Pierrel-Ospedali, the Italian pharmaceutical company, manufactures a product line including intravenous solutions that require sterilization.
Government regulations mandate that all bottles of solution complete a rigorous sterilization process through an autoclave. Bottles of the solution must be sterilized at a temperature of 120C for at least 10-15 minutes. Consequently, the process must have strict documentation and control.
If any batch is questioned in terms of having successfully completed the sterilization process, the entire batch must be discarded. Considering a bottle of the solution may cost around $110 and a tray contains around one hundred and sixty 3 mL bottles, a complete tray that must be discarded because of doubt has a value of $17,600 that is literally thrown away.
With the introduction of RFID tagged metal trays, Pierrel-Ospedali is now able to trace when a tray of bottles enters the oven (tray ID is reconciled with entry time/date stamp) and exits the autoclave. The tray is now instantly and accurately identifiable as having completed the autoclave process.
Before this process was in place, all information was entered by hand. This method was frequently prone to human error and more often than none would result in entire trays of the solution being scrapped because they could not be verified as having been properly sterilized.
Moreover, RFID tags such as the Xerafy Nano X-II are able to survive the harsh temperature of an autoclave for extended periods of time, compared to a manual tracking process such as a paper barcode or even a conventional mount on-metal RFID tag, could never have survived repeated cycles through the autoclave.
In addition, the accuracy and completeness of the RFID tray tracking system allow the allocation of only one employee to manage the process versus two to three with the manual process.