Are you searching for the best autoclaves and sterilisers? Do you already own one and want to upgrade or is it going to be your first autoclave? Do you understand the differences between different classes of autoclaves? Autoclaves are a piece of essential equipment in dental clinics, hospitals, laboratories and other such places that regularly need to sterilise equipment.
With a huge number of options from numerous brands, choosing one can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. While one of the best ways to choose a new autoclave is to get a personal recommendation from a trusted authority in your field, not everyone has that luxury. This is why you should be aware of a few important factors when choosing an autoclave to make the right choice:
- Classes of Autoclaves
- Size and Load Capacity
- Cycle Times
- Ease of Use Logs
- Maintenance and Support
There are 3 different classes of autoclaves: class B, class N, and class S. Class N autoclaves are meant for sterilising simple materials. These do not guarantee steam penetration and you can't use these for sterilising hollow items, products in pouches, porous loads or textiles. Class B autoclaves are small in size but offer big performance.
These are capable of sterilising all kinds of loads including hollow items, textile as well as products in pouches and porous materials. Class S autoclaves fall between the above-mentioned two types. These do not adhere to any specific standards and their characteristics depend on the manufacturer. For a dental practice, class B autoclaves are considered the most suitable as these offer a wide range of settings with a small footprint.
Size And Load Capacity
Space is always at a premium in a dental practice. This is why it is important to pay special attention to the size. Autoclave size is defined in litres that is a measure of the volume of the chamber. Keep in mind that the effective chamber size is always lower than the actual size.
The choice of size will depend on the dimensions of the equipment that needs to be autoclaved. In addition to its literal size, you should also consider the chamber configuration to ensure that it is right for the items you need to sterilise.
Calculate the total cycle time including the warm-up, cooling, drying and sterilising cycle. Some autoclaves and loads require a pre-heat phase which will need to be added to the total time it takes for a load to be sterilised. When comparing options, pay attention to the factors based on which cycle time has been calculated. Usually, advertised cycle times are calculated on the basis of 1 kg standard load assuming a warm chamber.
Ease Of Use
There are manual autoclaves and fully automated models. Needless to say, fully automated models save a lot of time. Fully automated models typically include a variety of time-saving features such as digital sterilisation logs, multiple functions, automated door blocking and release as well as a number of pre-programmed cycles.
On the other hand, manual autoclaves have the advantage of being less expensive and simple to use. Logs If you want to ensure optimum efficiency, you need to keep records of the performance such as type of load, time taken and other such things. A number of models provide digital logs which ensure that all the data is saved for record-keeping. It not only saves money but also ensures that no data is lost.
Maintenance And Support
Like all machines, autoclaves require regular maintenance to ensure optimum performance over their service life. Pay special attention to the cost of replacing consumables such as filters and gaskets to avoid any surprises on the running cost of sterilisation. Not all the companies that manufacture autoclaves are known to be good at customer support.
Check customer reviews to ensure that you will be able to get technical support from the manufacturer, as and when needed. You do not want to be in a situation where your autoclave is out of commission for a few weeks because you cannot get a simple part that needs to be replaced.
Always choose a company that is completely transparent about various costs such as installation cost, cost of accessories, as well as ongoing costs such as replacement parts, technical support and future maintenance. However, never compromise on quality just to save some money. Even if a model is a bit expensive as compared to other options, it is better to choose that if the brand is known for excellent customer support.
Overall, there are hundreds of models of autoclaves available at various price points. Choosing one can be an overwhelming experience due to the sheer number of available options and tall marketing claims made by manufacturers. It is recommended to choose a model with an established reputation for reliability and performance which is backed by excellent customer support from the manufacturer.
If you are considering purchasing or upgrading an autoclave, MES Medical Equipment Services has been Australia’s leading provider of autoclaves and other medical equipment and equipment services since 1952.
We were originally established to provide electro-medical products to healthcare professionals across the country. Our products range from sterilisation, dental systems, dental imaging, electrosurgical equipment, medical consumables, dental lasers, and equipment service maintenance.
We sell only top of the line equipment and machines produced by the leading manufacturers in the world. Our integrity and standards are your guarantees!
If you are searching for an autoclave supplier in Australia, then look no further than Medical Equipment Services Australia.