Follow us:

Panorama Newsletter


The Animal Facility Director of the In vivo center of University of Eastern Finland shares her experience with a fast-delivery project.

At the end of 2018 IWT had the pleasure to respond to an official tender for a very fast delivery of an Atlantis (Rack Washer) issued by In vivo center of University of Eastern Finland, in this center expert researchers conduct highquality and multifaceted research to find new diagnostic and treatment methods, and to assess the functionality of practices. In vivo center of University of Eastern Finland research in health sciences helps you find the best means for treating and promoting the health of patients.

IWT, in cooperation with its local partner SCANBUR A/S, have been awarded at the tender as selected supplier providing a quick-delivery and installation of Atlantis Rack Washer. IWT is still operating its campaign “IWT Stock ready for you!” that is aimed at providing some of the most popular machines of IWT’s portfolio directly from stock to the customer installation site through a very short lead-time process, this strategy has been worked out by IWT to meet any extraordinary needs of any user/manager looking for a short-delivery project (e.g. fast facility upgrade, revamping, emergency plan etc.).

Here below a brief interview with Ms. Hanna Miettinen (Animal Facility Director), who will share with us her experience about the specific case she had to deal with few months ago when a large washer was purchased and installed in less than one month.

Hello Ms. Miettinen, thanks for the interview. Would you like to tell me something about your background and your current role/job at University of Eastern Finland?

Hello, yes. I graduated in Master of Science (Environmental Toxicology) in 1999 at Kuopion Yliopisto (University of Eastern Finland), PhD in 2006 with a thesis focused on developmental toxicology and risk assessment that has was followed up by a post doc carried out in the National Health Institute. Subsequently, I started working in a worldwide CRO as site service supervisor. I started my latest position about two years ago, while the renovation of the In vivo center was under planning. The current role ranges from expert role license application process and playing a part in administrative tasks to equipping the in vivo center and taking care of its functionality.

About the tender, what were the most important requirements regarding the provision of a Rack & Cage Washer? Can you tell us something more about the story of the supply?

We were between a rock and a hard place as our previous cage washer broke down surprisingly and we had an In vivo facility that we were supposed to start running. We wanted to have a good quality rack washer promptly on site. In the facility there are around 2000 IVC cages for mice and rats as well as cages for other species like rabbit, all of them are to be washed on a weekly basis. The original plan was to move an existing washer we had in another animal unit of the university, placing it next to the first rack washer that had been purchased earlier.

The provision of that first unit was assigned to one of your competitors, however we had to change the plan because of delays in renovation process that required keeping the existing machine 100% operative where it was; therefore another washer was required and so we published a new invitation to the second tender. As main requirements we have always considered not only the price but other criteria such as washing performance certified (AK KAB) by a third party company, consumption, warranty period, promptness of service response and its reaction to any issue. Afterwards, the unresolved breakdown that happened to your competitor’s machine, made the delivery of the second machine extremely urgent so we had to speed up the tender process.

Then the “fast-delivery” became an important requirement?

Absolutely. We had been facing a lot of delays with the facility start up and we were not keen to have any more waiting.

What is happened to our competitor’s machine? I mean, is it still there?

No, the machine has been taken away because, in accordance with Finnish law, your competitor has the right to fix the washer and deliver it once it is ready for use. We are currently working with just one washer instead of two as originally planned. In fact, we were supposed to have a machine fully dedicated to a “very” dirty stuff and a second one dedicated to the washing of other equipment that is daily washed (i.e. operational tables, transport trolleys, IVC racks and others). This process separation was planned to reduce risk of microbiological contamination. Until the second machine, after fixing, is in place, we are stressing your washer that is working about 7hours/day giving great washing result despite the high mix of parts to wash. Accordingly, we are not so much worried anymore about the risk of microbiological cross-contamination even if we will split the process anyway.

What were the main factors that have driven your final choice to IWT machine (Atlantis)?

We are required to determine the purchase criteria before we publish our invitations to tender. We used the same quality parameters as earlier, but we gave greater weight to quick delivery. We were quite surprised at such a short promised lead-time, the other tender participants could not believe it and they were ready for an official legal claim/action. This has, however, been avoided and you managed to surprise everybody by meeting your promised schedule of delivery, installing and getting the machine up & running in less than one month.

We probably managed to surprise you by settingup the machine in the factory just a few days before shipment. Were you aware that we have the possibility for our washer ready in stock to effect some “lastminute” changes in terms of some basic but essential characteristics of the machine such as working flow and door swing orientation?

I have been told but after the tender, during the installation phase. Your combined project team (SCANBUR and IWT) worked really well and in a professional manner to prepare the site and the machine ready for that;in fact there was an existing pit already dug in the floor and all service utilities already positioned so you had to prepare everything to make it compatible with your installation standard plan.

How was the delivery and installation process? Did you have good support from the installation/technical team?

The delivery and installation were smooth and very professional. We were happy with all the support we got from your team. Delivery happened on 6th November and on 10th the machine was already up&running.

You have been working with Atlantis for more than 7 months, what is you feedback so far? Are the operators satisfied and happy with that machine?

The rack washer meets our quality criteria regarding the wash results, and it is easy to operate. A few minor issues have been tackled efficiently with the help of SCANBUR technical staff that put who have focused on these to solve them rapidly. Immediately after installation we learned all about to use the machine thanks to the training session held by your technicians, so our people started feeling confident on the about machine usage from the beginning, while as to performance we had the chance to test it during the Site Acceptance Test carried out by SCANBUR’s team during the final commissioning that made us immediately sure of the washing efficacy also for the temporary more challenging purposes.

What do you think about IWT’s strategy of having a stock of equipment ready for delivery? Do you see this as a good chance for your colleagues in research to arrange a very fast replacement/revamping of existing system?

This system saved our facility, so I am very happy about it. I think it will be a useful strategy also for other similar cases.

Based on this experience and the current operational feedback, would you suggest this type of turnaround for your future projects?

Yes, I would. This strategy if combined with a high-quality service assistance would make both myself and your other customers happy.

Thank you very much Hanna for your time, good luck for your activities at Kuopio’s Animal facility and enjoy your brand-new Atlantis!

Thank you, Fabio.