Many manufacturers that require purified water need to periodically shut down for maintenance. Depending on the size of the water system, some of these shutdowns can last multiple days. Maintaining the system may include disinfection, servicing components in the polishing loop, or servicing the distribution loop if stainless steel (de-rouge/passivation). Some manufacturers will lose upwards of $1M per day if manufacturing has to stop due to a shut down.
The solution is to minimize or eliminate down time due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. There is a growing trend to achieve this by designing systems that:
- Remove serviceable equipment from the polishing loop.
- Incorporate continuous and automatic disinfection.
- Use distribution materials that are sanitary, requiring no maintenance.
One of the largest manufacturers of COVID vaccines had invited Atlas High Purity Solutions to design a system that would address all three of these concerns. Atlas High Purity’s design incorporated continuous deionization to a standard pre-treat RO package, producing very high quality water prior to storage.
Once the water is stored, the system injects ozone into the storage tank, continuously disinfecting the high purity water. The ozone is removed with properly sized UV equipment. Periodically this UV is taken offline, allowing ozonated water to disinfect the entire distribution line. After only 20 minutes of contact time, the UV is energized and the ozone once again is removed from the distribution. This automatic sanitization can happen weekly or monthly with little or no disruption to manufacturing.
For many years, purified water systems were designed using primarily 316 stainless steel. Over time, the stainless will need to be cleaned and passivated. This process is time consuming and requires strong chemicals. There are many high purity plastic piping systems, but all have limitations compared to stainless steel. The Atlas High Purity approach was to plumb the system and distribution using PVDF piping. This material is cleaner than stainless, requires no maintenance, and is compatible with ozone.