Automated Bottle Filling System for Pharmaceuticals

Challenge:

A Mettler Toledo IND560 weighing terminal, which was used in a cleanroom Class GMP B, needed to be equipped with a pinch valve to automate a glass bottle filling process. Due to the environment, a solenoid operated pinch valve in stainless steel was required. The pinch valve had to communicate with the weighing terminal and close when the pre-defined set point was reached. The weighing terminal didn’t provide enough Amps to power the pinch valve, so an independent power supply was installed as well.

Solution:

Acro and its partner designed a stainless steel enclosure which would hold the Intellivalve model 2400 solenoid pinch valve, as well as the AcroSense FCP-A control board and a 230V power supply. A switch was installed for toggling between automatic and manual control to offer a possibility for bypassing the weighing terminal for manual tube change out. Another switch was used to open and close the pinch valve while in manual mode. Built-in electronics had to check the status of the weighing terminal, thus making sure communication between the weighing terminal and the AcroSense control board was ready before starting the filling cycle and opening the pinch valve.

Benefits:

  • Increased filling accuracy and speed
  • Automated solution to replace manual labor
  • Compact design

Other Applications:

  • Food and beverage dispensing
  • Medical dispensing
  • Filling

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Custom Pinch Valves Provide Consistent Pinching Forces

Challenge:

In the medical industry, even the tiniest seams, seals, moving components, etc., created by traditional valves can cause dead zones in the stream or pockets where fluids can collect and stagnate, which can allow microscopic contamination to grow within the plumbing. OEMs in the medical industry are therefore unable to use traditional valve designs to provide control of bio-fluids that are being processed through medical grade tubing. Over the years, Bimba cylinders have been used to pinch the tube to provide on-off control of the fluid without creating the problems associated with traditional valves. These cylinders were often very special and required tight tolerances on the spring forces used. Mounting these cylinders and the corresponding hardware also needed to adhere to strict tolerance control. A slight deviation could either damage the tube permanently by pinching it too hard, or allow leakage if the pinch was too light.

Solution:

To eliminate these challenges, Bimba has developed a pinch valve design complete with the cylinder, plunger, and back stop. By combining these in a manufacturing controlled environment, the challenges to setting up a properly functioning pinch valve assembly have been eliminated. Bimba offers three different models of pinch valves, which accommodate tubing diameters from 0.120” to 0.75” in diameter. They are used in a variety of applications and industries, from food companies dispensing beverages such as smoothies, to hospitals who use them in blood work applications. Bimba can design a custom pinch valve that will suit your custom application as well.

Benefits:

  • Eliminates costly labor and set-up time
  • Consistent pinching forces deliver high quality performance
  • 4 different designs accommodate tubing diameters from 0.120” - 0.75”

Other Applications:

  • Fluid filling/bottling
  • CNC/machining equipment - oil cut-off
  • Food and beverage dispensing

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Bottlers Reduce Production Costs by 7%

Challenge:

A bottling equipment manufacturer needed a means to increase cycle time on their filling machinery. This required development of a dynamic nozzle that could follow a filling profile, starting out with a rapid fill and slowing as the bottle reached capacity to eliminate spillage. This profile was critical to maximizing speed while at the same time keeping the process under control. Previous solutions from competitors couldn’t provide the accuracy or the reliability the customer was looking for. Having orders in hand and failed components on the floor, production was at a standstill and orders were postponed. Threatened with cancellations, they turned to Bimba.

Solution:

Working closely with the customer, Bimba engineers began designing a special position feedback cylinder with a magnetostrictive sensor shrouded in a hollow piston rod. Every sensor is individually calibrated by Bimba for exactly 0-10V feedback signal output. This was required because up to 40 units are installed per machine, and individual calibration is not possible in production. In addition, the sensor is immune to wear from rapid cycling, moisture, and air line contamination, which is critical in a filling environment. For closed loop operation, the cylinder was mated to a Bimba PCS control. The valve and manifold assembly are mounted beside the cylinder and the control. The cylinder and manifold are housed in a sealed chamber to protect them from contamination. This provided the customer with the responsiveness, accuracy, and durability that their process required. The custom solutions required rapid response, and prototypes were delivered in two weeks. Production followed shortly afterwards. The successful implementation allowed orders to be filled and new sales to be captured. The customer realized throughput gains of 15% and reduced production costs by 7%.

Benefits:

  • Reduces production costs by 7%
  • Throughput gains of 15%
  • Increases responsiveness and accuracy

Other Applications:

  • Filling
  • Fluid dispensing
  • Bottling

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Stainless Steel Air Operated Fluid Valve
is Corrosion Resistant

Challenge:

A customer needed a longer lasting solution for dispensing paint. Their current solution was experiencing problems from corrosion, eventually resulting in failure and driving costs up through the purchasing of replacement parts.

Solution:

Bimba provided an all stainless steel, non-corrosive, air operated valve to deliver better sealing in a more compact package. This solution is available with a wide range of seal material for chemical compatibility. Bimba can also offer adjustable volume control and an aerator for laminar flow.

Benefits:

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Long-lasting
  • Compact package

Other Applications:

  • Dispensing
  • Filling
  • Bottling


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