One of the main topics in laboratory automation is handling extremely small quantities of liquid, from millilitres down to nanolitres. That is why Festo offers compact and perfectly integrated functional units. These standardised components enable system and equipment manufacturers to shorten their development times, and at the same time meet strict quality requirements reliably and efficiently. This makes Festo not just a valuable partner for customers in the healthcare sector, but also in other industry sectors where accurate liquid handling is required, for example in the production of food and cosmetics, in printing and cleaning, or for breeding and incubation processes.
The dispense head VTOE was the first modular complete solution developed in-house by Festo for dispensing extremely small quantities of liquid quickly and accurately. This enabled Festo to offer customers a complete system for liquid handling, including kinematics that is based on the functional principle of pressure over liquid.
Precise, pressure-controlled dispensing of liquids
By using a proportional pressure regulator, such as the VEAB, pressure is built up in a filled reservoir. The liquid is delivered to a dispense head or a media-separated valve via an additional line. By opening and closing the valve (e.g. VYKA or VYKB) the liquid is dispensed via special fluidic push-in fittings (NLFA) using a dispensing nozzle (VAVN) The pressure and valve opening time can be used to regulate how much liquid is dispensed. The opening times can be easily adjusted, for example with the valve control module VAEM. Thanks to this setup and a suitable handling system, microwell plates in laboratory automation applications can be precisely filled in no time at all.
Integrated solution consisting of liquid handling and kinematics
The media-separated solenoid valves VYKA and VYKB and the media-separated pneumatic valve VZDB open up completely new applications beyond those in laboratory automation. These include adding flavourings to food products and feeding ink in the printing industry, cleaning cow teats, controlling fluids in dental chairs and vaccinating eggs in the incubation process.
The valve control module VAEM is another LifeTech product that offers very diverse application options. It can switch a wide range of solenoid valves and it makes child's play of parameterising all holding current reduction values. This makes it very easy for you to configure your own individual dispensing solution, from a single channel to a 12-channel dispense head and valve control module VAEM.
The LifeTech development team in Boston, USA, has developed the new dispense head VTOI which is capable of dispensing to eight outlets via a single inlet. Furthermore, the VTOI can also be used for pipetting, i.e. withdrawing liquids from a particular source and dispensing them elsewhere. All in all, this contributes greatly to further accelerating key processes in laboratory automation. The team in Boston is also working on a complete pipetting system as well as decentralised pressure/vacuum generation. Festo is opening up more and more opportunities and new perspectives for manufacturers to make precision liquid handling even more efficient.
Media-separated valves VYKA/VYKB/VZDB: compact and extremely precise
− For aggressive liquids
− Very easy to clean
Fluidic push-in fitting NLFA and dosing nozzle VAVN: easy to install