Changing the Pump Speed
Varying the pump speed is one way to change the flow rate, but peristaltic pumps can also operate with different sized tubing. This can be beneficial in applications where a facility produces a range of substantially different batches. Although it is an extreme example, a single peristaltic pump can fill volumes between 0.1 mL and 250 mL simply by changing the tubing size.
Some of today’s biopharmaceutical products such as live vaccines and organisms are sensitive to shear and high pressure. Once again, peristaltic pumps offer advantages over piston pumps. In microfilling applications, for example, peristaltic pumps are calibrated to provide a maximum of 1.3 bar pressure. The smooth flow past the pumphead rollers means that the liquid is not subjected to shear in the same way as it would be when passing through the valves and small orifices of a piston pump.
Single-use technology is becoming popular in the production of injectable liquid biopharmaceuticals. While it would be impractical to have a single-use (piston) pump, peristaltic pumps offer a significant advantage in that the only contact part is the tubing. And single-use tubing sets are both practical and cost-effective.
Peristaltic technology, therefore, offers reliable, cost-effective pumping that fits with the single-use production philosophy without compromising the required pumping characteristics.