Multi–Port Valves The Advantage of Multi-Port Valves in Sterile Conditions

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

With their high level of functionality and minimal space requirements, Robolux multi-port valves ensure compact processes, facilitate cleaning and increase overall process reliability. To improve their performance even further, they can now be combined with Bürkert’s Element series of actuators and control heads to provide an good base for the decentralized automation of hygienic processes.

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(Picture: Bürkert)

Hygienic processing places high demands on the reliability and cleanability of production facilities. These requirements are especially stringent in separation processes such as filtration and chromatography, where they ensure the purity of media by maintaining sterile process conditions. The mixing of different media in the manufacture of nutrient solutions processes like fermentation is another example demanding absolute sterility.

Common challenges such as corrosion in pipe systems, valve manifolds and tank installations can be reduced by using multi-port valves and complex multi-port-based manifolds. Multi-port solutions such as the Robolux valve solution from Bürkert Fluid Control Systems were developed with such high-purity installations in mind.

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Two Seats, One Body

Based on diaphragm valve technology, the patented valves combine independent dual process switching functions — two seats — in a single body with a single diaphragm and actuator. The actuator has independent pistons, one for each seat. The result is a compact multi-port valve requiring about 40 percent less space than traditional valve manifolds using conventional diaphragm valves.

Since the valve body contains less material, it can be heated more quickly to the sterilization temperature required to destroy microorganisms. A low internal volume and elimination of dead space support faster cleaning, and of course mean better process efficiency and higher product yield. The overall numbers of valves, T-pieces, welded joints and pipe runs are also greatly reduced. The result is an optimized footprint that enhances process efficiency, reduces installation and maintenance costs, and minimizes downtime.

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