BioPharma Process Improvement: Enhance your fluidics experience

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Presented by:
• John Batts — Senior Technical Trainer, Masterflex Business Unit
• Phil Nyren — Global Product Manager - Fluidics
• Mike Knapp — Global Product Manager – Fluidics

In this webinar you will learn how to:

  • Leverage modern technology to minimise human errors and realise improved efficiency (and understand associated financial and time-savings benefits)
  • Access to continued product improvement and enhanced functionality
  • Achieve better control and higher flow-rate accuracy

Peristaltic pumps use the same positive displacement methodology that our bodies use to move food through the digestive system. Peristaltic pumps were first introduced in 1845 and patented ten years later as a well pump and again in 1881 as a medical tool. The technology has since been upgraded and adjusted to meet the needs of many industries, including medicine, research, and biopharma.

Today, peristaltic pumps are a crucial component in many workflows that require accurate, precise, and compliant performance. Peristaltic pumps must also be adaptable, easy to use, secure, and in many cases compatible with current automation protocols. The Masterflex® family of peristaltic pumps offer a portfolio of products, components, and accessories to support various critical applications that require a reliable solution.

If you are involved in any stage of biopharma production - from research to process, and require pumping, dispensing or transferring of sterile, sensitive, or other fluids that need to be isolated from their surroundings, find out how the latest technological improvements to the Masterflex® family can enhance your peristaltic pump performance to improve your productivity.

You will have the opportunity to submit questions during the webinar and receive answers from the presenters.

Your presenters for this webinar

John Batts — Senior Technical Trainer, Masterflex Business Unit - Masterflex Division
John has worked in laboratory-based disciplines for his entire professional career, including more than two decades of pump experience. Currently, John focuses on providing product and application training for both internal and external audiences, sharing his passion for the products with colleagues and customers alike. John resides in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with his family and enjoys all the Northwest brings - mountains, the ocean, and whales!

Your presenters for this webinar

Phil Nyren — Global Product Manager - Fluidics - Masterflex Division 
Phil has 23 years of experience with Masterflex and is currently managing the Masterflex and Ismatec peristaltic pump systems and equipment. Responsibilities and experience range from product concepts and development – working closely with design and engineering teams – to technical support and troubleshooting working directly with customers. 

Your presenters for this webinar

Mike Knapp — Global Product Manager – Fluidics - Masterflex Division 
Mike is responsible for the commercial development of single-use instrumentation and equipment. Most recently, Mike was instrumental in expanding the Masterflex product line with the Masterflex Single-Use Gamma-Irradiated Sampling Bottle Assemblies. His prior experience includes 15 years in product management of broadband wireless technology and 7 years in nuclear propulsion operations and power generation. 

Questions & Answers from the live event

Will there be any IQ/OQ available for the Masterflex® pump?

This is something we are actively working to improve and expand. We have customizable tem- plates established that can be modified by the end user to the specifics of their installation and application.

Can MasterflexLive® show the activity of multiple pumps at the same time, like a workflow status chart?

Yes, MasterflexLive can show the activity of multiple pumps simultaneously via the “Devices” screen. That screen functions as an account “dashboard” and will show individual pump online/ offline; operational status; and operational mode as well as other high-level information. There is no limit to how many pumps you can have operating under an account. All the pumps on an account can be viewed from the dashboard and monitored by accessing their individual control panels.

How best can I determine what sensor size and material to use in my process?

In addition to information provided on our website, we can help you choose the proper sizes and material choices.

How do I know if your pressure monitors are compatible with my pumps?

Connecting cables are available for the most common pumps and all Masterflex pumps. You can also contact us for additional guidance in selecting pressure monitors or other accessories.

What does the flow controller do that the pump cannot achieve on its own?

Typically, to obtain an accurate flow rate from a pump, a manual calibration procedure must be performed which ultimately pairs a set RPM to a target flow rate. However, over time, tubing and flow path conditions change and therefore the pump RPM must be adjusted to maintain a constant flow rate. Normally, this is done by periodically running a calibration with the pump and system to determine the new pump RPM required to achieve the target flow rate, With the ultra- sonic sensor controller, the desired flow rate needs to be entered via the controller touch screen just once. The controller will speed up or slow down the pump RPM as needed to maintain the desired flow rate as system conditions change.

What type of flow sensors are available, invasive vs. non-invasive?

We offer both types to meet your needs. The Masterflex ultrasonic flow sensors are non-invasive and the Masterflex single-use sensors are not. Each offers different benefits to fit different needs. Non-invasive solutions typically have higher start-up but lower operating costs than invasive, one- time use, solutions. Often the disposable options are less sophisticated and easier to apply to a new application. So, each application needs to be evaluated by the long-term anticipated usage.

What is the maximum pressure-head that the Masterflex MasterSense™ pump can provide? Is it possible to provide the data?

The maximum system pressure is primarily dependent on the pump tubing and formulation utilized. To address this question completely, we need to know the application specifics. The peak pressure will occur when the roller fully occludes the tube in the pump head and starts to move the pillow of liquid along, when in contact with the pump head occlusion surface. The various pump heads also vary in their ability to maintain backpressure. Generally, peristaltic pumps operate comfortably in the range of 0 to 40 psi (2.7 bar) – with some specific pump head and tubing combinations capable of exceeding 100 psi (6.9 bar).

Up to what pressures do the pressure sensors operate?

Our single-use sensors are rated up to 60 psig which covers most single-use applications.

How many tubing formulations do you provide for the Masterflex peristaltic pumps?

Depending on the pump series, we have up to 22 different formulations of Masterflex pump tubing available for Masterflex pumps.

How many on-board programs can be stored on Masterflex MasterSense drives?

Up to 50 total programs can be saved, each with a unique name. Programs can be created and saved in four operational modes: continuous mode, volume dispense mode, time dispense mode, and analog remote mode.

Even if I use a stored program, are there still any manual set-up steps that are required for accurate fluid delivery?

To fully ensure accuracy, you should break in the tubing and calibrate it as recommended below:

  • Break in the tubing. Pump tubing will show variable flow over time as it wears but what we have learned over the years is that after a relatively brief break-in period that flow will stabilize and remain so for most of the usable life of the tube. Break in period varies depending on the tube size, number of rollers, and pump speed – for example with a Masterflex L/S® 600 rpm drive equipped with a four-roller Easy-Load® or Easy-Load II® pump head the break in period would be roughly 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Calibrate the tubing. Each time you replace the tubing in the pump you should follow the calibration procedure detailed in the operator’s manual. Make sure the tubing has been through the break-in period prior to calibrating.

Can this pump provide any pressure information?

The pump itself is not capable of providing pressure information, however, the pump can be set up in conjunction with a pressure sensor and monitor that is capable of real-time pressure readout. The PendoTECH® pressure sensors and PMAT monitor work together with Masterflex pumps to provide you with pressure indication, alarms, and protection functionality.

Does the cloud app have an interface for a flow sensor to validate flow rates?

At present (April 2021) the flow sensor data is not shared with the MasterflexLive cloud application. This functionality is currently in development, and we anticipate this going live within the next 12 months.

My field is industrial microbiology. With an analog I/O port available on our fermenter control tower, is it possible to have these 'smart' pumps controlled by on-line/at-line signals received by the control tower or software (e.g. Sartorius® DCU/MFCS) from the fermenters?

Yes, the Masterflex MasterSense L/S pumps can be controlled using analog I/O. The 4 to 20 mA, or 0 to 5 V and 0 to 10 V ranges can change the speed of the pump. Separate relay contacts provide starting/ stopping, changing direction, and priming the pump. We also have these control features accessible via RS-232, EtherNet/IP and Profibus depending on the Masterflex drive model, as the pumps are often used in large systems controlled by PLCs that utilize these communication protocols.

For a continuous fermentation, can one drive be used with two pump heads? That way flows should match (equal input flow to output flow).

With two pump heads on one drive, you can route the two channels of pump tubing so that one is pump- ing into the fermenter and the other is pumping out of the fermenter. You will get roughly equivalent flow that way, but you will see some variation over time due to slight differences in the two channels of tubing. If you are looking for greater accuracy and more precisely balanced flow (and a near constant fluid level in the fermenter) the best way to achieve this is to use ultrasonic flow sensors on the input and output flow channels. This way you can preset the flow rates so that they match, and the flow sensor controller will adjust the pump speed to maintain those set flow rates very accurately.

What is the chemical compatibility of your tubing materials?

Chemical compatibility varies from formulation to formulation. We do maintain an online database for the chemical compatibility of our Masterflex pump tubing. We also provide a very simple protocol for conducting an immersion test with a tubing sample in the event your specific solvent or fluid is not included in our database.

I just purchased the Masterflex L/S Analog Compact Drive w/ Single-Channel Miniflex Pump. Does that have the MasterflexLive capability?

Without knowing the specific model number of the pump you have, the best way to tell is if the pump you have has an ethernet/RJ45 connector on the back of the unit. MasterflexLive is dependent on an internet connection. Based on the description you provided (analog drive) this does not sound like a MasterflexLive capable unit.

Does the Ismatec® Reglo ICC digital peristaltic pump with independent channels have an auto-start function in the case of power interruption? If not, can the pump be controlled online and what accessories do we need to connect 6 pumps?

Many of our Masterflex Drives have the auto start feature, which is designed to restart the pump in case of a power outage. The Reglo ICC multichannel pump with independent control over each of the
channels does not currently have this feature. Our Masterflex Ismatec Reglo multichannel pump, such as model 78018-22, does offers multiple-channel (cartridge) capability with the user-selectable auto-start feature.

How does the Masterflex L/S MasterSense drive compare to older Masterflex drives with respect to dispense accuracy? And does the MasterSense drive have anti-drip capability?

Dispense accuracy with the new Masterflex MasterSense pumps will be equal to or better than the legacy models. The new MasterSense drives have user-selectable anti-drip in the volume dispense mode. When enabled the anti-drip can be set within the range of 5 to 360 degrees of rotation – a typical setting would be between 5 and 45 degrees. This is comparable to the legacy Masterflex models. To further ensure accuracy the MasterSense drives have a more advanced and easier to use calibration function. The calibration function has a visual indicator that lets you know when the calibration settings (volume, flow rate, tube size) are optimized and will alert you when they are not.

What can you say about repairing or troubleshooting the Masterflex L/S MasterSense drives, are they easy to maintain? Also, the software feature, is it possible to update if something happens?

The Masterflex MasterSense drives, as with all the digital Masterflex drives, are designed to be relatively maintenance free. We accomplish this partly by using brushless motors in the units that are proven to be extremely reliable and long-lived. The parts of the complete pump that are more likely to wear out over time are of course the tubing— which takes mere seconds to replace— and secondly the pump heads. The pump heads themselves are also very easy to replace should that become necessary. As for the drive software, the new MasterSense drives have over-the-air software/firmware update capability, which is unique to Masterflex. As we make improvements to the software, including improving existing functionality or adding additional functionality, you will be able to gain the benefits of those improvements simply by downloading the new firmware.

What is the difference between the Masterflex® L/S® Easy-Load® and Easy-Load® II pump heads?

There are a few differences in the features of the pump heads and the housing materials. The Easy-Load® has a housing of polyarylamide (PARA), the Easy-Load® II has a housing of polyphe- nylene sulfide (PPS). Both PARA and PPS are widely used engineering plastics with an excellent combination of strength and chemical resistance. Both models feature automatic tubing retention. Also, both the Easy-Load and the Easy-Load II are available with stainless steel roller/rotor assemblies that offer excellent corrosion resistance and durability. Both are available in models for Masterflex L/S precision pump tubing sizes L/S 13, 14, 16, 25, 17, and 18. But whereas the Easy-Load is dimensionally more compact, the Easy-Load for L/S high-performance precision pump tubing accepts sizes L/S 15 and 24 only; the Easy-Load II for L/S high-performance preci- sion pump tubing accepts sizes L/S 15, 24, 35, and 36.

If we need smoother flowrates from the pumps, are there any additional modules that are available to help smooth the flow?

There are several ways to mitigate pulsation. A pump head with a higher number of rollers will generate less perceived pulsation and smoother flow. And since many of our pump head models are stackable—by stacking two pump heads and unifying the outflow channels you will significantly reduce the pulsation. This works because on stacked heads the rollers are offset, so you are effectively doubling the number of rollers driving the flow. Another method is to use an accessory pulse dampener, such as our model number 07596-20.

If you are performing multi-channel applications and using relatively low flow rates, the Masterflex Ismatec Reglo line of multi-channel pumps already comes equipped with either 6, 8 or 12 rollers, and the Masterflex Ismatec IPC pumps come equipped with 8 rollers. By having more rollers, you dramatically reduce the amplitude of each pulse.

Can the Masterflex® L/S® MasterSense™ pumps be integrated with third party software to allow for remote control of e.g. pump speed?

Quite likely yes. We have Masterflex drives that can be controlled via RS-232 (serial), EtherNet/ IP and Profibus depending on the Masterflex drive model, as the pumps are often used in large systems controlled by PLCs that utilize these communication protocols. We would be happy to assist you with any more specific questions you may have. Please reach out to our technical support team to discuss in more detail.

Our process requirement is to use different volumes alternating one after another for more than 50 times in one activity. Could you please suggest the right pump, including the pressure sensor which can shut down the pump in case of back pressure.

The new Masterflex MasterSense drives will enable the user to store up to 50 programs which you can set, save, recall, and run. Currently the programming function does not support the ability to set multiple sequential volumes in a single program, but that capability is under development in the MasterflexLive application. The PendoTECH® pressure sensor along with a PMAT monitor allows for over pressure events to stop the pump if that occurs.

If the flow rates are relatively low, it would be potentially possible to achieve this using a 2-channel Ismatec Reglo ICC. The Reglo ICC pump offers independent control over each of its channels, so it would be possible to customize the delay time between dispenses on each channel to achieve the net result you have described. Please contact our technical support team to further discuss this possibility, as it will depend upon your applicational parameters whether the Reglo ICC might work for this purpose.

What does I/P mean?

I/P or IP can mean several things: a designator for one of our pump series, part of the naming of an advanced networking technology, or possibly the ingress protection rating for the drive housing.

  • Masterflex pumps are organized into four series, from the low-flow Ismatec series, to the low/ mid flow L/S series (up to 3.4 LPM), to the mid-flow I/P series (up to 26 LPM), and finally to the high-flow B/T series (up to 42 LPM). The letter combinations are simply identifiers that we use to identify the series and make it easier to match an I/P drive with an I/P pump head and with I/P-sized pump tubing respectively.
  • You might have heard of EtherNet/IP being mentioned as one of the advanced networking technologies we have incorporated into several of our pumps. The “IP” in this technology’s name stands for “Industrial Protocol”.
  • You will also see IP ratings in the specifications for our drives, and that rating relates to the protection the housing confers regarding the ingress of dust and water. For example, our stainless steel process drives carry an IP rating of IP66 – which means that these drives are suited to washdown environments where equipment is typically washed down with a hose or other spraying system.

What is the maximum number of pump channels/heads available on a single Masterflex L/S MasterSense pump?

The MasterSense pump series will have models with maximum speed ranges of either 100 rpm or 600 rpm. On the 100 rpm models you can stack up to four pump heads, on the 600 rpm models you are able to stack up to two pump heads. Stackable heads in the L/S series include the Standard, Easy-Load, Easy-Load II, and Easy-Load® 3. Hardware kits for stacking head are available as separate accessories. We also have specialized pump heads that allow you to run up to 24 channels with specific limitations in tube size and formulation.

How do the pumps work?

The Masterflex MasterSense pumps use peristaltic pump tubing technology to accurately move fluids through positive displacement. Briefly, a set of rotating rollers alternately compress the pump tubing as it is held within the pump head. That action of compression and relaxation draw fluid into the tube and propels it forward. The only wetted component that interacts with the fluid/medium is the consumable Masterflex pump tubing. The Masterflex range of pump tubing is the largest available on the market, providing the broadest range of increased chemical compatibility and performance tailored to your needs.

What is the price range of the Masterflex L/S MasterSense pumps?

You can find the current prices on our website at or by contacting your local Masterflex dealer.

Is there security/password protection for programs?

One of the features of the Masterflex L/S MasterSense pumps is user level management. By ena- bling this feature, you can establish three levels of user: Administrator (Admin), Super User, and User. Once User Level Access is enabled on the drive, any user at any level is required to log in with a username and a password (two-factor security). With regards to programming specifically, the default settings allow access to all functionality to the Admin(s); the Super User is allowed to run, add, delete, and modify programs; and the User is allowed only to run programs.

With the MasterflexLive cloud application you also can create and run programs on connected drives within the app (web browser or mobile device). MasterflexLive also requires two-factor security (username and password) to access connected drives.

Can the Masterflex L/S MasterSense drive run several different volumes with pause intervals between each volume in one program?

The pump programming does not currently have the capability to have different volume settings within a single program. Programs can repetitively dispense the same volume as many times as you choose. The capability that you are looking for is under development within the MasterflexLive cloud-based application and will be available withing the next few months.

Does the Masterflex L/S MasterSense drive allow easier control using remote 4 to 20 mA signals?

Yes, the Masterflex MasterSense™ L/S pump can be controlled using analog I/O. Either 4 to 20 mA or 0 to 5 V, 0 to 10 V ranges or TTL pulse can be used to remotely change the speed of the pump. There are separate relay contacts for starting/stopping, changing direction, and priming the pump. Analog output for alarm, speed verification, and the like are standard as well. We also have these features accessible via RS-232, EtherNet/IP and Profibus depending on the model, as the pumps are often used in large systems controlled by PLCs that utilize these communications.

For the latest Masterflex product – the Masterflex L/S MasterSense drives, what are some of the advantages of this product compared to other manufacturer’s products?

A few features that differentiate the MasterSense drives from competitive pumps include:

  • Color touch-screen interface with intuitive operation
  • Over-the-air firmware update capability—unique to Masterflex
  • On-board storage of up to 50 programs in either of four operational modes
  • Options for connectivity including EtherNet/IP and Profibus communication protocols, in addi- tion to our proprietary (and unique) MasterflexLive cloud-based application for pump monitoring
  • Optional three-level user access with two-factor security
  • Compatibility with the full range of pump heads for the Masterflex L/S drive and up to 22 formulations of Masterflex pump tubing

In our lab, we already own a Masterflex L/S® digital drive with open-head sensor, 600 rpm; 115/230 VAC and PendoTECH® pressure monitoring and transmitting systems. What other segments we would need to assemble a self-stopping peristaltic pump-based filtration system for filtration purposes? This would greatly increase work safety on workplace.

As long as the PMAT model you have includes at least one switching output, then all you will need to add is a PendoTECH® pressure sensor (correctly sized for your tubing) along with a PMAT pump control cable that connects the PMAT to your Masterflex L/S pump. The PMAT will provide a shutdown signal to your pump whenever the pressure reaches a threshold that you set in the PMAT.
For further assistance on any of these or other questions you may have regarding your complete fluid path or the Masterflex family of products and services, please contact our technical experts at 1-800-343-4340,, or reach out to your local representative.