Adding fluid dispensing custom solutions for dispensing systems provides the ability to customize and build a final product that works for your operations. Fluid Research® understands this need and offers a wide variety of different add-ons that can enhance the abilities of our industry-leading products. Depending on your industry and application, certain features can be a must-have or efficiency bonus.
Most tanks can be equipped with variable speed agitators which are typically utilized for solids suspension, thermal homogeneity, or to assist a vacuum degassing process. We’ll select the proper impeller type for radial or axially action based upon the desired result.
Automated refilling of your system’s dedicated day tanks can be achieved with a few approaches. One of the most economical, reliable, and common approaches is to utilize a simple air operated double diaphragm pump, which can be controlled by either a switched air supply or dead-headed at the tanks inlet. We can customize a solution for you, or we can select from several standard approaches including our pail and drum unloaders that will keep the production floor clean and your workers safe and free from lifting heavy containers.
Most of our systems can be equipped with an automation interface package for integration with robots and other motion systems. The automation interface discrete signals are isolated with outputs being dry contact and inputs required being 24VDC. Communication signals include: 1) Dispense Start 2) Machine Ready 3) Dispense Active 4) Emergency Stop.
Desiccant driers are offered for hygroscopic materials that would otherwise react to moisture in the ambient environment. Your compressed air supply would be used to create an air flow across a desiccant bed. The dry air is then fed to the day tank containing the hygroscopic fluid. The package utilizes an adjustable flow meter to maintain a low, but steady stream of dry air through the day tank, thus reducing the likelihood of moisture contamination.
Precision fluid metering systems benefit when dispensing hoses are maintained as short as possible. Still, most applications have a host of dispensing valve orientations and location options. The most common arrangements for our customer are workstation mounted, remote fixed location, motion or robot mounted, and hand-held.
Optically clear formulations, such as those utilized in laminating glass for electroluminescent displays, can benefit from a final filtration prior to application. Filtration is performed in-line during an automatic filling process to prevent cavitation at the metering pumps. A Delta-P analyzer is installed across the filter media to record changes in pressure drop over time. As the Delta-P grows it indicates a need to replace media.
For manual placement of material on a substrate in in a part, a handgun or double grip mounted valve may be the solution. When the process requirements allow, dispensing hoses may be extended to increase the area that can be covered manually. A boom and tool balancer may be included to manage extra-long hoses and to reduce the load on the operator.
Heating of epoxies, urethanes, and other reactive chemistries is, at times, necessary. Whether to reduce viscosity for better flow and wet-out in a part, make a paste more manageable for metering, or to remove temperature variables for process stabilization we can tailor a package for you. Typical heating packages include heated tanks, heated feed lines, heated metering pumps, heated dispensing hoses, heated dispense valves, and shroud. Other options for this package can include dynamic tank mixing and programmable system recirculation.
The Material Management Unit™ is a stand-alone frame structure designed for gravity feeding to the metering pumps and to accommodate various vessel sizes. The MMU’s modular design accepts numerous material conditioning and material handling features including; vacuum degassing, heating, agitation, recirculation, automatic filling, and more. Additionally, the top plate accommodates manual refilling of the materials through 2.75 inch ports.
Dual A and B-side vessels are designed to prevent down-time during lengthy conditioning processes such as vacuum degassing and heating. PLC controls coordinate material delivery to the metering pumps via valve actuation. At start-up each vessel will be filled and conditioned. Also, at start-up the A-side and B-side materials will be delivered to the metering pumps from the A1 and B1 vessels.
Automatic valves will actuate when the fluid level in either vessel drops to the programmed low-level value thereby delivering material from conditioned vessels. The low-level signal will also initiate an automatic vacuum refill or other conditioning process(s), which is then followed by vacuum degassing, etc. This process is designed to assure that the system always has material available for dispensing.
At times material manufacturers recommend a nitrogen blanket over a desiccant drier to shield material from exposure to moisture. Unlike the desiccant drier package, the nitrogen is controlled via pressure to prevent wasting a large volume of nitrogen regularly. Your compressed nitrogen supply is plumbed to a common inlet on the system for distribution to one or more points. Nitrogen pressure in the system’s day tank is typically maintained below 3 psi, providing assurance that the blanket will shield fluid in the tank from ambient moisture.
Ram systems are used when a material is too viscous to gravity feed at a sufficient rate from a vessel to a metering pump inlet. An insufficient feed rate will cause cavitation and may result in the development of entrained gasses or bubbles in the material being pumped. Our ram systems are unique because our progressive cavity pumps can be mounted directly to the ram’s follower plate, eliminating the needs for transfer pumps, accumulators, etc.
Our pail and drum unloaders are designed to make change-out of material supply safer and cleaner. Additionally, some materials require a degree of preparation prior to being transferred to the system’s dedicated tanks. Our unloaders utilize pneumatic cylinders to lift custom pail and drum lids when heavy processing equipment is required.
Material recirculation is often required when processing materials with fillers that either settle out or rise over a short period of time. The typical recirculation package diverts material from the system’s hoses back to the day tanks where agitation can help redistribute fillers. The system is programmable so that recirculation only takes place at convenient times.
We stock various tanks including non-pressure rated stainless steel, ASME stainless steel, and polyethylene. Standard stock sizes include 2, 3, 5, 10, and 15-gallons. Many other non-stock types and sizes are available to meet any application.
Our typical vacuum degassing packages are fully automated taking the guesswork out of critical valve actuation. Most packages are PLC controlled and are coupled with an intuitive touch screen. The process can be operator initiated or it may be initiated by an auto-fill-complete process. Process managers can set the desired vacuum value and vacuum duration and be assured that the system will carry out the process to completion. Dedicated rotary vane vacuum pumps are most often utilized or we can select a diaphragm, lobe, scroll, etc. to meet the vacuum performance requirements. Dispensing processes are locked out during the vacuum process, but if zero down-time is mandatory we can offer our NeverEmpty™ quad-tank MMU for uninterrupted production.