User Success Story: Eliminating unexplained air bubbles with Smoothflow Pumps.

TACMINA CORPORATION
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Disproving the belief that diaphragm pumps are not suitable for high viscosity liquids.

Electronic Materials Manufacturer Company A

Production Department

As electronic equipment continues to evolve, there is a growing need for improved accuracy and higher functionality of each material used. Company A, which manufacturers electrical insulation materials, was having problems with their coating and supply process that required high precision.

Problems:

・Quality and performance are significantly affected due to air bubbles in high viscosity liquids.

Electronic Materials Manufacturer A employed precision gear pumps in the process in charge of applying resin materials to insulating sheets used in semiconductors. “The big problem was that the viscosity of the resin materials we are handing is 20,000 mPa・s and bubbles are mixed in with it. These bubbles significantly reduced the quality, and this resulted in many defective products.”

“We tried to avoid this problem by deaerating the liquid in advance, but further bubbles were generated during the transfer process and the problem could not be resolved. We were not able to find a fundamental solution, and even if we reduced productivity, the only option to make it less likely for air bubbles to form was by operating the pump slowly.”

・Unexplained bubble generation and equipment stoppage even after changing the pump...

“The air bubble situation was not improving at all, and every time a defective product was found, the equipment has to be stopped and inspected, so productivity was decreasing,” explained Mr. J, who was in charge of the internal investigation.

Manufacturer A decided to change out the pump because it was clearly hindering the production department’s goal to reduce costs. Mr. J, who was leading the project, decided to try a snake pump used in another production line. “A few other engineers voiced their opinion and tried to push to use a diaphragm pump. However, I had experience with pulsation in the past and had a belief that diaphragm pumps were not well suited to transfer high viscosity fluids, so I initially excluded them from my list. I tried the process again with a snake pump, but there were bubbles again and I was at a loss from these results,” Mr. J continued.

“I absolutely had to prevent the generation of these bubbles, so I began to think, ‘If only there was some consultant or someone with an expertise in fluids and pumps who could give me some advice…’”

Problem Points:

・Although the high viscosity resin material is degassed in advance, bubbles may enter during the transfer process.

・The cause could not be determined within the company, and there was no consultant with specialized knowledge to ask for advice.

Solution:

・According to the experts, what is a suitable pump selection for high viscosity fluids?

Mr. J, who was struggling with no solutions in sight, saw a Tacmina Smoothflow Pump at an exhibition. “At first, I was interested to hear that fluid could be delivered stably without pulsation, but I was very surprised to learn that the exhibit was a diaphragm pump. I had thought that diaphragm pumps were not suitable for high viscosity liquids, but unlike conventional diaphragm pumps, Smoothflow Pumps have minimal pulsation and can handle continuous flow transfers.”

“After the exhibition, I contacted a Tacmina representative for a consultation and received detailed advice. It was pointed out that the pumps I had been using all had rotary structures and are subject to stress such as negative pressure and shear on the liquid, which cause fluid deterioration and bubbles. During that consultation, I also hear that Tacmina had the capabilities to test our actual liquid with the pump before making a purchase, so I immediately made a request to test.”

・The cause of the air bubbles generation was found and eliminated, and a significant cost reduction in the production department was achieved.

“When we received the detailed report of the actual liquid test, Tacmina had also prepared a list of modification suggestions to our overall system custom-tailored based on the results of the test. We implemented many of the suggestions into our system and then decided to conduct a final evaluation of the final product using a rental test pump provided by Tacmina on site in our facilities. At this final evaluation, we were able to reproduce the expected results exactly as reported by Tacmina. The pulseless and stable continuous flow does not cause stress to the high viscosity resin materials, and the final insulation sheets were well within the required accuracy with problems. I must admit that my previous misconceptions about diaphragm pumps may have prevented me from finding Tacmina’s Smoothflow Pumps earlier, but now there is no doubt with these pumps and I am convinced,” Mr. J concluded.

Company A was able to successfully install pumps with satisfactory performance through accurate advice and sufficient verification. Yield was improved by eliminating bubbles that seemed impossible to solve at one time. Along with this, equipment stoppage times were drastically reduced, production efficiency was improved, and a significant cost reduction was achieved. Decades of experience with fluid dynamics and a passion to prove our performance to customers helped Tacmina become a leading liquid transfer solution specialist.

Solution Points:

・Received advance on accurate pump selection based on the accumulated experience and know-how of Tacmina, a pump specialist.

・Air bubbles are no longer generated by using a diaphragm pump which eliminates rotating/sliding parts.

・Continuous, smooth flow transfer of high viscosity fluid is possible, increasing overall productivity.

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PLSS Smoothflow Pump

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