Precise liquid handling is critical for applications like chromatography and spectrometry that require a reliable, continuous flow of fluids. DURATEC Analysentechnik GmbH, based in Hockenheim, Germany, has been supplying modules, accessories and consumables to analytical laboratory, life science research and process engineering markets for over 25 years.
The importance of flow precision in liquid handling
DURATEC is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of modules and devices for the chromatography, spectroscopy, and process engineering sectors. The company’s diverse product range suits numerous applications, providing customers with high precision, flexible solutions for seamless integration into their individual workflows. Managing Director Dr Gerald Degenhardt explained: “Most of our customers are in the pharmaceutical and chemistry sectors, but we also have strong ties to the biotechnology, medical diagnostics and semiconductor industries.”
DURATEC’s portfolio includes a number of flexible continuous flow devices based on syringe pump technologies, offering flow rates from 1 μl/min to 300 ml/min. This approach requires careful design of the fluid path and precise switching between pumps to achieve a consistent flow, with coordinated acceleration and deceleration to avoid flow disruption and pressure spikes. Gerald continued: “We have offered syringe-based high precision drive pumps for many years. In 2018, we were looking for a new OEM syringe pump to replace the existing unit used in our d.Drive PUMPs. We investigated various options on the market, and found Tecan Cavro® OEM components’ high levels of accuracy and control to be the best match for our technical requirements.”
Good partners make for good collaborations
Tecan Cavro pumps are robust, accurate, easy to handle, and fulfilled DURATEC’s technical requirements. “They are easy to integrate from both a hardware and software perspective, allowing a smooth transition to the new devices,” added Gerald. DURATEC offers two d.Drive PUMP models, both featuring Tecan Cavro syringe pumps – the C30 and X60. The C30 is intended for lower flow rate applications and features two Cavro Centris Pumps, while the larger X60 model uses two Cavro XLP 6000 Pumps for higher flow rate applications. Although the stroke lengths of these syringe drives are fixed – 30 mm and 60 mm, respectively – a range of syringe sizes for each pump are available, allowing DURATEC to cover a very broad range of flow rates without having to modify the instrument design or compromise on precision.
“One of our key considerations when selecting the Tecan Cavro syringe pumps was the ability to achieve a smooth transition from one syringe to the other,” Gerald added. “The pump firmware makes it easy to achieve this seamless choreography through our own software – coordinating the acceleration of one syringe with the deceleration of the other – as well as enabling flow rates to be adjusted on-the-fly. The ability to control both syringe pumps via an external computer or an onboard microcontroller also gives our customers the added benefit of greater flexibility in their system design. Both pumps are robust, very accurate, and operate across a wide range of pressures to match our customers’ needs.”