Learn more about piston pumps and the latest technology

Ismatec Reglo Digital Piston Pump Drive with MasterflexLive
Ismatec Reglo Digital Piston Pump Drive with MasterflexLive

Work from anywhere and keep your pumps running 24/7

You can call the piston pump Old Faithful, that is if you pump with one that serves you right. These handy pumps can work nonstop for months at a time. We know because we test our Masterflex® and Ismatec® piston pumps for thousands of hours nonstop. We also have equipped many companies with piston pumps for over 60 years including an artist who wanted one for an art exhibit. The Masterflex pump was installed as part of a retrospective exhibition. We helped the artist develop a kinetic element for his exhibit that showed dye being dropped and dispersed in a beaker. It was critical for the impact of the piece to dispense identical drops of a specific size at set intervals during the day. The pump needed to run unattended and maintenance-free for a six-month period. While this is an extraordinary use of a valveless piston pumps, it demonstrates this pump’s ability to keep on working consistently over time and unattended.

Valve vs. valveless

How does a piston pump work? A piston pump is a type of positive displacement pump. There are two general types we will discuss: valve and valveless. The piston pump with valves operates by actuating pistons of varying stroke lengths to pump fluids through check valves in a two-stroke process: intake and output. It emits a given volume of fluid for each revolution of the motor equal to the length of actuation and cylinder surface area. A check valve allows liquid to flow in one direction only so as the fluid is pushed through the outlet during the output stroke, the inlet fluid is blocked. On the intake stroke, it leaves a void or vacuum which pulls in more fluid from the inlet which blocks the outlet.

A valveless piston pump is completely seal-less unlike a standard linear piston pump. The valveless pumping function is accomplished by the synchronous rotation and reciprocation of the piston in the precisely mated cylinder liner. A notched plane in the cylinder acts as opening and closing valves as it rotates, which means less potential for clogs and failure, so there is usually less maintenance involved.

How do you know if you need a piston pump?

If you have a high-pressure application and a medium viscosity fluid, a piston pump might be the way to go. A piston pump can operate over a wider flow range than some other positive displacement pumps within the lab and process floor. This is due to the length of actuation is variable, which changes the displacement volume of each pump cycle. Combined with a variable speed drive, this allows a discrete flow range at every actuation distance. It would be analogous to having variable inner diameter tubing in a peristaltic pump or variable tooth width in a gear pump.

Additionally, unlike pumps using flexible materials, the piston shaft doesn’t degrade over time with proper use which ensures long-term repeatability in flow. It is ideal for high-pressure applications and provides good control with medium viscosity fluids. Piston pumps can be used in many industries including, food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and research. They are ideal for fill/finish or dispensing, or when you need to run a pump for a very long time at the same flow rate.

The latest technology

Piston pumps have come a long way since Otto van Guericke invented the piston vacuum pump in 1650 using leather washers to prevent leakage between the cylinder and the piston. Today, you can get digital models equipped with innovative technology that allows you to remotely control and monitor them from anywhere. This is especially beneficial today when social distancing is the norm.

Valveless pump with remote control and monitoring

The new Masterflex Ismatec® Reglo Digital Piston Pump Cloud-Enabled Drive Systems with MasterflexLive® offer accurate performance and precise digital control. These compact pump systems optimize pumping with ease of use, accuracy and reliability. They are ideal for pharmaceutical dispensing, fill/finish and cleanrooms; university and lab research transfer, dispensing, automation, filtration, perfusion, chromatography and research involving organic solvents; and specialty chemical transfer, research and fill/ finish applications.

The Reglo pump’s 5 inch (12.7 cm) capacitive TFT/RGB touch screen makes pump operation easier than ever before. Viewing pump information is no longer a struggle with the touch screen’s crisp resolution and wide viewing angle, unlike other piston pumps on the market today. Switching modes is a cinch—continuous run, volume dispense, and time dispense with batch control and interval/off time available in volume and time modes—all at a gentle touch even when wearing gloves. Additionally, ensure operational security with three-tier user levels.

Fluid handling is optimized not only with the Reglo’s user-friendly touch-screen interface, but also by its abilities to save and retrieve commonly used dispense programs for rapid setup; anti-drip and speed ramping functions, in the volume dispense mode, to ensure accuracy and minimize sample loss; and flexible operational control from the touch screen, MasterflexLive®, or analog remote control. The valveless piston pump head is low maintenance and has fewer piston seizures or clogs and features a single moving part for less drift over time—offering millions of cycles of reliable, repeatable pumping.

Masterflex cloud-enabled drives featuring MasterflexLive allow for real-time remote pump control and monitoring. Get real-time control of all pump parameters, including speed, flow rate, dispense volume, and more. You can monitor,  adjust, and record critical processes running 24/7 without the need for onsite personnel while push notifications alert you to operating conditions and error messages. The platform is secured through Microsoft Azure and features three-tier user levels.

See the full Masterflex line of products.

Cole-Parmer Blog

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