An autoclave, also known as a steam sterilizer, is a machine used in medical facilities to sanitize and sterilize all sorts of medical equipment. It works by producing steam and heating it up until it’s hot enough to destroy the structure of viruses, fungi, bacteria, and spores that might be contaminating an object. By doing so, the autoclave can kill the contaminants, effectively sanitizing the object.
While there are countless brands out there that offer different types and models of steam sterilizers, Tuttnauer is arguably the most reliable manufacturer on the market. That’d explain why you’re looking for an autoclave from the said brand. If that’s the case, you might want to stick around as this guide will discuss seven considerations when buying sterilizers like a Tuttnauer autoclave.
1. Machine Type
First of all, you have to decide what type of autoclave you’re going to get. While there are several types of steam sterilizers in the market, there are only two main types offered by Tuttnauer:
- Gravity Displacement Autoclave
Also known as downward displacement, gravity displacement refers to the process of pumping steam from the top or sides of the chamber as the unclean air gets sucked downward, hence the name. It works pretty quickly and sterilizes non-porous objects such as utensils, glassware, and similar equipment but may not work on porous materials.
- High-Speed Pre-Vacuum Sterilizer
The previous type is often used for basic sterilization. If you want to deeply sanitize an object, high-speed pre-vacuum sterilization is the more logical option. It works by isolating the object by eliminating existing air inside the chamber and replacing it with steam under pressure. It’s perfect for porous things through which air may enter or pass.
Depending on your purpose, you have to select an appropriate type. Also, take note that the former is cheaper than the latter, at least when it comes to Tuttnauer’s offerings.
2. Load Capacity/Chamber Size
Load capacity pertains to how much you can fit into the chamber without causing it to malfunction. It’s usually proportional to its chamber size. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
The larger the chamber, the more you can fit into it. A rule of thumb when deciding on the size or capacity of the autoclave is to check your medical equipment. If there isn’t much to sanitize, a small one will do. On the other hand, if there are a lot, a medium or large steam sterilizer might be necessary. When deciding on size, you also need to make sure the equipment fits perfectly in your office. For your reference, the load capacity of the Tuttnauer autoclave ranges from 2.7 kg to 6.8 kg.
3. Cycle Times
The cycle time measures how long it takes for the device to thoroughly sanitize an object. Naturally, you’d want a shorter cycle time if you want to work more efficiently. However, it’s worth noting that the fast-working autoclaves from Tuttnauer are usually expensive, so you should also strike a balance between the efficiency and price of your next purchase.
4. Preheating And Cooling Times
Before you place an object inside the chamber, you must wait for the autoclave to preheat. The same goes for when it’s done with the cycle. You have to wait for it to cool down. This may not apply to all steam sterilizers, but most of Tuttnauer’s offerings do this. Therefore, you should also make sure the preheating and cooling times are relatively short if you want to work efficiently.
5. Digital Functions
You’ll find that some Tuttnauer autoclaves have a function that allows you to record information on each sterilization cycle and view the logs. This is perfect if you want to monitor the machine’s performance. It also allows you to fix any issue if there are abnormalities with the log. While this feature may not be present in all autoclaves, it’d be pretty handy if it is.
If you aren’t aware, you have to provide input to the machine when using an autoclave before it starts. It might not take much time, but it can be burdensome as it’s repetitive. On the bright side, Tuttnauer is well-known for its fully automatic autoclaves. If you’re not fond of spending several minutes a day doing trivial tasks, the automation that these products bring can be handy.
7. Costs (Price + Expenses)
Lastly, you must consider not only the price but the overall costs of the machine. This would include the price you’ll pay for the autoclave initially, as well as the expenses that come with it.
Tuttnauer’s offerings usually have a price tag of around USD$3,000 to USD$5,000, with an upper limit of USD$50,000. But, you have to remember that majority of the costs are due to the expenses. Because the machine uses steam, water, and electricity to operate, its operating costs are pretty high, adding up to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of over five years. Thankfully, autoclaves from Tuttnauer are fairly durable, so costs for maintenance should be manageable.
Tuttnauer is a brand known for its high-quality medical equipment, the autoclave being one of its flagships. While it’s true that most of its offerings are top-notch, there’s no guarantee that these are all suitable for your facility, but that’s why you’re here. With this article, finding the right autoclave from Tuttnauer should no longer be much of an issue.