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Hi, my name is Colin Heathfield. I’m from Cole-Parmer, and I am here presenting a peristaltic pump in combination with, Derek Higgins. Hi, I’m Derek Higgins, and I’m from A&D instruments, and I’m here with my Apollo series balance; a typical balance that you would find in any laboratory. What we’ve done is combine these two components, pump and balance, balance and pump utilising benefits from both of the components to achieve what we are calling a GRAVIMETRIC FILLING SYSTEM. Digging into that a little bit more, it works by filling a container that sits on the balance, using a pump to suck the liquid out of a container with a suction lift of up to 7 meters. It uses the tube as the pump. This is significant as the liquid being handled is being pumped inside an FDA (Food and Drug Administration)-approved tubing (from Masterflex) or USP Class 6 (pharmaceutical grade) tubing, so the tube can actually meet the pumping chamber to where the liquid that is being moved (or pumped) is filling. The system runs very smoothly, and very gently, moving the liquid in a very controlled way. We can also use many different sizes of tubes per pump head for application flexibility.
The pump utilises many different sizes of tube, depending on the size of the pump head, to allow the pump to fill containers quicker using bigger flow rates, or the pump can be used to scale-up production by increasing the pumps motor capacity with larger scale pumps available from Masterflex. Although sold as a kit initially, there is room for customisation with both the pump and the balance and the tubing, allowing chemical compatibility with most liquids.
See Masterflex peristaltic pumps to view all capacity options avaialble.
The balance is an Apollo series balance that covers a full range of capacities and resolutions, that span from 120 grams to 10 kg. Coupled with 1 mg resolution to 0.1 g of a resolution. When the system is combined the gravimetric system uses the skillset of the balance to control the skillset of the pump. The pump has different speed ranges, to achieve “accuracy to the last drop”. This is witnesses by the way the pump controls the fluid at the dispensing nozzle right to the very last drop of liquid to hit the desired target. The balance determines the final weight, or controlling the accuracy, because the balance has fitted at the back a specific/dedicated interface that connects to the Masterflex pump, thus controlling it.
The control sends signals from the balance to control the start and stopping of the pump, the reverse direction of the pump, and the fill speed of the pump, allowing for a three-stage fill speed. The pump can fill quickly, but the crucial part is the control of speed towards the end of the fill (when the fill target is being reached).
If we look at the benefits from this approach; we’ve looked at the tubing and the FDA approval so far, the next benefit from this approach is the semi-automated system and the cost-savings vs a manual pouring system. Pouring manually carries risk, not just from loss of product but from possible damage to the balance. Liquid containment within the tubing gives an instant relief and benefit to the semi-automated system. The lateral benefit is also 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.
The most significant benefit is the repeatability of the system once it is set up, delivering accuracy time and time again. Remember, the manual process is very risky versus semi-automated. How many systems can you run at once? You can run multiple systems set up at the same time, allowing you to be capping bottles and packing the product all while simultaneously filling the containers on the balance(s).
Scaling up means bigger pumps and balances. You can wash down pumps and balances with stainless steel pumps for wash down environments, covering industrial environments and bulk handling, because if you want to measure 10 L from a 1000 kg container it can be done with this system.
The pumps accuracy gets to a decimal point of a gram and can further be enhanced with a double pump head to give an even smoother flow. Ideal for markets such as biotech, pharmaceutical and on smaller-scale cosmetics where handling low flow quantities that carry a high value is essential not to waste product that could be costing money. Every drop counts!
Learn more about this system and read about the 3 main benefits of this Gravimetric System