Cleanroom.net Exclusives : Interview With Walker Barrier Systems Sales Manager Gary Partington
Cleanroom.net Exclusives talks to Walker Barrier System’s Sales & Marketing Manager Gary Partington. Gary received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1981. He has been with Walker Barrier Systems for 13 years as Applications Engineer, Technical Sales Engineer and Sales and Marketing Manager. Gary has over 20 years experience providing isolator solutions to the Pharmaceutical Industry. He is a member of ISPE, PDA and AGS.
Cleanroom.net : Thank you Gary, for taking the time to talk to Cleanroom.net Exclusives. Can you please remind us who Walker Barriers are? And what you do?
Gary : Walker Barrier Systems is part of Walker Stainless Equipment located in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. We have 3 business groups which provide stainless steel transportation trailers to the food, dairy and beverage industry, stainless steel tanks and silos to the same and custom equipment to the pharmaceutical, biotech and nuclear industries. Walker Barrier Systems (WBS) provides isolators for both aseptic and containment applications and downflow booths for containment to the pharmaceutical, biotech and nuclear industries.
Cleanroom.net : Walker was founded in 1943, with over 60 years of expierence. What has the formula been for keeping a successful business going so long?
Gary : We have high quality products manufactured by skilled craftsman, several who have been with us for 40 years. We design and build our products to fit our customers needs and provide full installation and service.
Cleanroom.net : Walker Barrier Systems have been manufacturing the Extract Technology Downflow Booths for North America since 2008 with your sister company Extract-Technology. How has the product been received and how is it doing?
Gary : Our sister company Extract Technology has had a strong North American customer base prior to 2008. Our customers have realized the benefits of having U.S. design and manufacture of downflow booths as shipping time and costs are reduced. Our Field Service team is located in the U.S. which also provides cost and time savings. We have produced over 45 downflow booths in our New Lisbon facility and are still counting.
Cleanroom.net : Walker offers an extensive aftermarket parts range. Can you explain a little more about the services and products offered?
Gary : We have access to an extensive range of genuine spare parts and consumable items for all isolators and downflow booths whether made by WBS or someone else. Our trained Field Service Technicians can provide preventative maintenance programs or perform repairs on all isolators and downflow booths. Preventative Maintenance visits can include instrument calibration, operational tests, changing of spare parts and operator training. We can also relocate equipment, make upgrades, modifications and retrofits to existing isolators (hatchback windows, PLC etc) and downflow booths (containment screens, etc).
Cleanroom.net : Walker have partnered with Advanced Barrier Concepts. What is the nature of the partnership and why did you choose Advanced Barrier Concepts?
Gary : In partnership with WBS, Advanced Barrier Concepts personnel will provide validation services on WBS isolators and on the chosen decontamination system generator. These services can include standard or custom GAMP® 5 documentation and IQ/OQ/PQ protocols along with the execution of the protocols, including advanced decontamination cycle development and validation.
Advanced Barrier Concepts personnel have experience validating WBS isolators for many years. Both Jim Rickloff and Bill Little have had prior industry experience in the development of the vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization technology that is widely used for the decontamination of isolator systems. These reasons made Advanced Barrier Concepts an easy choice.
Cleanroom.net : What is your opinion of the current state of the Isolater market?
Gary : The isolator market remains strong, particularly where protecting operators from potent products is concerned. We are also seeing more and more requirements for aseptic filling or testing of potent products which required the protection of both operator and product.
Cleanroom.net : Do Walker Barrier Systems have any new product release planned for 2010?
Gary : We will be releasing a downflow containment screen that moves within the safe zone of a booth on multiple axis. We have other products in development which we hope to release at various times throughout the year.
Cleanroom.net : Will Walker be attending any tradeshows/exhibitions in 2010?
Gary : The containment screen mentioned above will be featured at InterPhex in New York. We will also be exhibiting at InterPhex Puerto Rico, the ISPE Tampa, Washington and Annual events. Other events will be posted on our website at www.walkerbarrier.com.
Our thanks to Gary for taking the time to talk with Cleanroom.net Exclusives