NCG Sensor: the New Frontier of Continuous Monitoring

The NCG sensor measures in real-time the exact value of non-condensable gases (NCGs) in the chamber during every sterilization process, providing operators with the most reliable and efficient steam sterilization processes possible.

How Does the NCG Sensor Work?

The current (electronic and chemical indicator) steam penetration test system, according to ISO 11140-4, should demonstrate that there is successful air removal, which is needed to achieve steam penetration.

The EN 285 states that the retention of air is caused by an insufficient pre-conditioning phase, an air leakage to the room or piping, or the presence of non-condensable gases (NCGs) present in the steam supply. The standard (EN 285) indicates that each sterilization process should be seen as a unique event and that would mean that, during each process, it must be established that the conditions have been met. A once a day a steam penetration test could be insufficient.

With the NCG sensor, these conditions are monitored in every production process. The continuous and independent measurement of the steam sterilization parameters in the chamber guarantees that patient safety is assured during each production process.

As a result, patient safety in the field of steam sterilization is guaranteed.


The Benefits

How can the NCG Sensor benefit operators and facilities?

  • Continuous automatic monitoring. Every cycle is monitored automatically after its installation
  • Reliable. It gives reliable results for every sterilization cycle performed in the steam sterilizer
  • Science-based. It qualifies a steam sterilization process based on measurements of the temperature, NCG concentration, and time of this process
  • Safe. Patient safety is granted through a correct cycle, while operators’ safety is achieved by avoiding to manually move tests as the sensor is installed in the machine
  • Long-lasting. It lasts for up to 20,000 cycles
  • Time-saving. The measurements and reporting are fully automatic and independent of the sterilizer. There is no need to carry out standard daily tests, freeing productivity and staff for other all-important tasks
  • Sustainable. By omitting the daily steam penetration test and the weekly leak test, it is possible to reduce indicators’ waste whilst saving water and energy (about 12% everyday)
  • Productive. Fewer or no separate test processes are required, so production capacity is increased
  • Compatible. The NCG sensor can be installed in any steam sterilizer with a free-validation port (3-clamp), also non-Steelco ones
  • Easy maintenance. It supports the prediction of scheduled maintenance activities


Data Collection and Storage

The NCG sensor monitors every sterilization cycle’s non-condensing gases.

Data is collected and can be shown either through the sensor’s own pdf reports or SteelcoData Live.
SteelcoData Live is a web-based and cloud-ready software that allows monitoring in real-time performance, cycles info, alarms, and consumptions of a CSSD devices – including sterilizers – storing historic records and utility usage. The collected information is traced and efficiently visualized for device monitoring and data management at different authorization levels.

What is the difference between the two reports? There is no difference in the information they deliver, but data storage is easier with SteelcoData Live. In fact, through SteelcoData Live, users do not need to print any report, which is stored in the cloud or in a server for up to 10 years.
Find out more about SteelcoData Live here.

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