Sampling has travelled a long way from being a simple activity into somewhat of a science
If we paraphrase another brilliant great Dane, we could say that the shortest distance between the process and the laboratory is a Keofitt valve. To Kai Ottung, the creator and founder of Keofitt, this would be the perfect world. Unfortunately, almost forty years into the creation of Keofitt, sampling is too often overlooked and is still an area filled with ignorance and a high lack of knowledge. Much attention has been given to optimizing the production whether it be a brewing facility or a pharmaceutical plant. Safety first for all those included in the process as well as the consumer. And prioritizing safety makes sense. But then why is proper sampling ever so often ignored? Perhaps we are looking at two different worlds. The process is running just fine, and so is the laboratory. No one cares to focus on the gap between the two and bridging the two worlds is no easy task. It is precisely this gap that for too long has been ignored, because the very simple concept of sampling is not rocket science. Except it is.
Bouncing off the definition of sampling we intend to go even deeper into what proper sampling should be: hygienic sampling
In order to avoid any misunderstanding, please refer to the definition of terms in the text below
The plain definition of the concept of sampling is collecting a small portion of a larger stream that accurately reflects the content of the larger stream. This portion will be the basis for inspection or analysis. Indeed, it sounds simple. In any given liquid industry where you need to collect a small portion of your product in order to control the quality, you can, according to the definition, do this in a very simple way: open into the production, take out a small portion, analyze it. Simple and easy. However, how do you make sure you do not destroy your entire production and risk having to discard the production causing high costs and unnecessary downtime? How do you make sure the collected portion is not contaminated in the sampling-process itself? How do you make sure it is representative, not only upon collecting it, but when it reaches the laboratory too? How do you make sure you do not spend extensive time with the sample-collection? Suddenly the process does not seem as simple as before.
The very simple concept of sampling is not rocket science. Except it is
The sampling situation has developed alongside more critical customers, more extensive legislation protecting consumers and the workers involved in the production. Keofitt was invented for the brewing industry by Kai Ottung who was himself a brewmaster. He knew something was wrong in his brewing process, and samples were not to his satisfaction nor representative of the production. Before the Keofitt valve only simple valves were used: sampling cocks and ball valves. These types you can open, and your liquid will flow out allowing you to collect a sample from its tap. However, Kai Ottung knew there were high risks of cross contamination and build-up of bacteria within these simple valve-types. This is how the co-axial Keofitt valve came to be. Two openings; one for steam-access allowing the valve to be sterilized on the inside before sampling, and one for collecting the sample. In 1980 Kai Ottung designed and introduced as the first of its kind a so-called Combi Valve. It combined a steamable sampling valve with a septum. It was from this point in history process sampling took a turn and started developing for the better. In the years following the introduction of the Combi Valve, Keofitt presented numerous valves in different sizes all based on the original design. Finally, Keofitt decided to sum it all up to one valve-size serving to cover most needs: the W9 valve. This is still a widely popular valve today. In order for Keofitt to complete the sampling system, sampling bags were introduced. By adding a single-use pre-sterilized bag to the valve you have a closed system allowing you to sample aseptically. The latest introduction adding to the history of process sampling is the Sesame valve that is widely believed to be the next generation sampling valve. It can do wonders and speaks to the fact that Keofitt is always looking to improve the sampling situation.
Since the brilliant invention and introduction of the Keofitt valve, sampling has only developed even further with even higher demands and legislation nowadays than some 38 years ago. Therefore, Keofitt has continued the development of sampling equipment and has constantly improved the original valve into what it is today; the single most important piece of sampling equipment suited for any given liquid industry.
How can your sampling procedure be optimized?
If you agree proper education in sampling is long overdue and has your interest been awaken then look no further, The Keofitt Sampling School may very well be what you need. Read through this section to see what we offer