Technologies Division


Our Culture: Future Thinking, Fast Paced Innovators Operating in a Precise Manner

Mercer, established in 1884, has a reputable record of innovative development, specialising in the early use of manufacturing technologies and the registration of patents in New Zealand and overseas.


Mercer has for the past 131 years manufactured and supplied medical sterilisation equipment to New Zealand hospitals and surgeries. James Mercer was a pioneer in infection control equipment manufacture during the early 1900s and was an early innovator in the use of stainless steel. By 1951, Mercer had supplied equipment to 122 hospitals in New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Examples of early successes include:

  • Mercer manufactured the first New Zealand made hospital steam steriliser
  • Pressure Vacuum (PV) Valve – The PV Value enables faster discharge of milk from tankers whilst maintaining their structural integrity
  • BetaVac – This set the industry standard in cheese vacuum packaging and, in the last 25 years, has become the industry standard in over 20 countries.  This forms part of a suite of products for dairy factories including BetaTest and BetaTurn

A sample of our current projects: S-Clave I Benchtop autoclave I On-farm milk evaporation I Leak detection

S-Clave: The Next Natural Progression in Steam Sterilisation

Mercer S-Clave Sterilisation Technology System

Mercer has spent over seven years developing the S-Clave system which has international and national patents. The process involves placing surgical devices or instruments inside unique non-porous, plastic, trackable pouches. The S-Clave system process carries out the steam sterilisation process inside the non-porous bag or pouch and the entire sterilisation process is completed in a total of 15 minutes.

Current hospital sterilisation processes take 60 to 80 minutes and flood the entire chamber with steam, whereas the S-Clave injects steam directly inside the pouch. It then dries the instruments, vacuum packs them, and heat seals the pouch.

Once sealed by the S-Clave unit the (non-porous) pouches have an extended shelf life, are able to be transported, retain proof of sterility and the contents remain sterile until opened. The sterile pouches are robust enough to withstand vigorous handling without loss of integrity.

This unique S-Clave system has been confirmed as the first known instance of successfully adopting impenetrable plastic materials in a steam sterilisation environment. This is clinically more robust than existing technologies, reducing the likelihood of hospital environment infections.


Our S-Clave has the potential to change the dynamics of the sterile services market both domestically and internationally, with the further advantage of  reducing significantly the total operational expenditure of sterilisation, whilst achieving a lower carbon footprint and a reduction in cross-contamination or transference of infection.

S-Clave by Mercer: The next natural progression in the field of steam sterilisation.