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Diaphragm Seal Monitoring Double Diaphragm Seals and Break Monitoring – A Safety–Net for Pharma–Production

| Author / Editor: Jennifer Breunig, Joachim Zipp* / Dominik Stephan

How double–diaphragm and diaphragm break monitoring technology provides safety for pharmaceutical production plants — By using diaphragm seals, pressure measuring instruments can be adapted to even the harshest of process conditions. Here, a diaphragm separates the measuring instrument from the process medium and transmits the pressure hydraulically. A double-diaphragm design offers a solution for pharmaceutical applications, where the process must remain sealed under all circumstances and the hazard risk for people and the environment must be minimised.

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(Picture: © Robert Neumann - Fotolia)

One of the main goals of the European Union is consumer protection and the welfare of its citizens. To further this goal, the community has set up extensive rules for the producers of consumer goods. Among them are the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines that apply, in particular, for pharmaceutical production.

Good Manufacturing Practice essentially means that all foreseen measures, which guarantee that the drug has the required quality for the intended use, are taken. Preventing contamination is therefor a major aspect of pharmaceutical production: This applies both to the ingredients as well as the equipment with which the drugs are manufactured.

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The plant equipment includes the measurement instrumentation, which for many production steps delivers important data on the production quality — for example system pressure.

Ensuring the Safe Use of Critical Media

Many processes in the pharmaceutical industry use critical media. To guarantee that the measuring instruments are easy to clean and provide a precise reading, many manufacturers use diaphragm seal systems: With these systems, an elastic, corrosion-resistant metal diaphragm shields the instrument from the medium.

The space between diaphragm and instrument is completely filled with a fluid, for example glycerine or paraffin oil, depending on the measuring task at hand. The diaphragm takes the process pressure and hydraulically transmits it to the instrument, such as a pressure gauge, transmitter or switch. Diaphragm seals are either mounted directly to the instrument or connected via a flexible capillary, providing reliable measurement even in harshest conditions.

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