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Priorclave North America Celebrates their 10th Year

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This year marks the 10th anniversary of Priorclave North America. We’ve spent the last decade expanding access to high-quality, high-efficiency autoclaves to research, education, and industrial labs across North America.

In late 2011 these “non-medical” labs had to do their work under a substantial burden. Either they used “stovetop” autoclaves that were essentially glorified pressure cookers, or they found themselves saddled with complex, expensive jacketed autoclaves. These were excellent sterilizers, but designed for hospital systems, and not  suited to the less frequent autoclave schedule  typical in most research labs. As a result these labs spent a disproportionate amount of time and money buying, maintaining, and operating their autoclaves—precious resources better used to fulfill their primary missions.

Working with Priorclave Ltd—the UK’s premier autoclave manufacturing—we overcame antiquated North American import and regulatory hurdles. This included creating a new build line at Priorclave’s London facility to meet strict ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and ETL standards. This not only brought high-efficiency non-jacketed research-grade autoclaves to North America. It also cemented Priorclave’s reputation as “the best manufacturer of lab autoclave pressure vessels in Europe.”

As founding President Bernie Youngblood said at the time, “We’re very excited to bring these steam sterilizers to North America. Their line of research-grade autoclaves is simply unparalleled in reliability, efficiency, and suitability to research and university labs. I have no doubt Priorclave’s laboratory sterilizers will make a dramatic contribution to American biological research.”

Forcing the Issue of Sustainability

During the following decade Priorclave North America, under the direction of CEO Barbra Wells, has done just that. This included joining the Purchasing Cooperative of America to reduce the burdens lab managers face in outfitting their facilities, and working within the industry to educate customers about the extremely high cost of using jacketed autoclaves in non-medical applications. 

We’ve been proud to play even a small part in driving a much needed conversation about sustainable lab operations. In 2018, Priorclave became the first autoclave manufacturer in the world to join the ACT Label program. The ACT initiative aims to reduce the environmental impact of labs.  It accomplishes this by sharing third-party verified information about the environmental costs associated with the manufacturing and daily use of various laboratory products.

“Over the past decade we’ve helped outfit so many labs,” Wells noted. “We know that most administrators are spread very thin in these organizations. We also know how important it is for them to get the right equipment. The means equipment that suits their needs, is built to last, and fits their budget and their values. Any hurdle standing between researchers and results, we’re going to find a way around.”