Engineering | What's Next


For more than 130 years, OPW has been “Defining What’s Next” in creating safe, efficient and reliable solutions designed to solve difficult fluid-handling challenges across a wide range of industries and markets. Today, OPW offers solutions that can overcome a number of fluid-handling challenges, such as helping to prevent safety hazards, simplifying system operation and maintenance, and increasing operational efficiency.

OPW is the only developer of fluid-handling systems that offers a best-in-class combination of local factory support, in-house machining, welding, X-ray, assembly, testing and packaging. OPW is also the only company that is confident and capable enough to offer the OPW Promise: We will not consider the job done until all client expectations are met or exceeded – each and every time.

Pharma/Biopharma Challenges

The manufacturers of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products must confront and overcome three main challenges to “control the controlled environments” within their operations:

  1. Product Containment During pharma/biopharma production activities, even the smallest spill or leak incident involving common tap water has the potential to trigger a plant shutdown, with the resulting downtime and cleanup, remediation, sanitization and revalidation costs affecting not only the production schedule, but the operation’s overall bottom line. So, whether the fluid is water or ethylene glycol used in a chiller system, or various types of chemicals and solvents used in production processes, attaining and maintaining reliable, risk-free product containment is a top-of-mind concern for facility and operations managers.
  2. Consistent Flow Rates As they say, “time is money” and with the high volume of fluids that enter the production facility, consistent, turbulence-free flow rates must be achieved and maintained if the manufacturing operation is to meet the needs of strict budgetary demands and production schedules.
  3. Easy and Reliable Equipment Operation The couplers used to connect the array of high-purity hoses that are used to deliver fluids to storage tanks and production lines must be easy to connect and disconnect — with minimal physical strain placed on the operator – and robust enough to handle daily abuse and the thousands of connect/disconnect cycles that are performed during the coupler's lifespan.
Challenges Biopharma Image


To help overcome the main challenges in pharma-biopharma manufacturing, OPW offers the following equipment and systems:

Epsilon® Dry Disconnect Couplings

The Epsilon dry disconnect coupling buttresses its claim as the industry's “driest dry disconnect” via a unique double ball-valve design. The utility coupling's design features concave and convex ball-valve halves that nest tightly together for biopharma operations. Upon separation, only 1 cc of fluid (equivalent to one-quarter of a teardrop) remains on the nose seal, which can be quickly wiped away. In comparison, dry disconnects that rely on a bayonet-style coupling mechanism can have 4 milliliters (the amount of cough syrup given to a child) or more of residual fluid remain on the nose seal or drip to the floor, necessitating a much more complicated and costly cleanup procedure. The cavity-fill construction of the Epsilon’s internal flow path also helps reduce the possibility of fluid entrapment within the valve body that can lead to microbial contamination, which eliminates another cleanliness concern.

Fluid Loss Comparison Chart
Epsilon Dry Disconnect Couplings
EASY OPERATION – low-force connection and disconnection OPTIMAL DEFENSECavity-fill construction that eliminates fluid-entrapment areas within the valve body that can lead to microbial FULL FLOWwith unrestricted flow path. No turbulence! ADDED SAFETYwith multiple interlocks that eliminate unintentional disconnects and chemical releases that could threaten worker safety and LOWEST FLUID LOSSdriven by the innovative unique double ball-valve system, ensures the lowest product loss CLOSED VALVE OPEN VALVE

Loading Arm Systems

Loading Arm Systems

OPW offers the industry’s most complete line of pre-engineered loading-arm systems for use in bulk fluid-transfer applications, including those that are common in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products. In addition, the following features are specific to OPW loading-arm systems and not offered by any competitor:

  • Options for high-purity fluid transfer
  • Third-party in-house x-ray of all components
  • Robotic welding of all parts
  • Seamless pipe connections
  • Grinding of swivels to eliminate potential product-entrapment areas


Contact OPW Engineered Systems