Cross-Atlantic collaboration cuts costs and increases precision for global pharmaceutical giant
SummaryFeed-systems manufacturer SR-Tek may have only formed in Milton Keynes in 2014 but the company’s pressure tanks are already making waves around the world. When US-based Hartmann’s Inc. needed a clear pressure tank to fulfil its design of a new highly precise fluid dispensing system it was the Milton Keynes manufacturer they turned to.
- Author Name: PharmiWeb Editor
Feed-systems manufacturer SR-Tek may have only formed in Milton Keynes in 2014 but the company’s pressure tanks are already making waves around the world. When US-based Hartmann’s Inc. needed a clear pressure tank to fulfil its design of a new highly precise fluid dispensing system it was the Milton Keynes manufacturer they turned to. Not only has this led to repeat orders from multiple areas of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical businesses, but also the development of one of the most accurate dispensing systems on the planet.
Established in 1955 in Abilene, Texas, Hartman’s Inc is a globally recognised build to print machining company operating in the aerospace, transportation, energy, and medical device sectors. Drawing on its more than 65 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, Hartmann’s launched its new machine and component development division Paradigm-Solutions at its facility in Jacksonville, Florida in 2019. Headed up by director of automation David Duncan, who has more than 30 years’ experience in automation engineering and 20 years of fluid systems design, Paradigm-Solutions is focused on solving common manufacturing issues.
For David and his engineering team, one of the first frustrations from industry that they wanted to solve was the lack of precision and over complication of existing fluid dispensing systems. David says: “Traditional dispensers often require expensive and overly complex programmable servo drives to be effective. Yet even those with servo drives can still lack precision meaning operators have to continuously make adjustments, and often deliberately overdose to compensate for inaccurate volumes, leading to waste and in some cases product damage. We felt that there was a much simpler way to dose a precise volume of liquid.”
Having secured interest from one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, David and his team set to work creating a simple-to-operate but highly accurate dispensing machine that could be used in one of the toughest and most heavily regulated industries.
David continues: “Because of the nature of the end client’s finished product, safety was one of the preeminent concerns. We needed a central reservoir that could be kept away from the inner workings of the machine with a number of fail-safes that would enable overflow prediction and prevention.”
For David and Paradigm-Solutions the answer was a modified version of SR-Tek’s CT Series, the world’s only commercially available clear pressure tank. Having created a removable clear internal cannister, development engineers added capacitive sensors tied into the safety circuit at the side of the tank for redundant overflow detection within the reservoir, preventing material from escaping into the local environment.
Talking about the advantages of the clear pressure tank David says: “You have to be hyperaware of debris and bioburden in pharmaceuticals. A clear tank offers a visual early indication for operators, preventing issues which if left unchecked could lead to quality defects or product recalls.”
As well as the safety elements, David appreciated the flexibility SR-Tek offered to him as a machine builder and designer. David continues: “What the CT Series gave me as a designer was the freedom to place the tank wherever needed and transport the fluid to the dispenser via tank pressure. Using a dispenser with a pressurized tank allows flexibility to locate the supply side assembly ergonomically or as needed for transfer of dispensing material. A gravity-fed system would need to be directly above the sensitive electronic components of the dispenser, with the risk of overspill causing damage to components or adversely impacting the finished product.”
SR-Tek founder Loris Medart worked closely with David on the design of the clear pressure tank integrated into the Paradigm Dispensing Systems. David says: “What I liked about working with Loris, was that he actively worked with me to help us save costs and time. Providing the benefit of his own fluid engineering experience he enabled us to make small changes to an existing clear pressure tank already in stock to fit with our specific application, avoiding us having to pursue a more costly custom design and build project.”
Loris concludes: “When I first spoke to David at Paradigm, I was struck by the parallels both in our careers and fluid engineering solutions. We’ve both come from industry and have noticed a technological gap in the management of fluids. Paradigm’s dispenser offers unparalleled precision at a lower cost than existing systems. Coupling with the CT Series means that production engineers can benefit from complete transparency and control from start to finish, reducing materials waste and avoiding unnecessary downtime.”
With SR-Tek’s collaboration, Paradigm-Solutions has successfully provided multiple complete systems incorporating SR-Teks reservoirs for one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers, supporting both operations and research and development departments. Paradigm is now able to offer highly precise dispensing systems inclusive of SR-Teks pressure tanks at a fraction of the cost of existing dispensers of the same capability.
Paradigm Dispensing Systems are available in standard 1ml, 5ml, and 30ml volumes as well as custom sizes.
To find out more about SR-Tek’s CT Series and download a free product specification visit: www.smartreservoirs.com/products/clear-pressure-tanks
Further details on the Paradigm Dispenser can be found at:
Connect with Loris Medart on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/loris-medart-srtek/
Follow SR TEK on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/srtek/