Evaluating the Single-Use Trend in Pumping Systems for Fluid Handling (INTERPHEX 2024)

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Andreas Frerix, product management director for Quattroflow at PSG Biotech, discussed the advantages and new challenges SUTs present for pumping systems.


Pharmaceutical Technology® spoke with Andreas Frerix, product management director for Quattroflow at PSG Biotech during INTERPHEX 2024. In the discussion, Frerix discussed trends in pumping technologies for fluid handling in bioprocessing systems.

Single-use technology (SUT) in pumping systems is one major trend, Frerix noted. In addition to being disposable, SUT also has the added advantage of allowing flexibility in terms of flow rates and pump sizes. According to Frerix, customers need scalable pumps; “they do not only need one size; they need flow ranges across a broad range from process development to medium-size manufacturing up to large-scale manufacturing,” he pointed out.

“In addition to that, they also want flexibility that one pump drive can handle different flow rates, and that means [they] can connect one pump drive to different types of pump chambers,” Frerix explained.

In terms of key technology innovations that have been developed to address unmet market need, Frerix points to integrated controls for pumps, as one example. In the past, starting or stopping pumps, or changing the motor speed to achieve the correct flow rate needed by the manufacturing process, it would primarily be done manually or with an external controller. However, nowadays, there is an increasing number of integrated pumps, which means the operator can directly connect pressure or flow sensors to the pump. “All the intelligence is already included in the pump, all the functions. That means you have an automated PID [proportional-integral-derivative] controller to pressure control your process or to flow control your process, and that you have a safety stop if the pressure is too high. All these things can be integrated into pumps,” Frerix said.

However, with SUTs come new challenges that did not exist in the past. For example, noted Frerix, one additional topic that has come up these days is the extractables and leachables (E&L) that are coming from the plastic material in single-use components. Frerix emphasized that E&L from the plastic is definitely a challenge right for the end users as well as the suppliers.

INTERPHEX 2024 was held in New York City on April 16–18.