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Technifab vacuum jacketed piping systems meets Robertet’s laboratory needs

Flexible vacuum jacketed hose supplies liquid nitrogen to electron scanning microscope.

When James Valuckas, Director of Quality Assurance for Robertet Flavors, Piscataway, N.J., visited Technifab’s booth at Pittcon 2005 and saw their vacuum jacketed pipe (VJP) capabilities, he knew he had found the answer to his piping needs.

Robertet has a complex trace level analysis laboratory providing non-routine analysis of many products and raw materials and requiring the analyst to find trace compounds in the parts per billion (PPB) and parts per trillion (PPT) lower levels.  Often, these tests can only be performed by systems using repeated trapping at low levels by liquid nitrogen (LN2).

Robertet, a subsidiary of a major French fragrance and flavor company, purchases approximately 4,000 different types of raw materials per year.  They needed to eliminate the laborious and potentially dangerous handling of different smaller dewars used to supply LN2 to their trace level analysis laboratory.  The Technifab system serves three workstations.  The setup they have is a GC-MS-GCO system using liquid nitrogen, another GC-TOF system and a spout for adding LN2 to an FTIR microscope—much safer than pouring from a small dewar, which was how they previously transferred the LN2.  With no room in the lab for a large dewar, the vacuum jacketed piping system that Technifab designed brings the LN2 safely and efficiently into the lab.

Robertet is now using between one and two dewars per week, depending on sample volume, but expects to expand the lab in a couple of years, which will require reconfiguration of the plumbing for the LN2 system.  With the modular Technifab bendable pipe system, they will be able to use all the old lines and simply add on any new lines as needed, saving both time and money.

Technifab supplied 125 feet of vacuum jacketed pipe.  When pressure built up in the pipes and threatened to push back into the dewar, Technifab solved that problem neatly by installing a Keep-full at the end of the pipes.

Valuckas says Robertet was “very pleased with all phases of the work … it is problem free.”  He noted that Technifab did a great job in this unique design to fit his needs and worked with them to revise the design to solve the back flow problem.

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