Peristaltic Pump Technology Meets the Needs of Filling Applications

Features and benefits inherent to peristaltic tubing pumps are well-known and backed up by years of trouble-free operation in a variety of applications across several industries. Let’s review a few of those features as they apply to filling and dosing applications where cleanliness and accuracy are critical.

Accuracy and variable flow are crucial requirements for filling equipment. Accuracy protects investments in high-cost intermediates and end products; variable flow provides flexibility to handle a variety of containers, fluid viscosities, and process capacities. Not only must pump systems meet these critical operating parameters, they must also be able to meet aseptic production requirements, regulatory approvals, be CIP/SIP capable, and require a minimum of maintenance-related downtime. From benchtop fillers, to pilot plant, to large-scale automated production, Masterflex® peristaltic pumps help maximize productivity and profitability through precision filling, with high repeatability and minimized downtime. The pump’s precision engineered peristaltic design can provide for reduced process maintenance costs and system downtime without sacrificing product quality, safety, or compliance — to help ensure that production schedules are precisely met.

Accuracy and Versatility
Maintaining dosing accuracy with high repeatability and minimum downtime often presents major challenges for liquid fillers, especially when relying on feeds from centrifugal or rotary lobe pumps. It is often difficult to pump consistent, repeatable flow rates with rotary lobe pumps, and like centrifugal pumps, they are time consuming to disassemble, clean, reassemble, and sanitize. Masterflex® pumps, however, provide for sterile, precision filling of liquid volumes with accuracies of ±0.5% or better, drives with variable speeds of 1 to 650 rpm, and dispense volumes from 10 microliters to 10,000 liters. Variable-speed drives coupled with the fact that many peristaltic pump heads accept a range of tubing sizes give the operator a high degree of control over a wide range of flow rates. The proven peristaltic design is also well suited to handle a wide range of fluid viscosities and is also particularly gentle on shear-sensitive products such as cell cultures and bioreactor constituents.

Cleanability and Downtime
Masterflex® peristaltic pumps provide much more than accurate, consistent flow rates with excellent repeatability. Filling operations also gain speed and efficiency because product comes into contact with only the tubing and filling needle; maintenance and fluid changeover is accomplished in minutes with a simple tubing change. Unlike other pump designs, which typically have wetted parts of various materials, and seals and valves with gaps, joints, and crevices that are often difficult to clean and sterilize, Masterflex® pumps never need to be disassembled to be cleaned. This is a significant consideration for multiproduct filling operations where a major concern is the risk of product crossover. Sanitizing and switching to a different product or solution is quickly accomplished even while maintaining aseptic pumping conditions. Since no other parts of the pump ever contact the solution, only the tubing needs to be flushed or changed.

A Cost-Effective Solution
When a filling run is completed, the pump’s peristaltic tubing can affordably be treated as a disposable and simply replaced to eliminate contamination potential and simplify clean-up validation. During the last several years, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries have seen a significant shift toward the adoption of disposable bioprocess components. This shift provides many cost and labor saving benefits, and Masterflex® pumps are perfectly suited to accommodate this trend. Advanced tubing materials and pump head designs provide precise, reliable and reproducible continuous fluid transfer for extended periods. Positive shutoff prevents overfilling, ensuring a high degree of process and product security while optimizing production time. Long-wearing, maintenance-free brushless motors and roller and ball bearing pump head construction produce a robust, powerful pump in a small package, ideal for limited-space cleanroom and isolation applications. Many drive models include digital, microprocessor-driven controls and LCD displays in sealed, washdown enclosures. Control options also include remote input/output for PLC control, tachometer feedback for monitoring operation, and RS-232 connection for control and set up through a PC.

With variable-speed drives, a range of accepted tubing sizes, bidirectional flow, and self priming capabilities, Masterflex® pumps can meet changing demands and adapt easily to scale up. Masterflex® pumps provide precise liquid metering, dosing, and transfer; with an accuracy of ±0.5% or better, flow rates from 0.006 mL/min to 37 L/min, and repeatability of 99.5 percent. Very gentle method of pumping does not damage shear sensitive products, such as cell cultures and bioreactor constituents; sterile conditions can be easily achieved and maintained. Product comes into contact with only the tubing so that routine maintenance and fluid changeover are easily accomplished in minutes.