Many people come to SR-TEK because they are looking for a simple but effective way to dispense fluid throughout the manufacturing and engineering process, but believe it’s not possible within their budget.
SR-TEK was delighted to work in collaboration with Hartman’s Inc, a globally recognised build to print machining company operating in the aerospace, transportation, energy, and medical device sectors. With over 65 years’ experience in manufacturing and engineering, they launched a new machine and component development division Paradigm-Solutions at its facility in Jacksonville, Florida in 2019 to focus on solving common manufacturing issues.
We spoke with director of automation, David Duncan, who was frustrated with the lack of precision and over-complication associated with many existing fluid dispensing systems and how a collaboration with SR-TEK allowed Paradigm-Solutions to provide multiple complete systems for one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers, which can support both operations and research and development departments.
David, what’s the biggest issue you face with fluid dispensing in your industry?
At Hartmann’s, we do a lot of work within the pharmaceutical industry, which is one of the toughest and most heavily regulated industries. Making sure processes are safe to protect the integrity of the product is absolutely mission critical for us. When we secured interest from one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, we needed to look at simple-to-operate, but highly accurate dispensing machines that we could use in one of the toughest and most heavily regulated industries.
What solutions were you looking at?
Traditional dispensers often require expensive and overly complex programmable servo drives to be effective. However, those with servo drives can still lack precision, which means operators have to continuously make adjustments, and often deliberately overdose to compensate for inaccurate volumes. This leads to waste and product damage, so that’s why we wanted to find a simpler way to dose a precise volume of liquid.
What was effective about SR-TEK’s solution?
It was great that we could modify the SR-TEK CT Series. We hadn’t found any other commercially available, clear pressure tank. Having created a removable clear internal canister, development engineers added capacitive sensors tied into the safety circuit at the side of the tank for redundant overflow detection within the reservoir, preventing material from escaping into the local environment.
How did the CT-Series allow you to create a bespoke solution for your client?
The flexibility of the tank gave me the freedom to place it wherever I needed to in order to transport the fluid to the dispenser via tank pressure. Using a dispenser with a pressurized tank allows flexibility to locate the supply side assembly ergonomically or as needed for transfer of dispensing material. A gravity-fed system would need to be directly above the sensitive electronic components of the dispenser, with the risk of overspill causing damage to components or adversely impacting the finished product.
Are there any specific issues relating to the pharmaceutical industry that needed to be factored into the design process?
The nature of the end client’s product means safety was a key factor. We needed a central reservoir that could be kept away from the inner workings of the machine with a number of fail-safes that would enable overflow prediction and prevention. In pharmaceuticals, we had to be hyper-aware of debris and bioburden. A clear tank offers a visual early indication for operators, preventing issues which if left unchecked could lead to quality defects or product recalls
Did SR-TEK’s approach help you with the design and build process?
Loris and the SR-TEK team were proactive in helping me to save costs and time. Loris has a wealth of fluid engineering experience, which enabled us to make small changes to an existing clear pressure tank already in stock to fit with our specific application. Modifying an existing tank meant we didn’t have to look at a costly custom design and build project.”
What makes the offer from SR-TEK and Paradigm so unique?
We have both identified a technological gap in the management of fluids. Paradigm’s dispenser offers unparalleled precision at a lower cost than existing systems. Coupling with the CT Series means that production engineers can benefit from complete transparency and control from start to finish, reducing materials waste and avoiding unnecessary downtime. Paradigm is now able to offer highly precise dispensing systems inclusive of SR-TEKs pressure tanks at a fraction of the cost of existing dispensers of the same capability.
To find out more about SR-Tek’s CT Series and download a free product specification visit: www.smartreservoirs.com/products/clear-pressure-tanks
Further details on the Paradigm Dispenser can be found at: