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MEMS technology

In the world of manufacturing and engineering, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, it’s generally the opposite. The miniaturisation race is an all-encompassing pursuit that has driven major advancements in the fields of microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems over recent years. Bürkert has remained firmly at the forefront of developments with a host of micro-sensor and miniature valve innovations.

What is miniaturisation?

MEMS systems take current micro-electronic fabrication techniques to a new level in order to develop increasingly minute valves and micro-sensors. With Industry 4.0 driving the appetite for greater automation across plant processes, so the clamour for greater miniaturisation has followed suit to ensure the greatest degree of smart automation technology can be packed into control systems.

Compact devices with a lower volume require less space and fewer reagents, which opens up new application possibilities and cost savings alike. Reduced space requirements mean that instrumentation no longer needs to be constrained to spacious laboratories. Rather, miniaturisation allows lab sampling equipment to be brought closer to the location where the sample is taken.

Bürkert miniaturisation technology

At Bürkert, we’ve embraced MEMS technology across many of our market leading flow control products. From day one, we could see the benefit for our customers. As such, we’ve developed numerous innovative products that either incorporate MEMS technology or have raised the bar in terms of practical miniaturisation.

Type 6712 WhisperValve

Bürkert miniaturisation technology

With a media separated design measuring only 7mm wide, and a switching time of less than 5 milliseconds, our miniscule Type 6712 WhisperValve delivers near silent operation and excellent media separation. With a switch noise of less than 36 dB, this reliable and efficient design was developed with medical equipment very much in mind. It’s whisper quiet performance makes it ideal for everything from dialysis machines to drug delivery systems.  

WhisperValve’s rapid response time and minimal internal volume of just 5 µl combine to provide highly accurate micro-dosing and excellent flushability. Meanwhile, the Type 6712 promises a life cycle in excess of 30 million switching cycles and media separation with zero contact between the actuator and the medium. Energy consumption is an extremely efficient 0.9 Watts, considering the near silent operation and high-speed actuation.

TwinPower actuation technology 

Miniaturisation of electronics

In 2011, we set a new miniaturisation milestone with the introduction of TwinPower actuation technology. This innovative actuator technology brought a significant reduction in size with no loss of performance. There followed the Type 6624 and Type 6626 valves, which feature high flow rates and a compact design, in tandem with tried and tested rocker technology. The interplay of the TwinPower’s eponymous two coil design also substantially increases power density.

By using two coils in the valve actuator, rather than the traditional one of the past, TwinPower technology has increased power density enormously. This makes it possible to reduce the size of the valves by as much as 50%, whilst still maintaining the flow rate equivalent to valves with larger coil widths. For example, our 10mm TwinPower valve (Type 6624) is capable of delivering the same flow rate as our 16mm Type 0127 valve.

More recently, the advent of the Type 6628 rocker solenoid valve saw us collaborate with Spanish manufacturer, Biosystems, to develop a cost-effective and highly efficient new dosing unit.

Type 8905 Online Analysis System

Online Analysis System

The Type 8905 Continuous Online Analysis System is a multi-channel, multi-function unit that can communicate using Industrial Ethernet or fieldbus communication modules, and provides a precise record of water quality, based on the needs of the application. As such, the Type 8905 is capable of measuring pH, reduction potential (ORP), conductivity, free chlorine and turbidity.

MEMS technology gives the Type 8905 a minimal footprint and minimises sample water demand. The latest stage in its evolution is the addition of extra test cubes for chlorine dioxide and iron, with a new hand-held cleaning and calibration module. The Type 8905 communicates with existing control protocols and personnel on and off site. This ensures that any deviation from the specified water quality is reported immediately.

For more information about our complete range of miniature valves and sensors, please contact our sales team today on +44 (0) 1285 648 720 or email to discuss your specific requirements.