Mario Negri Institute FOWS Case Study

The Challenge

Design and deliver a complete cost-effective solution for washing and sterilizing animal cages with full backup of all process equipment. Use the equipment process chambers as chemical decontamination pass-through.

Project requirements:

Washing and sterilization of:

– 3.000 animal cages (metabolic and green line) of different sizes and relevant accessories per week

– Cage lids and grids, once/twice per month

– Animal food packages, as needed

– Sawdust packages, as needed

– Feeders, as needed

Chemical decontamination of:

– Various heat-sensitive instruments and items Max cycle time: 100 min

The Customer

Mario Negri Institute for pharmacological research is a not-forprofit biomedical research organization structured on four research centers in Italy (Milan, Bergamo, Ranica and Chieti), a foundation in the US and employs about 1.000 personnel, mostly researchers. The main fields of activity are the battle against cancer, nervous and mental illnesses, cardiovascular and renal diseases, rare diseases and the toxic effects of environmental contaminants, mother and child health. Mario Negri Institute and Fedegari have been collaborating for decades and in 2007 Fedegari has been awarded the contract for supplying two FOWS washer sterilizers for the new research facility in Bergamo.

The Solution

Installation of two FOWS washer sterilizers side-by-side capable of washing, sterilizing and drying various types of animal cages in one single process. The machines are equipped with different rotating and static spray nozzles located on the sterilization chamber walls as well as on the racks, so as to cover all load surfaces. No manual operation is needed to connect the rack to any water feeding system; a simple maintenance-free auto coupling ensures the water flow through the rack. The same device also allows feeding steam through all the nozzles for improving cleaning performances in a way no traditional washer can do.

Cycle duration is approximately 100 min, considering 20 min for the wash/rinse phase and 20 min for sterilization. The water consumption for this application is approximately 250l each process. Like a typical steam sterilizer, drying is performed with a vacuum after sterilization, thus avoiding the use of HEPA filters.

Due to the specific requirements, both machines are equipped with a vaporized H2O2 generator for decontaminating those heat-sensitive items that need to be transferred inside the animal holding room. With this solution, it has been further reduced the number of machines installed and the relevant acquisition and operating costs.

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