The Brand That Paved the Way to Efficient Pumping Today

By Eric Rentsch

Masterflex Easy-Load® pump heads are respected in industry and research

Do you have a Masterflex pump with an Easy-Load pump head? If not, you don’t know what you are missing! If you do, then this information will be beneficial for you, so keep reading to learn more.

The history of Masterflex

Masterflex is known worldwide as the innovative leader in the engineering, design, and manufacture of premium peristaltic pump technologies. The brand has become one of the most respected in industry and research today. It began in the 1960’s and quickly grew to be the flagship product manufactured in Barrington, IL.

The first versions of the peristaltic pump featured a 360° tubing wrap design. It looked like most lab equipment from the 1960’s; function before size or an eye-appealing design. This pump head was innovative at the time but not a time saver. Imagine the time needed to wrap tubing around the pump occlusion bed every time you had to change the tubing? This was quickly innovated to incorporate the “Reverse-bend” feature that provided a 270° tubing wrap, a tapered inlet-outlet that reduced pulsations, and common molded pump body halves. Thus, came the Standard pump head with a more modern style and somewhat easier to handle. This was the first of many patents issued to the Masterflex brand of Cole-Parmer. The pump operator still needed to take apart the pump head to change the tubing.

A major breakthrough: The Easy-Load pump head

Several years later, in 1989, a real breakthrough happened. The Easy-Load pump head was launched. It was the first pump head to decrease the time it took to change the tubing. It was unimaginable—only 15 seconds to change tubing! It was a huge success and still remains as one of the most popular pump heads on the market today. The launch of this first-of-its-kind product was a breakthrough in the pump market. This innovative pump head took the lengthy process of loading tubing into a pump head to less than 15 seconds. It was a definite timesaver! No longer did pump operators have to remove the hardware, take the pump head off the drive, load the tubing, place the pump head back onto the drive, and then start the pump again. Imagine the hours wasted since this task had to be done over and over again. It was going to be a simple tubing change because the Easy-Load pump head combines an over-center cam with automatic tubing retention in a rugged, chemical-resistant housing. This design allows fast, easy tubing changes without removing the pump head from the drive. Built-in tubing guide ensures correct positioning of tubing to maximize performance and pump tubing life. Spring-loaded tubing retainers ensure tubing is secured automatically to promote long tubing life and optimize the performance of each tubing size.

Innovations that lead to a new Masterflex Easy-Load pump head

Along the way, we had many innovations that paved the way for us to develop a new Easy-Load pump head including:

  • Offset rotors to reduce pulsation when two flows are combined into one. The Easy-Load II rotors are offset 45 degrees to reduce pulsation – all of the pump except multichannel have off-set rotors.
  • The Easy-Load II pump heads – tubing changes in less than 15 seconds and accepts multiple sizes of tubing. This was also our first pump head to include automatic tubing retention
  • Unique PTFE tubing pump head that combines the convenience of the peristaltic pump technology and the chemical resistance of fluoropolymers
  • High-performance pump heads that increase the flow capacity and pressure performance of Masterflex up to 100 psi, which was also redesigned in 2017
  • Pioneering the integration of Cloud technology into pump operations and data storage which is an industry first for peristaltic technology
  • Convex tube rollers to improve cell viability and other shear sensitive fluids

New Easy-Load pump heads

The new Masterflex L/S® Easy-Load pump head replaces the original model launched in 1989. This pump head not only has a new sleek and compact design but also has enhanced features that provide greater ease of use. The pump head is appropriate for use in the laboratory, or for process and industrial applications.

This redesigned pump head provides even more efficient pumping than its predecessor. Enhanced features include improved pressure performance and reduced pulsation with the four-roller design. An improved occlusion-bed geometry reduces tubing wear and lengthens tubing life. Tubing changes are fast with single-thumb actuation. Automatic tubing retention eliminates manual adjustments, increasing accuracy and repeatability. The pump heads can also be stacked for multichannel pumping.

The Easy-Load pump head is easy-to-use and durable. It boasts a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel rotor and PTFE-shielded bearings for long life expectancy. The pump head works on any Masterflex® L/S® drive and provides optimal performance when using compatible Masterflex® tubing.

Models are available for precision tubing, high-performance tubing and with and without open-head sensor functionality. Open-head sensor provides more safety, as when the pump head is opened the drive stops.

For additional information on the Easy-Load® Pump Heads, email sales@coleparmer.com, call 1-800-323-4340, or check out our website.

Eric Rentsch is the Product Marketing Manager for Fluid Handling at Cole-Parmer. He can be reached at eric.rentsch@coleparmer.com

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