Pre-certified medical air system solutions from Atlas Copco Compressor Technique

Super-efficient, high performing, ultra-reliable and safe equipment is fundamental for the medical sector to remain compliant with exceptionally stringent and ever-tightening regulations.Atlas Copco’s comprehensive range of medical air solutions is backed by more than 130 years of experience and know-how to offer optimal functionality and across-the-board compliancy.

Atlas Copco’s medical production facilities in Belgium, the UK and the USA positions the company not only meet but surpass the requirements of the most demanding as well as differing standards and regulations such as the Medical Devices Directive MDD 93/42/EEC, European pharmacopoeia, EN ISO 7396-1, ISO 14971, Health Technical Memorandums HTM 02-01 and HTM 2022. Charl Ackerman, Business Line Manager of Atlas Copco Compressor Technique’s industrial air division explains that he HTM standard for example requires medical air and vacuum plants to have built-in redundancy as well as monitoring and alarm functions. Atlas Copco’s ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 13485:2003 quality management systems for the design, manufacture, installation and testing of medical air and medical vacuum devices ensure the production of ultra-clean, certified pure medical, breathing and surgical air as well as vacuum.

Medial air must be ultra-pure and is considered as a drug and therefore is highly regulated in terms of purity. Atlas Copco’s medical air systems which include the GA MED compressors, dryers and receivers as well as the mVAC vacuum products are ISO 7396-1 certified which ensures that the medical equipment meets the minimum requirements in safety and operating criteria.Ackerman affirms that Atlas Copco’s medical air systems are pre-certified. “This greatly simplifies the customer’s certification process because when the pharmacist signs off the equipment after installation, the equipment does not need to be recertified.”

Energy typically represents over 80% of a compressor’s life cycle cost. “Our GA 5-15 VSD MED range will drive energy costs down considerably in medical facilities where air demand fluctuates. By monitoring the outlet pressure, the air flow is adjusted to the demand; the high turndown ratio and the new fan saver cycle can realise energy savings of up to 35%”.

Using Atlas Copco’s on-site industrial gas generators and requiring only a supply of dry compressed air, customers can produce their own nitrogen and oxygen at a fraction of the price of using gas bottles which also require storage space. “Our range of nitrogen and oxygen generators which includes the OGP oxygen generator series with PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) technology provide flexible, reliable and cost-efficient solutions to meet customers’ production needs,” states Ackerman.

Atlas Copco’s mVAC systems provide a highly reliable medical vacuum (suction) mainly in operating theatres, intensive care, emergency and respirology units for a variety of applications such as wound drainage, assisted wound closure, chest and lung drainage, removal of excess blood during surgery, collection of other bodily fluids, gastric emptying, cleaning endotracheal tubes and liposuction (lipoplasty).

The pumps can work independently to satisfy the required vacuum flow and are suitable for both continuous and frequent start/stop operation, keeping the vacuum level at the point of connection as low as or lower than -600 mbar(e) / -450 mm Hg at all times.

“Our medical air systems can be further maximised through effective and easy control and monitoring,” continues Ackerman. Atlas Copco’s next generation Elektronikon® graphic controller regulates system pressure to push energy efficiency to new levels. For the mVAC we have opted for a multi-pump arrangement to better match the flow demand. In this arrangement, the advanced Elektronikon® Graphic controller maximizes energy efficiency by controlling the individual vacuum pumps and regulating the overall vacuum, ensuring even wear at all times.

The AIRConnect™ Visualization and Notification Package connects to extensive monitoring and status information and provides immediate access to valuable information such as system status, alarms, trends and historical data enabling end-users to get the most out of the GA MED and mVAC systems.