Geert Verstraeten
General Manager
SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions, Sievers Analytical Instruments
SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions, Sievers Analytical Instruments
Dave Kremer
Global Commercial Leader
SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions, Sievers Analytical Instruments
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View from the Top

Water Monitoring and Reuse Through Safe and Trustworthy Processes

By María José Goytia | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 12:29

Q: How does Sievers Analytical Instruments promote sustainability and how do you share the potential of your business model with clients?

DK: Sustainability is in the company’s DNA. Our mission and vision as a business group revolves around the circular economy. Rather than a linear economy and production to waste, a circular economy creates sustainable processes and products. For our business, this concept comes into play mostly in the industrial and semiconductor world, but we also play an important role in the pharmaceutical world, which uses water for cleaning and for the sustainable production of its products. Sometimes water is an ingredient in the final product, and sometimes water is used for cleaning. Either way, monitoring it can lead to more efficient processes and can impact how much water is used. Wastewater is another application.  When you look at wastewater treatment in oil and gas and semiconductor industries, they are looking to reclaim and reuse water, and also to monitor discharge and ensure they are complying with regulations.

We are ensuring that water is safe and healthy to use for whatever application our clients are implementing. This is true for water used for production, process monitoring or cleaning. Soon after, the water is discharged back into rivers. The company ensures the water’s cleanliness and that it is compliant with all regulations so that it is safe to be discharged again into the rivers to be reused by someone else. It’s the ‘river to river’ philosophy that fits in with our overall business mission and vision.

 

Q: What role does the Mexican market play within Sievers Analytical Instruments’ international strategy?

DK: The Mexican market is very important, and we have had a phenomenal partner, T5DC, here for the past 26 years. The country is part of our Latin America market, which comprises Central America, South America and Puerto Rico. Mexico is a large pharmaceutical market in Latin America due to its pharmaceutical production, development and infrastructure. In South America, there is not a great deal of production. Brazil, for example, imports many prescription drugs and has not invested in enough infrastructure to produce pharmaceutical products. For that reason, Mexico is very important because it is a large producer like Puerto Rico. In the 1980s, ‘90s and early 2000s, many multinational companies moved to Mexico for tax benefits and for the availability of professional workers. Moreover, there are controls on water, which is required for pharmaceutical feed water used in production processes and ensures appropriate quality of the drugs being produced.

There have been some challenges in the past, specifically those concerning governmental regulation on the pharmaceutical market. Nevertheless, we still see Mexico as a great opportunity for our business and that is why we support our Mexican partners and help them drive value to their customers.

GV: In addition, when looking at the company’s analytical instruments, partners such as T5DC can help educate our customers. It is important for us as market leaders to follow regulations.  Typically, when you see instrument providers with a catalog of many products, they tend to have a different approach. Sievers Analytical Instruments takes a focused approach with our instruments and parameters we test, as we are technical experts that provide our customers with the tools they need to help them understand their processes and water quality.

The company’s instruments, services and innovations help customers to be more efficient, obtain higher quality, quicker results and to be able to define if a batch is compliant or not compliant. These are all very innovative traits and we have grown together with our partners in knowledge so that we can provide a satisfactory customer service to customers by providing them with the right technology to measure and control processes. 

 

Q: What industries does the company participate in?

DK: Sievers Analytical Instruments is involved in every industry where water plays a major role, which is basically every industry. Water is used as a raw material, as a cleaning agent and as a cooling agent. It is used in many different ways.  We have our Life Sciences market and our Industrial & Environmental markets. The Life Sciences market focuses on pharmaceuticals, personal care, nutraceutical, cosmetics, medical devices and biopharmaceuticals. 

In the Industrial & Environmental industries, we are looking at the semiconductor and microelectronics segments, where high purity water is used to produce microchips and advanced instrumentation is needed. We also support industries such as chemical, food and beverage, wastewater, power, and drinking water.

As part of the company’s mission and vision, we call water our most sacred resource. It is not replenishable and we need to make sure that we are creating new processes that can sustain water for the long term. Water is used in almost every step of most major manufacturing processes and if we did not have water, we would not be able to produce fossil fuels, pharmaceutical, or microelectronic products.  

GV: In regard to drinking water, especially in areas where there are many droughts, the reuse of water will become fundamental and we can play an important role in measuring and controlling the quality of reused water.

 

Q: What are Sievers Analytical Instruments’ latest solutions implemented in Mexico for water monitoring?

DK: In Mexico, the company focuses mainly on our Life Sciences vertical and less on Industrial & Environmental. Today, water in pharmaceuticals is about efficiency, so companies in that sector are looking at process analytical technology (PAT), Pharma 4.0 and lean manufacturing. Pharmaceuticals are always looking to decrease costs and increase profitability. To do that, you need to look at all areas to increase efficiency and quality. We work with our analytical instruments on water systems to ensure they meet quality specifications before the water is used for any production requirements.

Ensuring that companies have a more efficient process will decrease costs and create overall higher quality pharmaceuticals and at a lower cost to customers. This is where we provide our instrumentation to meet four compendial requirements for the production of water for pharmaceutical purposes: TOC, conductivity, endotoxin and bioburden. Our analyzers display any contamination in water systems and in cleaned bioreactors used for production. This is what the company is focusing on from an instrumentation standpoint. On the software side, pharmaceutical companies want data that is accurate and actionable and they want it immediately, so Sievers’ biggest commitment has been the release of a new software product data aimed at obtaining information from all of our worldwide systems in one location so that pharmaceutical manufacturers can see real-time pharmaceutical water quality across parameters we measure, making data immediately accessible and actionable. If there is an issue with the water system, our customers will know immediately, ensuring the issue is solved promptly and that the impact on that batch is minimal, helping to decrease costs.  

 

Q: How can water treatment and reuse become more economically viable and attractive for companies?

DK: Once technology development progresses, water use and reclamation will become cheaper. For example, desalination has not been popular because of its extreme cost, yet as technology continually improves, there is more and more innovation. For instance, we are witnessing that desalination is now affordable in large implementations, not only in California but in Singapore as well.

At Sievers Analytical Instruments, we are continually innovating. We consider ourselves a high-tech company that invests in innovation, research and development. For instance, our first TOC unit was built for the international space station. One cannot pipe water into space, so it is self-contained at the international space station, meaning all water is reused. What one flushes down the toilet is what one eventually drinks because that is the only water available, and that can be done safely by having very clean and direct purification methods. Our instruments provide accuracy and expertise for testing and verifying the cleanliness of water.

In regard to pharmaceutical water reuse, the key is having attached wastewater treatment plants that will reuse water over time, instead of just dumping it back into the river. The pharmaceutical industry is generally more conservative and very slow to change, so we are going to start seeing more reuse in the next 10 years. The key today is to measure water quality and minimize waste.  

GV: We help our clients find a simple solution so they can obtain an accurate analytical result and obtain higher quality and faster throughput.

 

Q: What are Sievers Analytical Instruments’ key projects and objectives in Mexico for 2022?

DK: The company’s main efforts are going to be based around driving new product launches. For the pharmaceutical industry, as of December of last year, we offer instrumentation for the four parameters for continual water testing for the pharmaceutical industry. We look forward to driving more adoption of online and real-time release time testing in Mexico with our new M500 TOC Analyzer that was launched recently, alongside our Data Share Elite Software. Moreover, we are looking at improving endotoxin analysis at the major pharmaceutical manufacturers in the country with our new automated platform for endotoxin detection, the Sievers Eclipse.

We also just purchased technology for bioburden detection, which will be released shortly. It is a big initiative for the Mexican pharmaceutical production marketplace. All of these systems are simple and easy to use, and incorporate elements of sustainability wherever possible. For instance, our endotoxin testing system uses up to 90 percent less of the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) reagent, derived from horseshoe crabs, that is required today. This is a big win in terms of the use of natural resources.

Sievers Analytical Instruments aims to introduce these sustainable products into the industry and contribute to improving water sustainability and production goals. This is what we are planning to focus on this year. In addition to hardware, our objective is to look at software and integrate all data into a strong data management platform called Sievers Data Share Elite.

 

Sievers Analytical Instruments, part of SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions, provides expertise in water quality monitoring, process monitoring, cleaning validation, and other analytical applications across the life sciences and other industries.

María José Goytia María José Goytia Journalist and Industry Analyst