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Inspirations for Fluidic Systems

Developing practical solutions for measuring, controlling and regulating gases and liquids involves more than simply combining individual valves and controllers. The fluid specialist Bürkert has long held this belief and will use Hannover Messe 2018 to once more start a creative dialogue with potential users.

This year, as in previous years, the company’s exhibition activities are not focussed on the showcasing of individual products but on the playful visualisation of a professional approach to physics, which can ultimately be used for interdisciplinary application solutions.

The futuristic Competence Machine, which proved so popular at last year’s exhibition stand, will again take centre stage, but is now linked to three ‘application machines’. Each of these machines demonstrates two specific application examples from various industries that were solved using the same technology. When explaining the idea behind the exhibition concept, Heribert Rohrbeck, CEO of Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, says: “Instead of taking up a client’s time at the exhibition with technical data sheets and details about individual components, we want to understand the challenges the client is facing and become the problem solver. Through dialogue, it is possible to come up with ‘outside the box’ solutions and make the most of the synergistic effects that allow our clients to stand out from their competitors.”

Application machines visualise synergy effects

The application machines are both thought-provoking and inspirational; since, at first glance, the two applications presented at each machine could not be more different if they tried: filling infusion bags and applying an anti-corrosion coating to car bodies, a respiratory device for premature infants and an automated gas control system for flame cutting machines, or stem cell research and sterile filling process. But closer inspection reveals quite the opposite: as the specialists applied the same technology to come up with solutions for each unlikely pair of applications. ‘Thinking laterally’ definitely paid off for these (real-life) application examples.

Infusion bag and car body paintwork

The very first application machine already underlines the fact that the manufactured product itself plays a secondary role in a bespoke fluidic solution. Accurate control of flow rates is imperative for both filling the infusion bag and applying an anti-corrosion coating to car bodies. The presented solutions are both based on Surface-Acoustic-Wave technology (SAW). The synergy effects could therefore be reaped throughout various industries.

Respiratory device for premature infants and gas control system for flame cutting machines

When it comes to the breathing device for premature infants and the automated gas control system for flame cutting machines, the task is ultimately the same: to ensure a precise quantity of gas at all times. The specialists at Bürkert worked closely with the respective clients to develop a compact flow control solution for both applications. The relevant application machine shows how – in combination with valves, sensors and the corresponding software – the oxygen concentration and flow rate for the premature infants can be controlled as effectively and efficiently as the gas supply for the flame cutting machine.

Stem cell research and sterile filling process

The two applications ‘stem cell research and sterile filling process’ both demand the precise dosing of minute quantities. The experience gained from carefully filling test tubes with stem cells was invaluable when it came to developing the filling process. It now involves filling 500 microlitres of a sterile fluid into an array of small containers prior to sealing to protect the delicate object contained therein. The application machine demonstrates that microvalves along with the corresponding control play a key role in both applications.

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