Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any scientific information contained within this essay should not be treated as fact, this content is to be used for educational purposes only and may contain factual inaccuracies or be out of date.

Product Capture Stage in Biopharmaceutical Downstream Processing

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Mechanics
Wordcount: 4575 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

Reference this


In this paper, the importance of a parts washer used to clean filtration equipment used in the product capture stage in biopharmaceutical downstream processing will be discussed. A parts washer is a clean-out-of-place system. The filtration equipment is disassembled and placed into this mechanical washer where they are cleaned, rinsed and dried. Parts washers use an aqueous solution for cleaning, rather than chemical solvents and so are more environmentally friendly than other washing systems.

Filtration equipment is essential for product capture in downstream bioprocessing, as this is where the final drug product and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are retained within the filter, as unwanted components from the mixture pass through its pores. For this reason, it is vital that they undergo strict cleaning regimes in a validated parts washer.

Parts washers require strict validation in order to be used for the cleaning of filtration equipment. This includes, conforming to user requirements, performing Failure Mode, Effects and Critical Analysis (FMECA) on all parts, defining and passing qualification tests to be performed on the equipment, identifying Installation Qualifications, Operation Qualifications and Process Qualifications to be met and identifying the relevant regulations, standards and guidelines for the filtration equipment to adhere to for its use in a good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility.



2.1User Required Specification

2.1.1 Objective

The aim of this document is to define the user requirements for a parts washer that is used to clean filtration equipment used in the product capture stage in the biopharma upstream processing.  Key design and regulatory requirements will be outlined for the system

2.1.2 System description

• A chemical action is used first- a soap is placed on the parts to be washed

• A thermal action then follows- heating up the machine to 37°C

• A mechanical action is the brush being used in the machine to clean off the parts.

• Time is given- this allows the parts to soak in the soap solution

2.1.3 Design criteria

The final design for the parts washer must be in line

• Regulatory standards and guide

• Current good manufacturing practice

• Industry best practice

• Relevant company guidelines

• Standard operating procedures

• Suitable drains and waste systems must be in place

2.1.4 Vendor documentation

• Materials certificate

• Materials finish certificate

• EC declaration of conformity

• Instrument calibration certificate

• Approved as built drawings (P and ID, isometric)

• Pressure testing

• Weld procedures

• Vendor manuals

• Degreasing and passivation procedures and certification

2.3 Diagrams

Figure 1 Parts Washer Apparatus

Figure 2 Clean/Rinse Operation
















Cleaning of filtration equipment


 Page 1 of 1

Prepared by:

Amy Ahern

System Name

Automated Parts Washer


Clean Room 1

Reviewed by:

Ann Toebes

System Owner

Validation Science Ltd.

Approved by:

Ann Toebes

Date Completed:


Table 1 Information on FMECA

Process Function

Potential Failure Mode

Potential Effects Next Level

Severity Rating

Potential Causes of Failure

Current Controls

Occurrence Rating

Failure Detection Method

Detect ion Rating

Sealing washer for use

Failure to seal door

Parts washer leaking


Operator inexperience

SOP for correct closure of washer


SOP monitoring


Addition of aqueous solution with cleaning agent

Failure to add required amount of cleaning solution

Insufficient removal contaminating materials


Internal pumping error from CIP resevoir

Control of cycle parameters


Computer monitoring


Addition of hot water

Failure to reach required temperature

Cleaning process slowed


Wash spindle error, CIP reservoir error

Temp. Probes


Temperature monitoring


Rinsing equipment

Failure to rinse cleaning agent from equipment

Chemical residue on filtration equipment


Wash spindle error, water compartment error

Qualified purified water supply


Process monitoring


Drying equipment

Failure to dry equipment

Spread of bacteria


Internal drying element error

Drying computer program


Computer monitoring


Draining washing solution

Buildup of unclean wash solution

Solution present in next cleaning run


Gravity drain error

Pumping validation


Monitoring validation documents of pumps


Table 2 FMECA

2.4 IQ, OQ,PQ, Description of qualification tests, acceptance criteria and purpose of test

Table 3.Installation Qualification



Acceptance Criteria



Delivery of the parts washer: all aspects checked such as packaging, installation instruction manuals, wiring diagrams. Checks are carried out to ensure all parts are present in the packaging.

  • All parts must be present.
  • No damages inflicted on the washer.

The purpose of these checks is to ensure everything needed to install the washer are present and that there was no damage done during the delivery that could possibly effect the performance of the washer.

Installation of parts washer

The use of instruction manuals to set up the parts washer correctly, this involves the floor tray and the installation of the machine itself.

  • Must be assembled exactly according to the installation procedure that comes in the packaging.

This ensures the correct installation of the washer according to the operating procedure.

Installation of Machine Supply and Utility Connections

Installation of the supply and wiring of the machine.

  • Must be loaded correctly with the machine supply.
  • Utility connections must be wired up properly according to the operating procedure.

This ensures that the washer was loaded and wired correctly to ensure expected performance.

Space Requirements

Checks done to see if enough space has been provided for installation of the washer

Adequate Space for Washer


Ensure that adequate floor space is allowed for the installation of the washer

Plumbing Requirements

Checks done to ensure if the washer can be connected to the buildings plumbing line.

Is there connections to a purified water source?

Is there an adequate supply of hot water?




Ensures that the washer can be correctly connected to the buildings plumbing pipeline and that there is adequate supply of hot water, purified water etc. to ensure the proper performance of the washer.


Table 4.Operational Qualifications  



Acceptance Criteria



Filling of non-foaming detergent correctly into the washer

Has a liquid detergent that is non foaming been correctly loaded into the washer?


Ensures the parts will be correctly washed and will not be effected by the detergent used.

User Training

Checks that employees are trained according to the requirements in usage and health and safety

All users must be properly trained to use the washer.

Ensures the safety of both the user and the equipment, and ensures the parts are washed properly.


Checks that the washer dries the parts properly.

The rate that the equipment in the washer dry is based on its material, mass, humidity and rinse temperature. Has adequate time been left for these to dry?

Are they completely dry after washing?


Drying ensures that no further contamination can occur to the parts due to being subjected to high temperatures, and wetness could allow for discrepancies such as rusting etc depending on the parts being washed.









Table 5.Performance Qualifications



Acceptance Criteria


Alarm testing/Signal testing

Tests done to ensure that the lights go off when there is a problem such as low detergent levels etc

Must be working


Ensures that the washer runs smoothly  and operators are made aware of any problems that occur immediately.

Water level testing

Tests done to ensure the water level is correct

Distance of water should be 148mm +/- 8mm above the screwing of the sieve at the bottom.


Ensures water level is correct to allow for optimum performance of the washer and so that the water doesn’t overflow/ has enough water to wash the parts

Removal of bioburden/endotoxin

Parts swabbed and tested to ensure no unwanted materials are left on the parts after washing.

Must be sterile


Ensures washer is still performing correctly and no contamination has occurred.


2.5 Regulations and use in GMP facility

Cgmp is current good manufacturing practice the US food and drug Administration (FDA) ensure the quality of drug products by carefully monitoring drug manufacturing compliance with Cgmp regulations. These regulations make sure that the piece of equipment is safe to use and that it has the uses it claims to have.

FDA Cgmp regulations for a parts washer can be seen in the code of federal regulations (cfr) title 21, parts 210 and 211. In section 211 63 it is the regulation of the size, equipment design and location. 

Pharmaceutical washer’s characteristics can be grouped into categories including:

• Manufactures quality assurance program

• Mechanical design

• Process monitoring

• Design, manufacturing and qualification documentation

Manufacturers quality assurance program: The ASME-BPE standard will indicate that “the manufacture needs to implement an assurance program describing the method, materials, drawings, specification assembly techniques etc”. A third party cert such as the ISO 9001 is usually accepted.

Mechanical design: The ASME-BPE 2014 parts system provides guidelines to create the design framework using tests like the bioburden test etc. This is meant to prevent contamination. The article ASME-BPE is very hard to summarize but some sections relate directly to the design of washing.

Clean ability:  This describes how the equipment should be designed that all the surfaces of the equipment are cleanable. Example crevices and gouges.

Process components: This describes how piping, connection and fittings should be designed to be hygienic. Amount of connections should be minimized.


In this project we looked at the importance of a parts washer which can be used to clean filtration equipment. From the user required specification we saw the criteria which the parts washer must meet to be validated. This document outlines what is needed by the end user. This shows the requirements from the system.

During the cleaning process, a mixture of purified water and CIP such as caustic is used to generate the results that meet the required standards. The parts to be washed are placed in a rack which is transferred to the parts washer by means of a trolley. Parts being washed enter the parts washer on the side which is referred to as the ‘dirty side’. Once the parts enter the washer and the process is complete, they then are removed from the wash chamber on the opposite side which is referred to as the ‘clean side’. By implementing this process it maintains an aseptic environment for the washed equipment and reduces the risk of re-contamination. An effective method of obtaining cleaner results is achieved by heating the purified water and caustic mixture as an increase in temperature has the ability to remove contaminants such as oil if present. The detergent, in particular caustic, reacts well with the increase in temperature achieving more superior results. The purified water and CIP are contained in separate reservoirs where determined volumes of each are then fed through a pipeline into the wash chamber of the parts washer. The wash spindle contained inside the wash chamber then releases the mixture as it rotates to spray the surface of the parts to be washed which are supported on a rack placed inside the chamber. Washed equipment is then passed through to the clean side where they can then be used where required for the next process.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

From looking at the Failure Mode, Effects and Critical Analysis (FMECA), in Table 2, it can be seen that the cleaning of filtration material using a parts washer is a six-part process, starting with the sealing of the machine and ending with ensuring the waste generated during the process is properly drained away. Each step has its own severity, occurrence and detection rating. Severity ratings are based on whether the problem incurred can be corrected or if it will pose problems for the filtration equipment. The results show that the severity ratings for this process range from 2 to 3. This shows that any failure that may occur during the washing of this equipment would not be major, cause reportable regulatory problems or major defects affecting safety. The failure to seal the washer door, failure to dry equipment and failure to drain waste, causing a build-up of unclean waste, were given severity ratings of 2. This is because in the event of any of these occurring, a manufacturing delay may occur, however, the cleaned product after washing would not be rejected for use. The failure to add required amounts of aqueous solution and cleaning agent, failure of hot water added to be of required temperature (55֯C) and failure to rinse equipment were given severity ratings of 3. If problems were to occur during these stages it would be slightly more serious, possibly resulting in batch rejection, meaning filtration equipment may need to be put through the parts washer again. It is important to note that at these stages, only cleaning is taking place and not sterilization, hence, ratings are not higher. Further sterilizing action would be required for this equipment for its use in the product capture stage in biopharmaceutical upstream processing. Occurrence ratings also range from 2 to 3. The occurrence ratings of 2 indicate the failure may occur 2-3 times out of 100 washes, while the possible failure modes with ratings of 3 may occur 4-6 times out of 100. The detection ratings give an insight into how well the controls currently put in place by the parts washer can detect the failure of the system. These ratings have the highest range, 2-4. This is due to the nature of the control that monitors the failure detection. The FMECA highlights that the failure detection methods that used a computer or probe connected to a computer had the lowest detection ratings numerically, however, this indicates they had a good chance of detecting the existence of a failure, as the lowest score is indicative of higher detection rates. The failure to rinse cleaning agents from equipment was given a detection rating of 3, meaning the control which was a qualified water supply was moderately capable of detecting the failure. It is the failure detection methods that were most labour intensive, were the least likely to detect the existence of the failures, as these steps required controls (SOPs and validation documents) to be manually monitored.

The three tables above outline the tests performed during the validation of a parts washer for filtration equipment. Installation qualification, Operational qualifications and Performance Qualifications are some of the most vital steps of the validation process. Installation qualification ensures that everything ordered was correct, what was received in the order was installed correctly, and that all important paperwork required for the parts washer was also received and controlled. Operational qualifications then continue on from the installation qualifications by ensuring all personnel are trained correctly to use the equipment. Vital tests are also carried out to ensure the different parameters of the machine function properly such as temperature, pressure, speed, and volume to name a few. Performance qualification establishes that all equipment facilities and utilities work well together.  Further tests are carried out after the use of the washer to ensure that there is repeatability with the washer. This includes vital tests such as swab samples for endotoxin and bioburden validate that the washer is correctly cleaning the filtration equipment, so that there is no contamination when they are taken out of the parts washer, and therefore do not lead to discrepancies when they are being used in studies or practicals. These qualifications are a vital part of the validation process.

A parts Washer must meet the standards and regulations of the FDA (Food and drug regulation) and they also must meet cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) the objectives of this are as follows cleaning validation, equipment validation and  aseptic manufacturing facility. This can be seen in the pharmacopeia in subpart c building and facilities section which states that the facility should be a suitable size and the location of machinery should be suitable for workers to get at. In this case the parts washer should be located in an appropriate size room away from sources of contamination etc.  A parts washer should also have proper design and construction features some of these include Receipt, ID, and storage to name a few.  Overall a parts washer must adhere to current good manufacturing practice (ie) must have proper quality, safety and efficiency.


In conclusion, the importance of a parts washer to clean filtration equipment used in the product capture stage of the biopharmaceutical downstream processing was looked at in this paper. A user required specification was written, a diagram showing the key areas of the parts washer was drawn, a failure mode effects and critical analysis (FMECA)on all parts with qualifying tests was drawn up for the parts washer. Installation, operation and process qualifications to be met were outlined and the relevant regulations and guidelines for use in good manufacturing practice facility to be met were identified.



  • http://www.expotechusa.com. 2017. IQ/OQ Protocol Installation Qualification/ Operation Qualification. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.expotechusa.com. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • Jornitz, M. 2018. The role of sterile filtration in the biopharm industry. [ONLINE] Pharmtech.com. Available at: http://www.pharmtech.com/role-sterile-filtration-biopharm-industry [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • AGE Ltd | Automotive Garage Equipment. 2018. Automotive Parts Washer – AGE Ltd | Automotive Garage Equipment. [ONLINE] Available at: http://ageltd.ie/product/automotive-parts-washer/. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • AQUA CLEAN – Industrial Parts Washers. 2018. AQUA CLEAN – Industrial Parts Washers [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.aquaclean.fi/en/products/industrial-cleaning-systems. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • FDA. 2018. FDA. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/developmentapprovalprocess/smallbusinessassistance/ucm456370. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • Sani-Matic, Inc.. 2018. COP-CIP-Rinse-Cycle-dgm-thumb – Sani-Matic, Inc.. [ONLINE] Available at: https://sanimatic.com/food-beverage/clean-out-of-place-cop-parts-washers/configured-design-offering/cop-cip-rinse-cycle-dgm-thumb/.. [Accessed 21 November 2018].


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: