The development of practical solutions for the measurement, control, and regulation of gases and fluids takes more than just combining individual valves or controllers. This is why at this year's Compamed, fluidics expert Bürkert Fluid Control Systems will be focusing on systematic approaches, showing how tailored solutions can be created at reasonable cost with know-how and creativity. A highlight at the fair booth will be an 'application machine', which unites two specific, entirely different application examples from the fields of stem cell research and aseptic filling, solved with the same technology. In both cases, microvalves play a key role along the corresponding controller.
The two applications - stem cell research and aseptic filling - require precise dosing of minuscule quantities. Stem cells must flow at a precisely defined flow rate so that they can be extracted from the flow duct, identified, counted and placed in test tubes. This process enables lymphoid cells, stem cells and blood cells to be separated from one another for the first time without accidentally influencing the nature of the cells. It was also possible to apply the experience from the non-destructive filling of stem cells to the filling of aseptic packaging. In this case, many small containers are filled with 500ml of sterile fluid prior to sealing in order to protect the delicate product contained within. The compact solution developed by Bürkert reduces the complexity of the process while also improving efficiency, because the dosing unit is now only connected to the controller via a bus line; the supply of medium now also only requires one line.
Such application solutions, along with other 'tailored' solutions, are developed in Bürkert's Systemhaus institutions in Ingelfingen, Dortmund and Dresden, as well as in Charlotte, US, and Suzhou, China. Experienced Systemhaus engineers work together in interdisciplinary teams across the entire process chain - from concept, costing and development all the way to assembly and testing. For system customers, the fluid specialist is an expert in mechanical production, pump technology, coil production, plastics and welding technology as well as software development, tool-making and much more. Bürkert Systemhaus services also include delivery and start-up services for complete solutions backed by worldwide certification for every conceivable process environment. This principle of supplying everything from a single source ensures maximum flexibility as well as substantial time savings because the customer always has the right contact partner, and everything is designed, manufactured and assembled under one roof.
"Our focus is always on the customer," emphasises Peter Groß, head of the Systemhaus at Ingelfingen. "First of all, we want to understand his problem so that we can pull the functional scope together in a way that makes the most sense". Even with bespoke system solutions, the development usually does not have to start from scratch. "We use well-thoughtout system platforms", explains Groß. "These are especially interesting if customer challenges across a wide range of industries and applications can be solved using the same basic physical principle."