By Joe Griffiths-Barrasso, Marketing Planner, EMEA
3 reasons why you should care
Gravimetric Filling Systems measure the precise weight of the fill material through the use of a balance. The filling is electronically controlled and usually programmed, ensuring an accurate amount of product is placed in the desired container each time. But common issues are prevalent because most systems are manual which raise the following questions:
- How do I handle a 200-L drum?
- If my product is a high value (i.e. cost per mL) how do I prevent losing money through wastage?
- What if every fill was 2 mL more? How can I get the accuracy without wastage?
- What if I could fill three containers almost simultaneously?
- Where does that dribble go? Mess or waste?
- What about contamination?
These types of questions are common in labs that are fluid handling vs filling—from low to mid-flow volumes (mL to L), including anyone using a manual and volumetric led filling/dosing system, any kind of start-up lab looking to get into the filling process, pharma-led labs (such as cosmetics or vaccines), quality and testing labs who are involved with liquids and liquid movement, technicians/production engineers or supervisors who need to fill or dose a liquid, small-scale food production, and even academic labs such as chemistry/chemical engineering research departments.
It sounds ludicrous in the 21st Century, but there is a way to solve all the above challenges with one system.
Meet the Masterflex® Gravimetric Filling System
This new system consists of a Masterflex peristaltic pump combined with an A&D Apollo series balance. There are in fact 37 balances to choose from. Both units are connected by a unique A&D controller that puts the balance in charge of the peristaltic pump, and all fluid movement is contained within Masterflex pump tubing. The Gravimetric system aims to solve many problems and challenges. Here are three reasons why you should pay attention to this gravimetric filling system:
1. Solves the common issues of wastage
Masterflex Gravimetric Filling System provides accuracy and repeatability. Every drop is accounted for, and the container never overfills—no product is ever wasted. The balance controls the peristaltic pump and has three modes during the filling process to ensure that no overspill happens. As the Masterflex pump can shift liquid at several different speeds, the balance becomes the master.
2. No more health and safety issues due to pouring
Pouring manually carries risk, not just from the loss of product but from damage to the balance. Liquid containment within the tubing gives instant relief and benefit to the semi-automated system. The lateral benefit is the removal of manual involvement, lifting and pouring, which removes health and safety issues when using a semi-automated system. Plus, you don’t have to be there throughout as the gravimetric system manages itself. Not only is there zero manual handling, but the fluids are contained within the tubing.
3. Upscaling is not a problem
You might feel a peristaltic pump is no match for large volume containers, however, Masterflex pumps can upscale from its mid-flow L/S Series to its B/T Series that can handle bulk fluid transfer up to 40 LPM.
In summary, the Masterflex Gravimetric System can deliver:
- Semi-automate the process
- Run systems simultaneously
- Reduce wastage, reduce cost from clean up and product
- Improve process efficiency
- Achieve target production
- Upscaling & scalability
The pump can accept many different sizes of tubing, depending on the size of the pump head, to allow the pump to fill containers quicker using bigger flow rates. The pump can also be used to scale up production by increasing the pump’s motor capacity with larger-scale pumps available from Masterflex. Although sold as a kit initially, there is room for customization with both the pump, the balance, and the tubing, allowing chemical compatibility with most liquids.