“Every 6 months the [MAJOR AUTOCLAVE COMPANY] technician gets called in to ‘fix’ one of our regrettable purchases which I can only assume means he resets the automatic autoclave breakdown timer on some hidden part of the control panel.”
“Good to know as we were looking into [MAJOR AUTOCLAVE COMPANY]. That is the way I feel about our [AUTOCLAVE FROM ANOTHER BIG NAME SUPPLIER]. Autoclaves are the printers of the lab world.”
—quoted from an online discussion titled “Does anyone have an autoclave that they don’t hate?”
This is the awful truth of the autoclave industry: like a computer printer, it is practically the norm that an autoclave’s initial purchase price is dwarfed by the ongoing cost of keeping it running and usable. This is especially the case with smaller models (those under 300L). Some companies build and sell smaller autoclaves as though they intend for them to be treated as disposable.
Why So Many Small Lab Autoclaves are Awful
A good portion of our North American clientele are contacting us specifically because they have become extremely frustrated at the cost of repairs and parts or frequent downtime associated with certain popular small autoclave makes and models (some of which the lab techs in the above forum mention by name). We often heard it likened to the old “razor-and-blades business model.”
While this isn’t a textbook “razor-and-blades” situation, some major manufacturers are clearly cutting costs by cutting corners. Because their most important business is in larger steam-jacketed autoclaves (often targeted at the lucrative healthcare and hospital market), that’s where they focus their greatest design, engineering, and manufacturing investments.
In order to offer a non-jacketed autoclave at a price labs can afford, they peddle a lower quality product. Smaller autoclaves from otherwise reputable brands have low initial purchase price made possible through lower quality construction, sharply limited warranties, little to no post-purchase support (without a lengthy full-price service contract), and high mark-ups on replacement parts and repair services.
How Priorclaves Are Different
Priorclaves are different because they are optimized for on-demand lab use, and designed for reliable, flexible, affordable operation in a broad range of lab and research applications globally.
That starts with the design and build quality. Every Priorclave is built on the same rock-solid platform, not a tiered system where the largest and highest profit units get the most attention.
Priorclave has spent decades honing a simple, robust design that consistently performs while minimizing maintenance and operating costs (even in adverse conditions). Apart from two unique core components (our Tactrol Control System and the hand-built ASME-stamped pressure chamber), we use only non-proprietary, standard autoclave parts and components (including common types and styles of gaskets and o-rings, and standard copper and silicone grease).
We then back our reliable design with the best warranty and support program in the industry: a 36-month limited parts and labor warranty, a 20-year pressure vessel warranty, unlimited technical support, and a staff that maintains a better than 90% customer satisfaction rating. A service contract is recommended, but not required to ensure the continuance of the warranty.
That unlimited technical support includes online, phone, and video tech troubleshooting. During the pandemic, when travel was limited and lockdowns active, we became adept at walking end-users through maintenance procedures and repairs. Even if a tech cannot reach you, you can keep your work on track.
Finally, every Priorclave—regardless of size—ships with a model-specific full parts kit. If a gasket wears out or a solenoid sticks, give us a call: you already have what you need to get your lab back up and running without delay and we’re here to walk you through the process. Anything you use from your parts kit within the warranty period is replaced, free of charge, so you are always ready. This policy has “immunized” our existing customers from the supply chain shocks that paralyzed many labs and facilities over the last two years. No one else in the industry protects your productivity with this level of support.