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Howorth Provides Custom Isolators For The Pharma & Biotech Industries

2 August 2008

Howorth Air Technology recently provided 8 Isolators for a leading American biotech company, for use in its Small Molecule API facility in San Francisco. The project was unique in that it necessitated many developments of totally new engineering.  

Howorth’s ability to use its knowledge and cutting-edge skills to produce custom-designed equipment was a vital element in its being awarded the contract. The company’s expertise in taking existing and often complex pieces of processing or development scale machinery, and integrating and containing them in a unique and ultimately user-friendly manner, is what sets it above its competitors. 

Construction of the Isolators presented a very unusual challenge: each of the 8 Isolators was built to contain an existing piece of laboratory equipment, with both elements being seamlessly integrated to produce a final unique combination.  The Isolators were designed to offer containment to a working OEL (Occupational Exposure Limit) of ≤1 microgram/m3.


The Isolators were assembled in Howorth’s UK plant:

  • The existing processing equipment was shipped from the USA for what were often complex modifications to be carried out;
  • Engineering drawings were produced and, following approval from the client, full scale 3-D mock-ups built; 
  • Scientists and engineers from the client visited the plant to carry out a full ergonomic evaluation and review of the Isolators;
  • The Isolators were manufactured and integrated with the client’s equipment prior to factory acceptance testing;
  • Upon completion, the Isolators were shipped to the USA for installation and successful commissioning.