Our team develops automated and semi-automated fluid application systems for manufacturers with the goal of increasing productivity, worker safety and quality. Every Designetics dispensing system delivers precise, consistent fluid to the applicator according to the customer’s specification. At the core of these systems is a type of positive displacement pump called a peristaltic pump. It’s the ideal choice for fluid application.
How does a Peristaltic Pump Work?
Positive displacement pumps – including peristaltic pumps – operate by feeding liquid through a length of flexible tubing. Rollers compress the tubing against the pump housing. That open-and-shut action mimics peristalsis, the process by which food and liquids move through humans when we eat.
The rotation of the rollers traps a fixed volume of liquid in a cavity, or packet, before forcing the material into a tube that feeds the applicator. That process creates a vacuum that eliminates the need for valves, which are typically required in fluid applications.
What are the Benefits of Peristaltic Pumps?
Although there are many kinds of positive displacement pump technologies, we use peristaltic pumps in our automated and semi-automated fluid applicator systems for several reasons.
The Designetics, Inc. e3 fluid dispense systems use peristaltic pumps to provide smooth, accurate fluid application. In fact, their ability to produce a constant flow at differing speed and pressure is a key feature of positive displacement pumps.
“This balance of ‘feed and speed’ is especially important in fluid application,” said Mark Moll, Designetics senior project manager. “Our pumping technology allows you to dial in the exact speed controls necessary—right down to the RPM.”
The flow rate in a peristaltic pump is determined by the speed and quantity of the rollers, which can vary for a given pump size and tube diameter. The Designetics, Inc. e3mini and e3multi, our original automated fluid applicator systems, offer three motor options to accommodate a range of speeds: 3 to 60 rpm, 5 to 115 rpm, and 15 to 250 rpm.
“Our newest automated dispensing system – the e3minimax – is powered by a servo motor that runs from 0 to 250 rpm. It uses the same type of pump and motor for both high-speed and low-speed applications involving thin process fluids,” says Moll.
The relative motion between layers of fluid is known as shear. When dispensing fluids of varying viscosity, it’s important to remember that shear can impact the quality of application. Positive displacement pumps move fluids gently to reduce any breakage between layers, resulting in the smoothest possible dispensing.
The design of the peristaltic pump is ideal for viscous or corrosive fluids because it puts only the pumping tube in contact with the material. The fluid travels directly through an air-tight system from bottle to pump to applicator, with no connections that allow for drips or leaks. In a Designetics pumping system, fluids are protected from air exposure and your employees are protected from chemical exposure.
The lack of valves, seals, propellers or tanks on a peristaltic pump makes it inexpensive to maintain. Since the flexible tubing is the only part of the pump in contact with the fluid, maintenance is as simple as emptying and disposing the used tubing and running a new line.
The standard tubing we use is compatible with most low viscosity chemicals. If your unique application requires additional testing, we’ll examine the compatibility and performance in-house until we find an option that meets your needs.
Our fluid application systems are built around technologies that provide precise and reliable dispensing for a variety of fluids and substrates. When paired with our fluid applicators, those automated and semi-automated systems can increase productivity and improve worker safety while meeting your specific dispensing requirements.
“Depending on your needs, you’ll have the option of upgrading a semi-automated system to a fully automated system with the exact same unit,” said Moll. “It’s as easy as adjusting a couple of settings and adding an air compliance and applicator track.”
For more information about fluid applicators and dispensing systems, reach out to us today. We’re ready to discuss your application and help you find the best solution.