According to the German Energy Agency (dena), biomethane production in Germany may increase as much as ten times over – from currently 9 terawatt hours to about 100 – by 2050. What is more, natural gas is the most important energy source for private households and accounts for 44 percent of the heating market. Before natural gas or biogas is fed into commercial supply networks, it must have an odorant added to it. Odorants serve as a warning in case of leakage. Since the last few years have been marked by a trend toward decentralized production, Lewa has added the MAH 4 size to its micro-metering pump portfolio as a proactive measure for meeting the expected increase in demand. The new unit can be used for odorizing with mercaptans or tetrahydrothiophene at a throughput rate of up to 12,500 Nm³/h. The pump covers the flow range from 200 to 250 ml and can be used as a cost-effective solution in accordance with DIN-EN 1333 for gas networks up to PM 16. At this year’s Gat/Wat trade fair, the company is presenting the new pump model for biogas, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas odorizing systems alongside many other products in hall 07 at booth C016.
“Back in early 2018, we started getting more requests for odorizing gas volumes of approximately 12,500 Nm³/h, to the point where it just made sense to design a pump specifically for that amount,” said Walter Richter, Sales Manager for Gas Odorization at Lewa. “The right way for us to respond to this trend was to add an intermediate size, the MAH 4, to our hydraulically actuated and solenoid driven micro-metering pumps from the MAH, MBH, and MLM series. The new size meets the requirements for this range exactly.” The new unit closes the gap between the MAH 3 and the MAH 5 – something that had previously been done using the larger MLM 15 series. However, the stronger stroke solenoid made that design over-dimensioned and less cost-efficient in some cases. Neither the MAH 3 nor the MAH 5 units from the same series were cut out for the job. There was always one of two problems: either they could not manage to pump at the required output of 16 bar, or they could manage a sufficient flow rate at 600 ml but were not designed for the necessary discharge pressure.
The MAH 4 micro-metering pump as a cost-efficient solution
The pump experts at Lewaclosed a gap in the series by developing this unit. The MAH 4 makes it possible to odorize gas volumes of up to 12,500 Nm³/h with precise metering and in a flow range of 200 to 250 ml. Like all solenoid-driven diaphragm metering pumps from Lewa, the MAH 4 also consists of an electromagnetic drive with stroke setting, a pump head with metal diaphragm and a control system contained in a separate housing. “The metering pump is actuated with pulses,” explained Richter. “The discharge stroke is executed by the armature of the magnet. The suction stroke takes place after switching off the electrical pulse using the force of the thrust spring.” The highly reliable, robust pump features a safety switch. An overload – due to a closed valve in the discharge line, for example – automatically leads to magnet standstill, as its force is limited. “In the worst case, a closed valve in the suction line would, cause cavitation,” Richter added. “After the faults are remedied, the pump simply continues pumping.”
Under the same basic conditions, the MAH 4 stands out for its metering accuracy of ± 1 percent and, thanks to the wide control range up to 1:1,000, outstandingly high metering flexibility. Further, its design is absolutely odor-tight and leakage-free, safe from dry runs and features high process reliability. The only difference between the new MAH 4 and the proven MAH 5 is that the new size has a different inner diameter for the plunger and bushing. Both dimensions were reduced from 5 to 4 mm. Thanks to the adjustments and optimizations made to those dimensions, the MAH 4 serves as a cost-efficient solution for the specific range of applications and is perfect for its requirements.
Lewa at Gat/Wat 2019: hall C, Stand C016
During Compamed Spang & Brands , Friedrichsdorf, Germany, will exhibit a variety of different plastics engineering solutions for applications in medical technology, such as connectors, caps and closures with piercing membranes, implant components, and parts for minimally invasive medicine, plus components for infusions and blood reserves, as well as transition and connection systems (for instance with precisely defined predetermined breaking points or linking points). Visitors can see assembled systems and in-house produced complete systems with high-precision geometries and features ready-to-use.
Spang & Brands reacts consistently and quickly to the current demands of the market. Competence under one roof: Three years ago, medical device competence was bundled in the technology centre. Flat hierarchy: it improves the interdisciplinary communication, transparency, cooperation and efficiency of the individual divisions, i.e. development, sales, order processing, construction, materials management, quality assurance/certification, toolmaking, injection moulding, assembly/clean room, dispatch and after-sales service. This was accompanied by the restructuring on the basis of three focal points: Strengthening the range of market services from product development to validation, driving forward the development of proprietary products and expanding core competencies. The family business in the third generation builds its success on the advantage of medium-sized businesses and an organically grown network, in which partners in raw material producing companies, in special mechanical engineering firms, in IMM manufacturers’ and IT companies play a target-oriented role in the exchange of complementary knowledge.
In view of high initial costs of medical devices customers expect speedy product development from an all-inclusive provider in order to reach validation, clinical trials, and introduction to market. Validation is one of the overriding topics in the medical device value chain of a company such as Spang & Brands that is certified according to DIN ISO 13485. Mould making for medical devices in plastic differs fundamentally here from toolmaking in automotive and white goods sectors, for example. An injection mould has to comply with typical regulations that are common in medical technology. “Process optimisation and traceability are essential. Looking at the patient, it is important to be able to prove the origin of the individual components and the various stable process stages on the way to fault-free medical devices”, explains Friedrich Echterdiek, CEO of Spang & Brands GmbH. It is for this purpose that Spang & Brands appointed a validation officer in 2016 to work seamlessly with quality assurance and report directly to the company management. “Starting with the initial 3-D prototype or 3-D printed trial mould inserts, analysis of the prototype status leads to quicker and more flexible optimisation of the individual parts, components and assemblies – in respect of design to value and design for manufacturing and assembly”, adds Friedrich Echterdiek.
Across the entire value-added chain of a medical devices specialist, Spang & Brands demonstrates ground-breaking R&D technology and, supported by a state-of-the-art tooling facility and machine park, i.e. the entire diversity of optimized plastics technological product ranges. Consequently, special plastics compounds, such as TPU, TPE, TPV, resomere materials, and polylactides are used. ‘Employing multi-component injection moulding technology our starting point is to embrace increased comfort enhanced with innovative functions and benefits based on the very latest moulding technologies’, emphasizes the CEO of Spang & Brands.
Spang & Brands has specialised in precision and cleanroom injection moulding technology for the medical and pharmaceutical industry for over 35 years. In addition to its own products, the company sees itself above all as a competent contract partner for customer projects. Product innovations at Spang & Brands go through all process stages – from the idea to the finished product, ready-to-use. The company ensures consistency of CAD tool data and maximum precision in CAM production of moulds for medical and pharmaceutical devices in its own technology centre. Spang & Brands has at its disposal latest equipment, as well as a team with a high level of competence and experience, which masters the technology: part development, mould design and construction, injection moulding with 70 mainly all-electric single and multi-component IMM, as well as the importance of cleanroom production. Fully automatic and manual assembly and packaging of parts and assemblies are located in cleanrooms – from pre-series or just-in-time batch sizes, extremely small series, and right up to full production running into millions of products. Strategically positioned control points and 3D measuring technology support quality assurance. The company is certified e.g. according to DIN ISO 13.485.
Spang & Brands at the Compamed 2019: stand 8a M33
Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Fairs Food & Beverage Plant Construction, Engineering & Components
Multi-functional Visitron Filler
Gea will present its highly efficient, multifunctional processing technology for the beverage industry at this year’s leading trade fair, BrauBeviale, in hall 7 under the motto: “Refreshingly Different.” On display will be the Gea Visitron Filler All-In-One, which can fill bottles, cans and PET containers on a single filler. BrauBeviale in Nuremberg is a short stopover for the filler before it continues on its way to Australia – where Gea customer, Moon Dog Craft Brewery, is eager to integrate the ultra-flexible filler into its new plant.
Moon Dog Craft Brewery is independent, Australian-owned and fast approaching its 10th birthday. Originally set up in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford, Moon Dog has now outgrown that facility and is on the move to Preston where the team has just opened a 12,000 m2 facility. The site will house a unique 725-person venue with a large new brewing facility about to be commissioned, which will allow them to produce over 10 million liters per year. Moon Dog is known for pushing the limits with beer styles and flavours and the new facility with a designated souring kettle will allow them to continue to diversify and grow marketshare within Australia and globally. Seeing the need to bring more efficiency into its processes, Moon Dog ordered a Gea Visitron Filler All-In-One in August 2019, as well as a water deaeration system Varidox, a Dicar-B carbonation system, an Eco-Flash pasteurizer and a Plug & Win 100 centrifuge from the technology group.
Sustainable bottling and canning
Breweries are particularly interested in Gea Vipoll filling equipment because this sector typically has the highest demand for glass bottles and cans. Customers benefit from Gea’s commitment to support and improve production processes end-to-end, from brewing to bottling and storage. Likewise, Gea offers many solutions to help breweries lower their CO2 emissions, which is critical for helping this high-consumption sector meet the ambitious climate protection goals it has set for itself. Highly efficient manufacturing as well as responsible packaging methods are therefore key, which means glass containers and cans will play an even greater role in global environmental strategies; refillable bottles will become a cornerstone of reuse initiatives and cans a valuable recyclable material
One for all
Gea Vipoll developed the All-In-One monoblock filler as a direct response to sustainability requirements and is a prime example of just how lean and flexible filling solutions can be: the compact All-In-One rinses, fills and caps products all within a small production footprint. Its sophisticated process design saves time during filling and format changeovers; within a matter of minutes, the machine can switch to handle different products and container formats. This is made possible by the All-In-One’s multifunctional elements: the rinser is equipped with universal grippers; the filler uses an electro-pneumatic filling valve and a single capping turret is able to accommodate different closure types.
“We chose Gea because the company has a great reputation for manufacturing high quality machines. The All-In-One filler allows us to operate a single filling line for both cans and bottles with quick change over between formats. This gives us benefits in terms of floor space utilization, and simplicity in maintenance and operation,” says Josh Uljans, Co-Founder and CEO of Moon Dog Craft Brewery.
“The All-In-One’s multifunctional system is unique in the world, because it allows for an unprecedented level of flexibility; it can be used to fill glass, cans and PET containers; handle different formats and seal them with diverse cap types; can fill carbonated or still drinks, using a hot or cold fill method,” points out Jakob Salamun, Sales Manager at Gea Vipoll.
Small to medium-sized batches
Flexible packaging solutions
At Compamed, which takes place from 18 to 21 November, Multivac will be showcasing its comprehensive expertise in automation and packaging of medical products in small to medium-sized batches. These efficient solutions are ideally suited to packing a wide range of products in many different pack formats.
One of the Multivac highlights at the exhibition is a packaging line for sterile medical products, which is equipped with an automatic infeed system for loading pre-filled glass or plastic syringes. The heart of the line is a R 245 thermoforming packaging machine, which is capable of being freely configured. The infeed system, which brings the products directly into the pack cavities in a very controlled and reliable way, consists of a shaft infeed system, a separating wheel, a transport conveyor and an H 242 handling module. For printing the packs with variable production data, a high-performance digital printer from Bell-Mark is used, which features a large print area and excellent print quality on a wide range of materials. A visual inspection system from Multivac provides automatic monitoring of quality and print. All the components are synchronised with the thermoforming packaging machine, and they can be operated conveniently and reliably via its control terminal.
Among the other exhibits is the R 081 thermoforming packaging machine. This compact model is ideally suited to producing small batches, or as an entry-level solution for companies making the transition to automated packaging. The machine can be used for producing both vacuum packs and modified atmosphere packs with reduced residual oxygen content. Flexible and rigid films as well as Tyvek and paper-based packaging materials can be run with ease. At Compamed the R 081 will be equipped with the DP 230 direct web printer, which has a TTO 06 network-enabled thermal transfer printer. The DP 230 can print the packs in both the film running direction and across it, and it is therefore ideally suited to machines equipped with multi-row and multi-track dies.
The company will be showing the C 300 TC chamber machine for packing sterile medical products in pre-made pouches. It enables packs to be produced either as vacuum packs or with modified atmosphere and reduced residual oxygen content. A temperature-controlled and permanently heated sealing bar ensures that this cleanroom-compatible machine achieves reproducible sealing quality, and the whole process can be calibrated and validated.
And last but not least, the firm will also be presenting a solution for the semi-automatic packing of small to medium-sized batches in trays. The compact model offers a high degree of process reliability, reproducibility and quality.
In Düsseldorf Multivac will also be showcasing Snapsil, an innovative concept, which was developed in conjunction with the Snapsil Corporation for producing packs with different functions to simplify opening and reclosing. The Snapsil packs, which can be produced on thermoforming packaging machines and traysealers, are suitable for a wide range of medical and pharmaceutical products, such as for example syringes, tablets, plasters, injectors and catheters etc. Thanks to their integrated “snap opening” feature, the packs are simple to open in the hectic everyday life of hospitals and nursing homes, and they can also be opened easily by elderly people or those with disabilities. If the packs are equipped with a “click-to-close” feature, they can be easily opened and reclosed securely for multiple use. In addition to this, tamper-proof protection ensures that maximum product safety is maintained.
Multivac at the Compamed 2019: Hall 8a, Stand H01