were working on top priorities while monitoring road conditions for commuting home. Visibility was poor and from my desk I could not tell how much snow had piled up. I wanted to see through the wall below so I could determine the actual depth of the snow. This reminds me of one key difference between stainless steel tanks and polyethylene tanks (or polypropylene tanks).
We are working on a job right now for a life sciences customer who required a highly customized, 5000-liter (a bit over 1300-gallon) vessel. They could have used either a stainless steel tank – a very common choice in such applications - or a polyethylene tank. So why did they choose to purchase our polyethylene tank?
Given all the technical features and accessories that go along with this application, the plastic tank offers a slight cost advantage over the stainless steel. Either choice was well within the realistic budget that this remarkable company has established.
The customer in this project is extraordinarily well organized, and has been able to complete specifications very early in the project, so the shorter lead-time of polyethylene tanks over stainless steel may be a convenience, but wasn't very important.
When the production engineering team realized that they could stand at the opposite side of their production suite and see the fluid level inside a polyethylene tank, they know which way to turn! They are excited to be able to detect the turbulence of the mixing system so they know that the mixer is running. They will have the ability to verify with their own eyes that the fluid level is where the electronic indicators say it is. Such a simple benefit, but it really made a big impact on this particular customer.
This situation reminded me that we can never be certain what will really be important to our customer until we stop and listen carefully. I'm proud to say that listening and looking are skills that Terracon's team of experts have in abundance. Seeing is believing.