(19)
(11)EP 3 244 188 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 17176166.1

(22)Date of filing:  13.09.2010
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G01N 1/20  (2006.01)
A61J 1/10  (2006.01)
C12M 1/12  (2006.01)
F16K 35/12  (2006.01)
C12M 1/26  (2006.01)
A61J 1/20  (2006.01)

(54)

USE OF A SAMPLING DEVICE

VERWENDUNG EINER PROBENAHMEVORRICHTUNG

UTILISATION D'UN DISPOSITIF D'ÉCHANTILLONNAGE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 11.09.2009 DK 200970110

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.11.2017 Bulletin 2017/46

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
10766237.1 / 2475973

(73)Proprietor: Keofitt A/S
5700 Svendborg (DK)

(72)Inventor:
  • SALOMON, Henrik Lysgaard
    5700 Svendborg (DK)

(74)Representative: AWA Denmark A/S 
Strandgade 56
1401 Copenhagen K
1401 Copenhagen K (DK)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-2007/002579
US-A- 5 078 688
US-A1- 2005 132 821
US-A1- 2007 088 252
US-A- 4 423 741
US-A1- 2004 078 024
US-A1- 2007 074 761
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a method of use of a sampling device. Such devices are used at, e.g., the sterile sampling through a sampling valve in a processing plant in the brewery industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, etc.

    [0002] In the said industries and others, processing plants are used in which processes take place in liquids or gases, and from time to time sampling of the contents of, e.g., a container is required to monitor a process taking place in the container. In that connection, it is important that the sample is not contaminated, but that it is representative of the container contents.

    [0003] Therefore, special sampling valves have been developed, see, e.g., WO9012972A and WO2005040671A the latter corresponding to US2007/0074761A1. These valves are designed so that cleaning fluid, e.g., steam, may be passed through their valve housing and out through a sample outlet to clean and/or sterilize the path of a sample from the container and out through the valve.

    [0004] At times, a simple cleaned, cup-shaped container is used to collect a sample which is passed out through the sampling valve when it is opened. In that way, however, there is a risk of airborne contamination of the sample so that, when analysed later, it is not representative of the contents of the container.

    [0005] Therefore, a sampling device has been developed, which is marketed by Keofitt A/S under the designation: "Item 26000, Aseptic sampling system". It is in the form of a glass bottle provided with a plug containing a pre-chamber, an inlet connector, a valve which opens and closes a passage to the interior of the bottle, and a valve which opens and closes a passage to the surroundings, and a vent opening arranged between the interior and the surroundings of the bottle and provided with a filter to prevent the ingress of airborne micro-organisms. The valve which opens and closes a passage to the surroundings allows the inlet connector of the sampling device to be connected to a sample outlet connector of a sampling valve by means of a tube, whereupon cleaning fluid, such as steam, is passed through the sampling valve, the tube and the pre-chamber in the plug so that the path of the sample is cleaned and/or sterilized all the way to the chamber in the plug before sampling. However, the use of a glass bottle for sampling may involve various disadvantages. Thus, sampling in some cases takes place in a processing environment rather than in a laboratory, and glass may be a potential danger to the product and the staff. Moreover, a glass bottle system requires prior maintenance, separation, cleaning, assembly and autoclaving as the products are costly and reusable. The preparations imply an implicit user-dependent risk as concerns the sterile interior of the sample container.

    [0006] US 2005/132821 A1 discloses a pre-sterilized fluid receptacle sampling device comprising a port insert for insertion into the port of a host fluid receptacle, (such as a bioreactor vessel or pipe) whereby samples of fluid can be removed sequentially and collected individually without disturbing, corrupting, or otherwise affecting any ongoing processes occurring within the host. Upon completion of said fluid processes, the spent (or partially spent) fluid sampling device is removed, allowing comparatively easy replacement with a fresh unit prior to conducting another of said fluid processes. Thus US 2005/132821 A1 discloses a unit comprising a number of flexible sampling bags each having their own valve opening directly into the container from where samples are to be taken. The unit comprises the port insert, which is fitted into a port mounted on the host fluid receptacle, whereby an internal end of the port insert is flush with the internal surface of the receptacle. The port insert is inserted into the port prior to the receptacle being charged with fluid for running a process and the internal end face of the port insert is sterilized-in-place.

    [0007] US 2007/0088252 A1 relates to an apparatus and a method for mixing and transferring medications and discloses an apparatus assembled from ready available components that may be purchased in sterile packaging, such components comprising a flexible bag and three-way valve.

    [0008] The object of the invention is therefore to provide an alternative sampling device that may ensure sterile sampling without the use of a glass bottle.

    [0009] According to the invention, this is obtained by the method defined in claim 1. In addition to obviating glass, the use of a sample container with a flexible wall obviates the need for a vent opening as the sample container can expand as it is being filled with a sample. The sterility protection ensures that the interior of the sample container is kept sterile until the sample is collected, when it will be necessary to break the sterility protection to allow the sample to enter the sample container. By barring access to the interior of the sample container, the three-way valve closes the sample container. The sterility protection comprises or is constituted by the three-way valve, which prevents the ingress of contamination, such as airborne micro-organisms, into the sample container in its closed position. The three-way valve allows sterilization of the connection between a sampling valve and the sampling device up to the three-way valve.

    [0010] In a preferred embodiment, the sampling device is a single-use product, whereby sterility may be ensured already by the manufacturer of the product.

    [0011] Preferably, the three-way valve is provided with a tamper-evident blocking device. The tamper-evident blocking device ensures that the valve is not opened until the sampling device is to be used or that a user is warned if the valve has been opened so that sterility has been compromised.

    [0012] The sampling device preferably comprises a temperature indicator, whereby it may be ascertained when the sterilization temperature has been reached if, e.g., steam is used for sterilization.

    [0013] The outlet of the three-way valve may be provided with an outlet connector. This makes it possible to mount a pressure valve which only opens for passage when a certain pressure is present in the three-way valve, whereby it is possible to obtain a higher temperature of steam used for sterilization of the sampling valve and the connection to the sampling device.

    [0014] In that connection, it should be understood that the sampling device is preferably steam sterilizable as it is preferably made from materials, at least from the coupling member to the three-way valve, both included, which can tolerate steam sterilization at the pressures and temperatures used in the relevant processing plant, e.g., 1 bar(g), 121° C, cf. www.ehedg.org.

    [0015] In a preferred embodiment, the three-way valve comprises a valve housing and a movable valve body with at least one through passage. This allows the valve to be designed with few components for the sake of the manufacturing costs.

    [0016] The tamper-evident blocking device preferably comprises a tear-off member preventing the three-way valve from being set to any position other than the closed position.

    [0017] In one embodiment, the tear-off member comprises a member, particularly a film member, which encapsulates the three-way valve at least partially. The film member may be a substantially non-stretchable shrink film.

    [0018] In a preferred embodiment, the tear-off member comprises a portion of the valve housing, which portion blocks movement of the valve body.

    [0019] In an alternative or supplementary embodiment, the sterility protection comprises a sterile packaging encapsulating the sample container, the coupling member and the conduit connection between them.

    [0020] Preferably, the conduit connection between the coupling member and the interior of the sample container has an internal diameter of at least 4 mm. This allows sampling of viscous liquids or liquids with suspended particles.

    [0021] The invention will now be described in more detail below by means of examples of embodiments and with reference to the schematic drawing, in which

    Fig. 1 is a view of a sampling valve and a sampling device for use with the invention,

    Fig. 1a is a view of the sampling valve in its open position,

    Fig. 2 is a close-up perspective view of a coupling member and a three-way valve of the sampling device of in Fig. 1,

    Fig. 3 is a partially sectional view of the sampling device of Fig. 1,

    Fig. 4 is a view of the sampling device in a packaging,

    Figs. 5-8 are sectional views of the three-way valve of Fig. 2 in different positions,

    Fig. 9 is a view of a sampling device with a second example of the three-way valve, and

    Figs. 10 and 11 are sectional views of the second example of the three-way valve in different positions.



    [0022] Fig. 1 shows a sampling valve 1 which is mounted on a wall of a container (not shown) to enable sampling of the contents of the container through a sample inlet 3 in the sampling valve 1. This further has a sample outlet connector 5, a cleaning inlet 7, a valve chamber 9 and a valve body 11. The sampling valve shown otherwise substantially corresponds to the embodiment disclosed in WO9012972A. It should be understood that there is free passage through the valve chamber 9 from the cleaning inlet 7 to the sample outlet connector 5 around the valve body 11, also when the valve body 11 closes the sample inlet 3, as shown in Fig. 1.

    [0023] Fig. 1 further shows a sampling device 13, for use with the invention, comprising a sample container 15 with a flexible wall 17 made of a suitable plastics material. The wall 17 is divided into panels interconnected through welds and/or scoring lines 19 which facilitate the mutual movement of the relatively rigid panels between a flat (not shown) and an unfolded state of the sample container 15. The sample container 15 is hermetically sealed apart from an opening 21 to which a tube section 23 has been fitted. A three-way valve 25 has been inserted into the tube section 23, and at the end of the tube section 23 a coupling member in the form of a socket 27 has been provided for connection to the sample outlet connector 5 of the sampling valve 1. In this way, a conduit connection has been provided through the socket 27, the tube section 23, the three-way valve 25 in its open position to be described in detail below, and the opening 21 to the interior of the sample container 15. This conduit connection is designed so that it has an internal diameter of at least 4 mm, preferably 6 mm, throughout its course to allow the sampling of viscous liquids or liquids with suspended particles without any risk of blocking of the conduit connection.

    [0024] In the example of a sampling device for use with the invention, shown in Figs. 1-8, the three-way valve 23 comprises a cylindrical, tubular valve housing 29, through which extends a cylindrical valve body 31. The valve housing 29 has two opposite tube connections 33a and 33b opening into the interior of the valve housing 29. At one end of the valve housing 29 a recess 35 is provided with a shallow part 35a and a deep part 35b which is partially filled by a tamper-evident blocking device in the form of a tear-off portion 37 with a tab 39. The tear-off portion 37 is connected with the rest of the valve housing 29 through two weakened, linear areas 40.

    [0025] The valve body 31 has a handle 41 at one end and is provided at the other end with a connector 43 abutting the adjacent end of the valve housing 29. The valve body 31 is tubular with an internal cavity interrupted at the middle of the length of the valve body by a transverse passage 45 which is closed against the cavity. Additionally, the valve body 31 has an opening 47 in its side through which opening 47 there is a passage out through the connector 43. Moreover, the valve body has a projection 49 located at the shallow part 35a of the recess 35 in the valve housing 29 (Fig. 2). Accordingly, the valve body 31 is in a closed position in which the passage to the interior of the sample container 15 is barred so that the sample container 15 is hermetically sealed. By contrast, at this position of the valve body 31 there is a passage in through the socket 27, the tube section 23 connected thereto, the tube connection 33a, the opening 47 in the side of the valve body 31 and out through the connector 43.

    [0026] In the example shown, the socket 27 is designed as a snap coupling having an internal, slotted, cup-shaped part 51 with internal claws 53 for engagement with an annular groove in a connector, such as the sample outlet connector 5, and having an outer, displaceable, cup-shaped part 55 for sliding forward over the internal cup-shaped part 51 in order to lock the claws into engagement with the connector. The bottom of the internal cup-shaped part 51 is adapted for close engagement with the connector when the claws are in engagement with the groove of the connector. In an alternative embodiment, the socket or the coupling member could be constituted by a suitably flexible, possibly widened tube end.

    [0027] As shown in Fig. 3 and explained above, the three-way valve 25 is in a position in which the sample container 15 is hermetically sealed. As the sample container 15 has been sterilized, e.g. by radiation sterilization, and as it cannot be opened due to the presence of the tear-off portion 37, the sterility of the interior of the sample container 15 and the passage to the three-way valve 25 is ensured, and the tear-off portion 37 constitutes a sterility protection.

    [0028] Fig. 4 shows a variant of the sampling device in which the three-way valve 25' lacks the tear-off portion 37 as compared with the example of Figs. 2 and 3. The three-way valve is in the closed position shown in Figs. 2 and 3, but the sample container 15 with the tube section 23, the three-way valve 25' and the socket 27 is encapsulated in a sealed, sterilized packaging 57 of a type known per se to ensure the sterility of the interior of the sample container 15. In this case, the packaging 57 constitutes a sterility protection. It should be understood that, for the sake of illustration, the sample container 15 in Fig. 4 is shown in its unfolded state. In reality, the sample container 15 will be in its flat state in the packaging 57.

    [0029] The sampling device is used in the following manner:
    The sterilized packaging 57 is opened and removed if present. The socket 27 is connected with the sample outlet connector 5 of the sampling valve 1. Then the sampling valve is cleaned and/or sterilized in the usual manner by cleaning fluid, such as steam, being passed through the cleaning inlet 7. The cleaning fluid flows through the valve chamber 9 and out through the sample outlet connector 5. As the socket 27 is connected with the sample outlet connector 5, the cleaning fluid flows on through the tube section 23 between the socket 27 and the three-way valve 25, which is in its closed position at this point as described above. Therefore, the cleaning fluid flows in through the tube connection 33a, through the opening 47 in the cylindrical valve body 31 and out through the connector 43. As the three-way valve 25 is in its closed position while any packaging is removed and the socket 27 is connected to the sample outlet connector 5, the sample container 15 is prevented, due to elasticity, from unfolding and sucking in air from the surroundings, which might compromise the sterility of the interior of the sample container 15.

    [0030] The connector 43 may be connected to a device for collecting the outflowing cleaning fluid and/or a pressure valve which only opens for throughflow when a certain pressure has been obtained upstream of the pressure valve so that, e.g., a higher steam pressure and thereby a higher temperature can be obtained in the parts through which the cleaning fluid or the steam flows.

    [0031] In this way, the sampling valve 1 and the passage from it to the three-way valve 25 has been cleaned and/or sterilized. In the example shown, a temperature indicator 59 of a type known per se indicating when a specific temperature has been reached and sterility is ensured has been provided on the tube section 23 between the socket 27 and the three-way valve 25.

    [0032] The three-way valve 25 is now opened by initially removing the tear-off portion 37 if it is present. The three-way valve 25 is thus in the position shown in Fig. 5.

    [0033] By means of the handle 41, the cylindrical valve body 31 is turned 90° to the position shown in Fig. 6, whereby the passage from the tube connection 33a to the connector 43 is closed, and the projection 49 is brought from the shallow part 35a of the recess 35 to the deep part 35b.

    [0034] The cylindrical valve body 31 is now pressed down to the position shown in Fig. 7, the projection 49 being moved to the bottom of the deep part 35b of the recess 35, and the transverse passage 45 being brought into alignment with the tube connections 33a and 33b. There is now an open passage throughout the tube 23 and thereby from the sampling valve 1 to the interior of the sample container 15.

    [0035] The sampling valve 1 is opened in a manner known per se by the valve body 11 being moved away from the sample inlet 3 to the position shown in Fig. 1a, and a desired quantity of the contents of the container, not shown, is collected into the sample container 15, which expands by virtue of its flexibility as it is being filled, whereupon the valve body 11 is returned to the position shown in Fig. 1.

    [0036] As the projection 49 slides into a groove 60 extending in the circumferential direction from the bottom of the deep end 35b of the recess 35, the cylindrical valve body 31 is subsequently turned a further 90° to the position shown in Fig. 8, whereby all passages in the three-way valve 25 are closed. The socket 27 can now be disconnected from the sample outlet connector 5, and the sample container 15 with sample can be taken to the laboratory for analysis of the sample without any risk of it being contaminated along the way.

    [0037] Figs. 9-11 illustrate a sampling device 13' as the one shown in Figs. 1 and 3, and therefore corresponding parts are provided with the same reference numerals, but with a different three-way valve 25'. This comprises an elongated valve housing 29' with an axial direction and a chamber having a first coaxial, cylindrical section 61 and a second section 63 enlarged in relation thereto. An outlet opening 65 and a tube connection 33b' are provided in an end wall of the valve housing 29'. A valve body 31' is axially displaceable in the valve housing 29' and has a coaxial tube connection 33a' and a coaxial pocket hole 67 communicating with a transverse passage 69 in the valve body 31'. The valve body 31' is sealed relative to the first coaxial, cylindrical section 61 of the chamber of the valve housing 29', and it is axially movable between a closed position shown in Fig. 10 and an open position shown in Fig. 1.

    [0038] An outlet opening 71 flushing with the transverse passage 69 when the valve body 31' is in the closed position is provided in the wall of the valve housing 29'. This makes it possible to clean and/or sterilize a passage through the socket 27 and the tube section 23 up to the three-way valve 25' as described with reference to Figs. 1-8 and particularly Fig. 5.

    [0039] The valve body 31' has an annular collar 73 abutting a tamper-evident blocking device in the form of a tear-off portion 37' with a tab 39'. The tear-off portion 37' is connected with the rest of the valve housing 29' through a weakened linear area 40' and prevents the valve body 31' from being moved away from the closed position, and it thereby ensures the sterility of the sample container 15 in the same way as the tear-off portion 37 in the embodiment described above.

    [0040] When the tear-off portion 37' has been removed, the valve body 31' may pressed axially in a direction towards the outlet opening 65, projections 75 in the enlarged section 63 of the valve chamber preventing the valve body from blocking the outlet opening 65. Accordingly, the three-way valve 25' is in an open position corresponding to the open position of the three-way valve 25 shown in Fig. 7 as there is a passage from the tube connection 33a' to the tube connection 33b' through the pocket hole 67, the transverse passage 69, the enlarged section 63 of the chamber of the valve housing 29', between the projections 75 and through the outlet opening 65.

    [0041] It should be noted generally that the sample container is provided with a second opening 81 which is closed with a screw plug 83. This second opening 81 may possibly be used to drain off the contents of the sample container after sampling. The sample container may also be provided with a septum (not shown) for removal of part of its contents by means of a syringe. Moreover, the sample container is provided with an eye 85 which permits suspension of the sample container 15.

    [0042] It should be noted that features described in connection with one embodiment may be used in several cases as a supplement or an alternative in others of the embodiments described. A non-stretchable shrink film may be used as a tamper-evident blocking device at the three-way valves 25 and 25'.


    Claims

    1. A method of use of a sampling device for sampling through a sampling valve (1), the method comprising the steps of:

    providing a sampling device comprising a sample container (15) with a flexible wall (17) and with an interior, a coupling member (27), such as a socket, for coupling to a sample outlet connector (5), and a conduit connection (23) between the coupling member (27) and the interior of the sample container (15), at least the interior of the sample container (15) being sterile, the conduit connection comprising a sterility protection ensuring the sterility of the interior of the sample container (15), said sterility protection being in the form of a three-way valve (25; 25') between the coupling member (27) and the sample container (15), the three-way valve (25; 25') having a connection (33a, 23) to the coupling member (27), a connection (33b, 23) to the sample container (15) and an outlet (43; 71), and the three-way valve (25; 25') being, before use, in a closed position in which it bars access to the interior of the sample container, thus closing the sample container;

    connecting the coupling member (27) with the sample outlet connector (5) of a sampling valve (1);

    flowing cleaning fluid through a valve chamber (9) of the sampling valve (1), through the sample outlet connector (5), the coupling member (27) and the conduit connection (33a, 23) to the three-way valve (25; 25') and out through the outlet (43; 71) of the three-way valve (25; 25');

    opening the three-way valve (25; 25') to provide an open passage through the conduit connection (23) from the sampling valve (1) to the interior of the sample container (15); and

    opening the sampling valve (1) to allow a desired quantity of the contents of a container, on which the sampling valve (1) is mounted, to be collected in the sample container (15).


     
    2. Method of use of a sampling device according to claim 1, wherein the three-way valve is provided with a tamper-evident blocking device (37; 37'; 79), and wherein the tamper-evident blocking device (37; 37'; 79) is removed before opening the three-way valve (25; 25').
     
    3. Method of use of a sampling device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the outlet is provided with an outlet connector (43), and wherein the connector (43) is connected to a device for collecting the outflowing cleaning fluid and/or a pressure valve which only opens for throughflow when a certain pressure has been obtained upstream of the pressure valve.
     
    4. Method of use of a sampling device according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the three-way valve (25; 25') comprises a valve housing (29; 29') and a movable valve body (31; 31') with at least one through passage (45; 67, 69).
     
    5. Method of use of a sampling device according to any one of claims 1 to 4, comprising a temperature indicator (59) indicating when a specific temperature has been reached.
     
    6. Method of use of a sampling device according to claim 2 or any one of claims 3 to 5 in dependence of claim 2, wherein the tamper-evident blocking device comprises a tear-off member (37; 37') preventing the three-way valve (25; 25') from being set to any position other than the closed position, wherein the step of opening the three-way valve (25; 25') includes initially removing the tear-off portion (37; 37').
     
    7. Method of use of a sampling device according to claim 6, wherein the tear-off member comprises a member, particularly a film member, which encapsulates the three-way valve at least partially.
     
    8. Method of use of a sampling device according to claim 6, wherein the tear-off member (25; 25') comprises a portion of the valve housing (29; 29'), which portion blocks movement of the valve body (31; 31').
     
    9. Method of use of a sampling device according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the sterility protection comprises a sterile packaging (57) encapsulating the sample container (15), the coupling member (27) and the conduit connection (23, 25, 25') between them, wherein initially the sterile packaging (57) is opened and removed.
     
    10. Method of use of a sampling device according to any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the conduit connection (23, 25, 25') between the coupling member (27) and the interior of the sample container (15) has an internal diameter of at least 4 mm.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung zur Probenahme durch ein Probenahmeventil (1), wobei das Verfahren die folgenden Schritte umfasst:

    Vorsehen einer Probenahmevorrichtung, die einen Probenbehälter (15) mit einer flexiblen Wand (17) und einem Innenraum, ein Kopplungselement (27), z. B. eine Buchse, zum Koppeln mit einem Probenauslassstutzen (5) und eine Leitungsverbindung (23) zwischen dem Kopplungselement (27) und dem Innenraum des Probenbehälters (15) umfasst, wobei mindestens der Innenraum des Probenbehälters (15) steril ist, wobei die Leitungsverbindung einen Sterilitätsschutz umfasst, der die Sterilität des Innenraums des Probenbehälters (15) gewährleistet, wobei der Sterilitätsschutz in Form eines Dreiwegeventils (25; 25') zwischen dem Kopplungselement (27) und dem Probenbehälter (15) gegeben ist, wobei das Dreiwegeventil (25; 25') eine Verbindung (33a, 23) zum Kopplungselement (27), eine Verbindung (33b, 23) zum Probenbehälter (15) und einem Auslass (43; 71) aufweist und wobei das Dreiwegeventil (25; 25') vor der Verwendung in einer geschlossenen Stellung ist, in der es den Zugang zum Innenraum des Probenbehälters versperrt und dadurch den Probenbehälter verschließt;

    Verbinden des Kopplungselements (27) mit dem Probenauslassverbinder (5) eines Probenahmeventils (1);

    Strömen eines Reinigungsfluids durch eine Ventilkammer (9) des Probenahmeventils (1), durch den Probenauslassstutzen (5), das Kopplungselement (27) und die Leitungsverbindung (33a, 23) zum Dreiwegeventil (25; 25') und durch den Auslass (43; 71) des Dreiwegeventils (25; 25') hinaus;

    Öffnen des Dreiwegeventils (25; 25'), um einen offenen Durchgang durch die Leitungsverbindung (23) vom Probenahmeventil (1) zum Innenraum des Probenbehälters (15) vorzusehen; und

    Öffnen des Probenahmeventils (1), um zuzulassen, dass eine gewünschte Menge des Inhalts eines Behälters, auf dem das Probenahmeventil (1) montiert ist, im Probenbehälter (15) gesammelt wird.


     
    2. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Dreiwegeventil mit einer manipulationssicheren Sperrvorrichtung (37; 37'; 79) versehen ist und wobei die manipulationssichere Sperrvorrichtung (37; 37'; 79) vor dem Öffnen des Dreiwegeventils (25; 25') entfernt wird.
     
    3. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei der Auslass mit einem Auslassstutzen (43) versehen ist und wobei der Stutzen (43) mit einer Vorrichtung zum Sammeln des ausströmenden Reinigungsfluids und/oder einem Druckventil, das sich nur zum Durchströmen öffnet, wenn dem Druckventil vorgelagert ein bestimmter Druck erzielt wurde, verbunden ist.
     
    4. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei das Dreiwegeventil (25; 25') ein Ventilgehäuse (29; 29') und einen beweglichen Ventilkörper (31; 31') mit mindestens einem Durchlass (45; 67, 69) umfasst.
     
    5. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, eine Temperaturanzeige (59) umfassend, die anzeigt, wenn eine bestimmte Temperatur erreicht wurde.
     
    6. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach Anspruch 2 oder einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 5 in Abhängigkeit von Anspruch 2, wobei die manipulationssichere Sperrvorrichtung ein Abreißelement (37; 37') umfasst, das verhindert, dass das Dreiwegeventil (25; 25') in eine andere als die geschlossene Stellung gestellt wird, wobei der Schritt des Öffnens des Dreiwegeventils (25; 25') zunächst das Entfernen des Abreißabschnitts (37; 37') enthält.
     
    7. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, wobei das Abreißelement ein Element, insbesondere ein Folienelement, umfasst, das das Dreiwegeventil zumindest teilweise umschließt.
     
    8. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, wobei das Abreißelement (25; 25') einen Abschnitt des Ventilgehäuses (29; 29') umfasst, wobei der Abschnitt die Bewegung des Ventilkörpers (31; 31') blockiert.
     
    9. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 8, wobei der Sterilitätsschutz eine sterile Verpackung (57) umfasst, die den Probenbehälter (15), das Kopplungselement (27) und die Leitungsverbindung (23, 25, 25') umschließt, wobei die sterile Verpackung (57) zunächst geöffnet und entfernt wird.
     
    10. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Probenahmevorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 9, wobei die Leitungsverbindung (23, 25, 25') zwischen dem Kopplungselement (27) und dem Innenraum des Probenbehälters (15) einen Innendurchmesser von mindestens 4 mm aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage pour l'échantillonnage par l'intermédiaire d'une vanne d'échantillonnage (1), le procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes :

    la fourniture d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage comprenant un conteneur d'échantillon (15) comportant une paroi flexible (17) et comportant un intérieur, un organe de couplage (27) tel qu'une douille, permettant de se coupler à un connecteur de sortie d'échantillon (5), et un conduit de raccordement (23) entre l'organe de couplage (27) et l'intérieur du conteneur d'échantillon (15), au moins l'intérieur du conteneur d'échantillon (15) étant stérile, le conduit de raccordement comprenant une protection stérile assurant la stérilité de l'intérieur du conteneur d'échantillon (15), ladite protection stérile se présentant sous la forme d'un robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') entre l'organe de couplage (27) et le conteneur d'échantillon (15), le robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') comportant un raccordement (33a, 23) avec l'organe de couplage (27), un raccordement (33b, 23) avec le conteneur d'échantillon (15) et une sortie (43 ; 71), et le robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') étant, avant son utilisation, dans une position fermée dans laquelle il interdit l'accès à l'intérieur du conteneur d'échantillon, fermant ainsi le conteneur d'échantillon ;

    le raccordement de l'organe de couplage (27) au connecteur de sortie d'échantillon (5) d'une vanne d'échantillonnage (1) ;

    la circulation de fluide de nettoyage à travers une chambre de vanne (9) de la vanne d'échantillonnage (1), à travers le connecteur de sortie d'échantillon (5), l'organe de couplage (27) et le conduit de raccordement (33a, 23) vers le robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') et à l'extérieur à travers la sortie (43 ; 71) du robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') ;

    l'ouverture du robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') pour fournir un passage ouvert à travers le conduit de raccordement (23) de la vanne d'échantillonnage (1) à l'intérieur du conteneur d'échantillon (15) ; et

    l'ouverture de la vanne d'échantillonnage (1) pour permettre à une quantité souhaitée du contenu d'un conteneur sur lequel la vanne d'échantillonnage est montée d'être recueillie dans le conteneur d'échantillon (15) .


     
    2. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le robinet à trois voies est muni d'un dispositif de blocage à bague d'inviolabilité (37 ; 37' ; 79) et dans lequel le dispositif de blocage à bague d'inviolabilité (37 ; 37' ; 79) est retiré avant l'ouverture du robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25').
     
    3. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel la sortie est munie d'un connecteur de sortie (43), et dans lequel le connecteur (43) est raccordé à un dispositif destiné à recueillir le fluide de nettoyage sortant et/ou à une vanne de pression qui s'ouvre uniquement pour l'écoulement lorsqu'une certaine pression a été atteinte en amont de la vanne de pression.
     
    4. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel le robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') comprend un logement de vanne (29 ; 29') et un corps de vanne mobile (31 ; 31') comportant au moins un passage traversant (45 ; 67, 69).
     
    5. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, comprenant un indicateur de température (59) indiquant lorsqu'une température spécifique est atteinte.
     
    6. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon la revendication 2 ou selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 5 lorsqu'elles dépendent de la revendication 2, dans lequel le dispositif de blocage à bague d'inviolabilité comprend un élément détachable (37 ; 37') empêchant de placer le robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') dans une quelconque position autre que la position fermée, dans lequel l'étape d'ouverture du robinet à trois voies (25 ; 25') inclut le retrait préalable de la partie détachable (37 ; 37').
     
    7. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'élément détachable comprend un élément, en particulier un film, qui encaspule au moins en partie le robinet à trois voies.
     
    8. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'élément détachable (25 ; 25') comprend une partie du logement de vanne (29 ; 29'), laquelle partie bloque le déplacement du corps de vanne (31 ; 31').
     
    9. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, dans lequel la protection stérile comprend un emballage stérile (57) qui encapsule le conteneur d'échantillon (15), l'organe de couplage (27) et le conduit de raccordement (23, 25, 25') entre eux, dans lequel l'emballage stérile (57) est initialement ouvert et retiré.
     
    10. Procédé d'utilisation d'un dispositif d'échantillonnage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 9, dans lequel le conduit de raccordement (23, 25, 25') entre l'organe de couplage (27) et l'intérieur du conteneur d'échantillon (15) présente un diamètre interne d'au moins 4 mm.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description