Remote Pump Monitoring Can Increase
Productivity and Reduce Costs
Through the Internet of things, research efforts and pilot plant
operations run more efficiently, helping speed new product launches.
By Gregg E. Johnson, Global Senior Product Manager, Masterflex and Ismatec, Cole-Parmer
Today’s research and development is becoming more demanding. Companies need to find ways to increase their throughput without corresponding budget increases. At the same
time, samples are more valuable than ever, so loss of
a single batch can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
R&D managers have been traditionally faced
with two choices: leave their experiments running
overnight unattended and risk loss of a valuable
sample, or stop their work at the end of the day
losing valuable productivity.
Advances in remote monitoring through the
Internet of things (IoT) have eliminated the need
for a physical presence in fluid handling research
and development, giving researchers the ability to
remotely achieve much of the same control and
monitoring they need in their workflow—whether
that is for preparation, fermentation, harvesting,
Remote monitoring, increasingly seen in
pharmaceutical processing operations, can be
beneficial for R&D departments tasked with fluid
handling experiments or pilot testing. Applying
remote monitoring to peristaltic pumps can
positively impact departments that are tasked with
fluid handling 24/7 but don’t have the staff to
monitor the pumps.
The ability to have local Bluetooth wireless
control along with cloud-based remote monitoring
allows R&D departments to develop products
and processes more quickly. This opportunity to
complete the R&D phase and move quickly through
the pilot process can reduce the time and cost of
bringing a new product to market.
The ability to control a peristaltic pump via
Bluetooth connectivity allows researchers more
flexibility when placing pumps in the process flow.
No longer do they need to have hands-on access
to the pump to control or set up a fluid handling
process. By utilizing the capabilities of today’s
smartphones and tablets, researchers can program
all the pump capabilities from up to 70 feet away.
The pump can be placed within a cleanroom,
fume hood, glove box, or other restricted area of
the laboratory allowing the researcher to remain
outside of those areas. This ability for remote
control can amount to significant time and cost
savings by eliminating the need for gowning,
disinfecting, washing, and decontamination steps
associated with entering many restricted areas. It
can also provide additional employee health and
safety assurances by distancing employees from
dangerous chemicals or biologics.
Pump operators using this technology can control
and program all of the pump parameters: speed,
flow, start, stop, and direction. In addition, the
operators can set up the pump as a metering pump