Biopharmaceutical Innovation: Quattroflow™ Pump Smooths Out TFF Process

Since 1989, SmartFlow Technologies has provided open-channel tangential flow filtration (TFF) and separation solutions to the biopharmaceutical industry. Recently, SmartFlow implemented a Quaternary (Four-Piston) Diaphragm Pump from Quattroflow™ Fluid Systems to improve its TFF design.

Overcoming PD Limitations

Previously, North Carolina-based SmartFlow relied on rotary lobe and peristaltic pumps for high-pressure and low- to medium-flow biopharmaceutical manufacturing applications. But the PD pump styles weren’t self-priming, they were unable to pump air, dry-running was a problem, and unless a major investment in tubing technology was made, the seal-less peristaltic pump could only tolerate low pressures. To help SmartFlow overcome all of these challenges, Triangle Process Equipment Sales Manager Chris Thomas presented the Quattroflow Fluid Systems’ Quaternary (Four-Piston) Diaphragm Pump.

Seal-less, Self-priming Solution

The quaternary-diaphragm operation of Quattroflow pumps enables gentle pumping through soft “heartbeats,” with each stroke of the four diaphragms delivered through an eccentric shaft that is connected to the electric motor. The result is a seal-less pump that offers low pulsation, superior containment, no particle shedding, variable and wide flow rates, self-priming and dry-run capabilities, quiet operation, compact design, clean-in-place/sanitize-in-place (CIP/SIP) ability, and minimal downtime and maintenance.

“Since the Quattroflow is seal-less it is a different animal in that you don’t have a seal to fail,” Thomas said. “With other PD pumps, when the seal fails you can do thousands of dollars of damage in just a few minutes.”

SmartFlow especially appreciated the Quattroflow pump’s linear-turndown capability over the full pumping scale.

“Other pumps will have different flow curves and have to operate in different areas in order to hit their sweet spot,” said Mark Vander Hoff, Business Development Director for SmartFlow Technologies. “But with Quattroflow someone can change the membrane area by a factor of 10 and still successfully use the pump.”

To read the full case study, click here.

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