New Capabilities in Medical Sterilization

6 min video  /  3 minute read

Project Scope

  • Tags: 8,078
  • Screens: 1–8
  • Clients: more than 100
  • Alarms: 720
  • Devices used: 9 LogixDriver and 3 ModbusTCP
  • Architectures used: Hub & Spoke
  • Databases used: 24, MySQL
  • Historical data logged: more than 100,000,000

Project Overview

Steritec Automation created its Sterilizer Control System to control, monitor, and document multiple simultaneous instances of the ethylene oxide sterilization process and all ancillary facility resources.


During his career of more than 40 years in microbiology and medical device sterilization, Steritec Automation President/CEO Charles Jenkins performed integral roles in the development of innovative sterilization systems and cycles. Available offerings were not multi-platform-capable or geo-scalable. After purchasing and integrating the available sterilization control systems on the market, which ultimately required extensive modification to achieve his objectives, Jenkins discovered the functionality he demanded was beyond the capabilities of those solutions. He then resolved to have his own control software developed to his specifications.


Steritec believed the SCADA/HMI and core modules from Ignition would be the best approach for the project. Ignition Designer provided the tools to efficiently develop the HMI with its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. The Chart component enabled trending real-time telemetry over a setpoint-future — a feature that was unavailable in previous solutions. The Power Table component was used as the basis for creating report, equipment, user, and customer-management interfaces.

Some Key Highlights

  • Single instance of the HMI supports dynamic multiple monitors.
  • Individual users can save their workspace layouts.
  • Simplified custom components designed to help minimize cognitive load.
  • Dynamic Flammability ternary diagram.
  • Custom Report Builder (client scope). Enables user to select paper orientation, select data sources, set the numeric format, add/delete report columns, change column order, set column width, enter column header names, and save settings as a template.
  • I/O display screens, based on valid OPC resources, are scripted with a slide-type navigation which allows for multiple display configurations on a single screen.
  • Live reporting allows viewing the report data of an active process as it’s logged, before the process is complete.
  • Client-side trend configuration enables users to add, style, and group pens.
  • Custom User Management. Use-case requirements exceeded the built-in component.
  • User configurable interface for global software settings.
  • Alarm metadata allows users to add alarm descriptions and retrieve alarm descriptions by entering an alarm code or clicking an alarm in the alarm status table.
  • Chart in which a single pen representing pressure changes colors over time, representing gas concentration.
  • The Cycle Designer window, which contains the controls used to create process recipes, was initially created in Visual Basic because it was not apparent how it could be built in Ignition. This was not an optimal solution as it lacked Ignition’s scalability. Through leveraging the SDK with Java components, the Cycle Designer was recreated to operate within the Ignition platform.
  • The Conditions and Actions window makes Designer’s abstract workspace and Pipeline Blocks interface available in the client as a draggable component.


  • System scalability which allows controlling multiple chambers per server with unlimited clients.
  • Chart functions include trending live cycle telemetry over a graph of the programmed setpoints, providing a coefficient of accuracy for real-time analysis and adjustment which was not offered previously.
  • HMI runs across multiple platforms.
  • Real-time alarm notification via text and email.
  • Custom Report Builder allows users to control formatting and select data for inclusion.
  • Refined design control increased accuracy and repeatability in estimating cycle times and cost estimation. This enabled better scheduling, which increased productivity.

Project Information

Created By:   Steritec Automation

Steritec Automation provides automated sterilizer control solutions to the medical sterilization industry. President/CEO Charles Jenkins, with more than 40 years of experience in the fields of microbiology and medical device sterilization, formed Steritec Automation to develop a sterilizer control system solution that could achieve the cycle programming demands he required as a medical sterilization contractor.


Posted on September 30, 2019