That question is usually answered with a generic “it depends,” but today I’m going to do my best to give you a useful answer, and to identify the key factors on which “it depends.” Hopefully by the end of this blog you’ll be able to make a pretty good estimate of the pricing your product would get from E-BEAM Services. (And we’re always here to answer any lingering questions…)
The most important parameter in pricing is the height of the box. The density of the product helps determine the amount of penetration, which in turn limits the height. (See my blog: “What does pounds per square foot mean to me when evaluating dose penetration?”)
The price of sterilization is often expressed in “dollars per cubic foot.” Here is a simple table relating price to box height:
Box height Price ($ per cubic foot)
20 inches $1.25
15 inches $1.70
12 inches $2.10
9 inches $2.80
6 inches $4.20
Notice how the taller the box, the lower the price. (At E-BEAM Services, the “sweet spot” for our electron beams is low bulk density medical devices. Those 15-20”- tall boxes would have to have a bulk density of only about 0.07 to 0.10 g/cm³. Most medical devices are packaged with bulk densities higher than that, but what a great price IF you DO have low density!)
Our pricing is usually much better than gamma with taller boxes, and is competitive with gamma for 6 inch tall boxes.
There’s your estimated price! And with that competitive price, you get proven quality and top-notch customer service!
As a follow-up question, what assumptions are made in this pricing?
E-BEAM Services would need to dosemap your product to verify that the dose distribution is satisfactory for your requirements. If the bulk density of the product is higher than 0.25 g/cm³, then we might be limited to a box height of 6 inches or less.
Here are some other assumptions taken into consideration for pricing:
1. Shipments are in truckload quantities. (The e-beam is very flexible in doing smaller quantities, but the price per box might be higher.)
2. The sterilization dose is a 25 kGy minimum. (Even if the required dose is lower or higher, the price won’t change too much.)
3. Two-sided irradiation is needed. (Usually two-sided irradiation is used to ensure good dose uniformity, though short low-density boxes might be able to be processed one-sided for a lower price.)
4. The max/min dose distribution is reasonably large. (If you need a tighter dose distribution, or if there are wide variations in densities within the product or packaging, the box height might need to be lower, making it slightly more costly.)
5. No special handling is needed. (If you need an extra-fast turnaround or other special services, like cold storage, the cost will be a bit more.)
Or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.