Sealing over the course of time

The dispensing and application of sealant and sealing compounds in conventional aircraft construction is a complex process that can be significantly improved in many ways. In the  construction of aircraft in the early 20th century, seals in aircraft tanks or fuel lines, for example, were usually rubber sheets cut into shape. The introduction and development of aliphatic polysulfides by the Thiokol Chemical Corp. in 1928 laid the foundation for subsequent optimization. This material was first used in an aircraft tank from the US Air Force in 1941. The two-component sealants – often polysulfides with special properties such as low density, chemical resistance and fillers – opened up the possibility of designing complex track geometries whilst meeting the high demands of aircraft manufacturers.

Today there are a multitude of different sealing applications: Edge Sealing, Fillet Sealing, Cap Sealing or Interface Sealing for example. What applies in most cases, and is often seen in practice, is the following scenario: The operator with knowledge of the application uses the sealing material for the manual activity of sealing either premixed-frozen or 2-component cartridges. Standard 2-component cartridges (injection barrier cartridges) contain a pre-filled amount of resin and hardener. The mixing process causes resin and hardener to react in the cartridge and subsequently results in a total volume of the cartridge, e.g. 55 ml, 180 ml etc.  

In many cases, however, this quantity is not sufficient. It is therefore not uncommon for half-full cartridges to be thrown away and the already cured material disposed of. The operator takes a new cartridge, the pot life starts again and before the material is used up, another cartridge is disposed of.

With a 180 ml cartridge, a pot life of 2 hours and an operator output of 42.5 ml/h, this results in a 95 ml material waste. In this case it equates to 52 %. The value, only shown here as an example, gives a very realistic picture from practice. In simple language, this means that every millilitre of material is actually twice as expensive.

An automated solution for maximum material savings

The good news is that this situation also offers a great deal of potential for reducing costs by saving on material waste.

With the help of ViscoTec’s automated solution, the two materials to be dosed can be purchased separately in larger containers and mixed as required. Two emptying systems remove component A and component B from these large containers. The 2-component dispenser vipro-DUOMIX mixes the two materials and doses an individually adjusted quantity into the cartridge. It ensures that only the amount of material needed at any one time is mixed and filled in.

Without changing the actual application technique (still carried out manually), the material can be individually mixed and dosed by means of a filling station. This not only reduces material waste but does so to a minimum. Purchasing conditions are also significantly improved through material procurement via large containers (e.g. 20 litre pail). In addition, both the logistical effort and the environmental impact are reduced. Simply put: More benefits and less effort without changing the overall process.

ViscoTec filling stations are always customized to the material to be dosed. High precision and gentle material dispensing are the key to meeting the high requirements of the aerospace industry and the specifications associated with it. Relevant tests and practical reports have proven this many times. There is no doubt that filling stations can also be used for materials other than those used for sealing.

Automation costs money. Automation is time consuming.
Automation is not worth it then?

Automation of a sealing process must always be considered and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, however, automation can save a lot of money. By a comparably small change to the process.

It is time for a change, if it is profitable to do so.

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Optimized product bonding with Cembrane

Cembrane in Lynge, Denmark produces and exports ceramic filters to more than 20 countries under the motto “Clean Water for Life”. In the production of the filter manufacturer the individual components had to be glued together by hand. This took up a lot of working time.

In 2018 Cembrane invested in a robot. The aim of the investment was to integrate the Universal Robots Cobot into the manufacturing process. The application of the adhesive is an important step in the production process. In order to support this step with the robot, Cembrane needed help. And so, the preeflow partner Scanmaster came into play.

Scanmaster, a specialist in automated dispensing processes, was able to develop a unique dispensing solution for Cembrane: A robotic cell in which several ceramic plates are bonded in a semi-automatic bonding process. The robot was programmed to dispense 2-component adhesive with high precision onto flanges using a preeflow eco-DUO dispenser.

The new production process minimizes production time. More filters can be produced in less time. In addition, the quality of the manufactured products has also improved. The dispenser enables a more precise and uniform application of adhesive to the component than was previously possible by hand.

Cembrane is very satisfied with the new product quality. And the investment in the automated dosing solution is more than justified. "We are incredibly pleased with our robot solution, which has automated our production. It is a dispensing solution that fully meets our quality requirements, so we are happy," says Lasse Andreassen, CEO of Cembrane.

Scanmaster distributes ViscoTec and preeflow dispensing pumps and microdispensers. And so, the specialists have designed and delivered a comprehensive solution with preeflow components. Integrated into a unique cell with a robot for a semi-automatic process. The result for Cembrane is a higher quality product for the customer and an optimized production time. This allows the demand on the market to be met better and faster. Further information:

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Dispensing of Electrically Conductive Materials

When it comes to electrically conductive materials, we are dealing with dispersions. They are generally referred to as electrically conductive adhesives, silicones or inks.

The materials are divided into different areas: Epoxy resins, polyurethanes, silicones and acrylates. Epoxy resins in particular stand out due to their processing and material properties. They are widely used in industry. The solids they contain correspond to the dispersion phase. They are electrically conductive. Common particle materials are silver, copper, carbon, nickel or gold.

Another conductive material is graphene, a modification of carbon with a two-dimensional structure. In addition to its high thermal and electrical conductivity, this solid is characterized by its low density and high tensile strength. At present, the first dispensing tests are being carried out to determine when the material will be available for industrial applications, but this is not yet foreseeable. According to the first results, it should be well suited for applications in the wearable and electronics industries.

Electrically conductive adhesives are used in a wide variety of industries. The automotive, aerospace and especially the electronics industries are driving the demand for electrically conductive materials. In addition to America and Europe, the Pacific-Asian region is predicted to be the core market in the future. This is related to the expected growth of the electronics industry in China and India.

Typical applications for electrically conductive adhesives

Typical applications for electrically conductive adhesives include the protection of electronic components against electrostatic discharges (ESD). But also the direct mounting of unhoused semi-conductor chips on printed circuit boards (Direct Chip Attach), where the chip is glued directly onto the substrate. These are isotropic materials that allow electricity to flow in all directions. They are also used in the assembly of surface mount devices (SMD). On the other hand, anisotropic materials are also available. They allow electricity to flow in only one direction. They are used in the manufacture of LCD connections and RFID antennas.

There is also great potential in the substitution of soldering processes for temperature-sensitive substrates. The curing temperatures of adhesives are significantly lower than those of soldering processes. They are also more flexible than solder metals and can withstand vibrations better. There are also solvent-free adhesives which are more environmentally friendly than solder metals.

Solids in electrically conductive materials

The particles in electrically conductive materials often have a diameter of 25 µm and more. As a rule, these are coarse disperse systems in which the Shore hardness of the particles exceeds D90. The solids content varies depending on the material manufacturer and application. Usually it is between 75 % and 90 %, so it can be considered as highly filled and abrasive materials.

The difference in density between the dispersion phase and the dispersion material can lead to sedimentation.

Industrial applications, however, require a homogeneous product, since a uniform solids content is required for a valid process. For this reason, suitable dispersion agents are selected that prevent or reduce sedimentation during storage and processing of the product. This results in high viscosities for electrically conductive materials. When dispensing these materials, users are faced with the challenge of dispensing abrasive material with a high degree of accuracy, independent of viscosity. This guarantees process reliability and reduces material costs.

Dispensing devices for electrically conductive materials

ViscoTec – specialized in transferring, processing and dispensing highly viscous, structure-sensitive and solids-laden liquids – offers precise dispensing solutions with its preeflow brand. Due to the properties of abrasive fillers, pump types such as peristaltic or rotary lobe pumps are only conditionally suitable for dispensing highly filled materials. preeflow microdispensers have proven themselves in this field.

As a progressive cavity pump, they are among the rotating positive displacement pumps. The stainless steel rotor moves eccentrically in an elastomer stator. The interaction of rotor and stator creates chambers. The size of the alternating opening chambers is also constant during rotation, so that there is no compression of the transferred product. Due to this dispensing geometry, a constant volume is always transferred per revolution in proportion to the angle of rotation. Independent of the viscosity of the dispensing material and with pulsation-free product flow.

preeflow micro dispensing devices

preeflow guarantees a dispensing accuracy of 99 % (depending on the medium) up to a quantity of 1 µl. Thanks to the compression-less transferring, highly viscous abrasive and shear sensitive materials can also be applied.

The pump technology of the endless piston principle has additional advantages over other dispensing mechanisms. Filling and dispensing valves can be dispensed with in over 95 % of all applications. A retraction (reversal of the direction of rotation of the dispenser) results in a controlled thread breakage and dripping is prevented. Thread pulling gels, resins or adhesives can therefore be dispensed more precisely.

For the exact dispensing of abrasive materials, ViscoTec has developed a new stator for the preeflow micro-dispenser eco-PEN330. The main change is a new stator material, which resists the high mechanical loads of highly filled materials even better. The user benefits from even greater process reliability and longer maintenance cycles.


Steffen Garbe, Business Development;

Die deutsche Version der Pressemeldung finden Sie hier:

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Reduced time requirement and logistics effort with decentralised UNIBASE-S tool dispensing system

MAPAL offers various UNIBASE dispensing systems for optimum storage and management of tools, components and accessories, which can be individually networked with one another according to a modular principle. These systems are often situated in a central location in the manufacturing. In order to store and manage frequently required consumables in a decentralised and space-saving manner, MAPAL has developed the new, cost-effective UNIBASE-S single automatic dispenser. This can be connected to existing UNIBASE systems or used as an individual solution.

Thanks to the compact dimensions, the UNIBASE-S stock dispensing system can be installed directly on the workbench. For example, the 96 or 192 compartments are ideal for storing indexable inserts, tools, chucks or personal protective equipment. This saves the employee a trip to the central warehouse and ensures production-related article procurement. In addition, logistics costs are reduced.

Article removal is quick and uncomplicated in just a few steps. To do this, the employee logs on directly to the device via the integrated touchscreen. Only registered employees can remove articles. If no employee is logged on, central locking is active. After the desired article has been selected via the pre-installed software, the search function of the software supports this and an LED illumination identifies the compartment with the corresponding article. The dispensing drum is rotated manually so that it is at the removal position and the article can be removed. The system automatically registers the withdrawal – in this way, the current status is always used.

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Scheugenpflug expands its international market presence

In August 2018, the specialist for adhesive bonding, dispensing and potting technology opened a new branch in Romania. With Scheugenpflug S.R.L., the company creates the basis for further growth.

Scheugenpflug AG continues to expand its business activities: Since August 2, 2018, the company has been operating its own branch in Romania. With this move, the specialist for adhesive bonding, dispensing and potting technology is reacting to the increasing demand for its products and services. The newly founded subsidiary Scheugenpflug S.R.L. is based in Sibiu and is responsible for sales and service enquiries. "The Romanian market has developed very positively in recent years. With our own branch, we are now creating the conditions for further growth", explains Christian Ostermeier, Member of the Managing Board of Scheugenpflug. "The new location enables us to provide customers with even better and more personal service and to further shorten response times".

Global network

Marius Luca is in charge for the local business. The Operation Manager has been working in the field of adhesive bonding, dispensing and potting technology for more than nine years now.

The location in Sibiu is an essential element for the further internationalization of Scheugenpflug. In addition to locations in China, the US and Mexico, the new subsidiary is already the fourth branch of the specialist for adhesive bonding, dispensing and potting technology. Beyond that, Scheugenpflug has a network of international service and sales partners who ensure the usual high standard of quality and service in 26 countries worldwide.

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MAPAL continuing on course for growth

The international MAPAL Group – one of the leading manufacturers of precision tools for the machining of practically all materials – again achieved significant growth during the 2017 business year. Consolidated group sales rose from EUR 575 million in 2016 to EUR 610 million in 2017. “We are very satisfied with the result that we generated last year,” summarised Dr Jochen Kress, President of the MAPAL Group. The growth in sales has been matched by an increase in the number of employees – from 5,000 in 2016 to a total of 5,250 in 2017.

“We are naturally targeting further growth again for the coming year,” says Dr Jochen Kress. All the company’s activities are geared to continuous and sustainable growth. For this reason, MAPAL is again investing around six percent of the sales in research and development. In order to successfully meet today’s challenges, such as reductions in CO2 emissions and digital transformation, MAPAL has also adapted the company’s strategic orientation in recent years. “We have, for example, addressed the topic of e-mobility from a very early stage,” specifies Kress. The company has transferred the competence in the machining of parts of the conventional powertrain to the parts to be machined of hybrid or electrically powered vehicles – and today offers the complete processing of the parts to be machined also for this sector, including full service support for the tools.

“We anticipate that in the long term, the machining volume in the automotive industry will decline,” states Kress. But, despite its close links to the automotive industry, MAPAL is preparing for this scenario. “In addition to our continued strong commitment to the automotive industry, we are planning to intensify our activities in the aerospace sector. Furthermore, we will be presenting comprehensive solutions for tool and mould making,” promises the president.

At the same time, MAPAL is continuing to keep digital transformation and universal networking in its sights. “The efficient handling of data, in particular, very quickly struck us as being one of the greatest challenges of digital transformation for machining businesses. We reacted to this necessity with the open cloud platform, c-Com, for which we founded the c-Com GmbH in 2017,” explains Dr Jochen Kress. With c-Com, MAPAL has created an innovative open cloud platform that not only networks the whole supply chain, but also addresses the challenges facing companies in the material machining sector. “We have created a cross-sectoral, not a stand-alone solution,” emphasises Kress. But intelligent solutions are also playing an increasingly important role in the product areas of setting and measuring, dispensing and clamping technology that include the subject of digital transformation and the sustainable generation and use of data.

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ProMinent at ACHEMA 2018: Orlita® Evolution range of process pumps

At this year’s ACHEMA in Frankfurt, June 11 to 15, 2018, ProMinent will present the extended product range of the Orlita® Evolution series at its stand J94 in hall 8. The Evolution 1 to 4 ranges, which were previously only available with a stainless steel metering unit, can now also be equipped with metering units made of PVC and PVDF.

This extends the potential applications of the pumps, while at the same time reducing costs – particularly for applications with aggressive media. In addition to this, ProMinent added the rugged and precise EP1 and EP2 piston metering pumps to their line of hydraulic diaphragm metering pumps.

All Evolution versions with stainless steel and plastic metering unit, as well as those with a piston dispensing head, have a modular structure. They can be flexibly designed as single-pump or multi-pump versions. With multi-pump systems, up to four metering units can be combined, including units with different delivery capacities. The special feature is the position-independent arrangement of the drives – with both vertical and horizontal installation possible. Seven freely selectable and different gear reductions provide maximum flexibility. The high-performance plunger metering pumps Orlita® Evolution EP1 and EP2 enables precise pump capacities even at maximum pressure and temperatures of up to + 200 °C.

Greater profitability

A key advantage of the new plastic metering units made of PVC and PVDF is their high resistance to aggressive chemicals. When equipped with these, the Orlita® Evolution is an affordable alternative to pumps with dispensing heads made of resistant materials, such as Hastelloy. Until now, these highly corrosion-resistant nickel alloys needed a high molybdenum content, as they are also resistant to aggressive media.

Ultimate safety

As extremely robust hydraulic diaphragm metering pumps, the Orlita® Evolution models meet the strictest safety requirements. Among other things, they excel through their PTFE multi-layer safety diaphragm with integrated diaphragm rupture warning/indicator, as well as their diaphragm position control. All pumps are designed in accordance with API 675. With a large variety of drive versions, use in Ex Zone 1 and Zone 2 is even permitted with ATEX approval.

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1 Liter of Gap Filler in Only 13 Seconds

Thermal influences can significantly compromise the service life, capacity and especially the operational safety of HV batteries. In order to prevent damage due to excessive temperatures, large quantities of heat-conducting potting media are used here. Scheugenpflug has developed a new system solution for fast and reliable application of these materials.

Electric mobility is gaining momentum: Vehicles with alternative drive systems are regarded as a central component in the fight against noise pollution and steadily rising emissions. The heart of these vehicles is the built-in high-voltage battery. Thermal influences have enormous effects on its service life, capacity and especially its operational safety. For the normal operation of an electric vehicle, operating temperatures of approx. 20 to 40°C are ideal. Excessive thermal loads can cause internal short circuits and consequently severe to irreparable damage to the HV battery and vehicle.

To prevent this from happening, large quantities of thermally conductive paste are used in addition to the built-in cooling system. For each vehicle, about 5 to 10 liters of these highly viscous and highly abrasive media are dispensed in between the battery modules and the enclosing housing. They ensure reliable heat dissipation and thus contribute to the prevention of potential defects caused by overheating. Due to their high viscosity and the high proportion of abrasive fillers, however, the application of thermally conductive materials places high demands on the used dispensing technology. Furthermore, this process step often proves to be a bottleneck in fully automated production processes, since these media often only allow relatively low dispensing speeds.

Material application with up to 80 ml/s

Scheugenpflug has developed a new dispensing solution specifically for the encapsulation of HV batteries. The system, consisting of the high-performance dispenser Dos HP and the PailFeed200 Abrasive material feeding unit, offers dispensing speeds of up to 80 ml/s even when using highly abrasive thermally conductive media. The simultaneous coupling of two feeding systems with the dispenser allows continuous system operation without downtimes. The new system solution has been designed for easy operation and maximum robustness. Users thus benefit from simple and fast maintenance, long service life and significantly reduced maintenance costs.

The high-performance dispenser Dos HP allows the fast and precise application of heat-conducting media with a viscosity of up to 1,000,000 mPa∙s and a maximum volume per shot of 310 ml. The follower plate pump PailFeed200 Abrasive for 200 l barrels ensures the reliable transfer of potting material to the dispenser. The integrated double piston pump with a delivery volume of 480 cm3/stroke allows for a continuous material feed. Thanks to the high delivery pressure of 65 bar, a high output is guaranteed – even when using highly viscous and highly filled thermally conductive pastes.

Learn more about thermal management for HV batteries and our system solution for battery encapsulation in our new video:

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Zwischen Bohrplattform und Weltraumteleskop

Ob auf Bohrplattformen, in Haushaltsgeräten oder in Weltraumteleskopen – additiv gefertigte Teile erobern immer mehr Einsatzfelder. Einen Einblick in neue Material-, Produkt- und Prozesslösungen gibt die Anwendertagung am 6. und 7. Juni 2018 zur Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D in Erfurt. „Wir möchten den Besuchern Anregungen vermitteln, wie sich additive Technologien sinnvoll in bestehende betriebliche Abläufe integrieren lassen bzw. wie zukünftige Produktionslandschaften z. B. unter dem Aspekt einer nachfragegesteuerten Fertigung mit Additive Manufacturing gestaltet werden können“, betont Dr. Sabine Sändig, Projektmanagerin im Bereich Technologieförderung der Thüringer Aufbaubank. Die Fachfrau für Lasermaterialbearbeitung und Additive Fertigung verantwortet die inhaltliche Ausrichtung der Anwendertagung.

Der erste Themenblock der zweitägigen Veranstaltung rückt neue Materialien und Technologien in den Fokus. Vorgestellt wird mit Figure 4 von 3D Systems eine skalierbare additive Hochgeschwindigkeits-Fertigung für automatisierte Produktionsumgebungen, mit der produktive Großserien möglich werden. Dass 3D-Druck und Großserienproduktion kein Widerspruch mehr sind, belegt auch die Schweizer Exentis Group mit einem patentierten 3D-Siebdruckverfahren, das individualisierte Geometrien in Großserie bei freier Materialwahl erlaubt. Im Mittelpunkt des Vortrags stehen kundenspezifische Produktlösungen in den Bereichen Metallurgie/Keramik wie auch Biomaterialien. Mit einem innovativen Pulvergenerierungsprozess eröffnet EOS neue Möglichkeiten zur Entwicklung neuartiger Kunststoffmaterialien für Lasersintersysteme. Auf der Anwendertagung werden erste Praxiserfahrungen mit dem Polypropylen basierten Produkt „PP 1101“ vorgestellt.

Neue Produktionslösungen und Anwenderbeispiele für ein breites Branchenspektrum bilden die Hauptinhalte der Tagung. Baker Hughes erschließt additve Technologien für Anwendungen in der Öl- und Gasindustrie. Das GE-Unternehmen nutzt das Selektive Elektronenstrahlschmelzen zum Erzeugen hochfester Kobalt-Chrom-Wolfram-Legierungen für Werkzeuge, um hohe Abrasions-, Erosions- und Korrosionsfestigkeit zu erzielen. Im Kontrast dazu steht die additive Fertigung von Metalloptiken, z. B. für Luft- und Raumfahrtanwendungen, für die Medizintechnik oder den Automotive-Bereich. Am Fraunhofer IOF konzentrieren sich Forscher auf den Aufbau einer Technologiekette, die auf dem Selektiven Laserschmelzprozess von Aluminium-Silizium-Legierungen basiert, um opto-mechanische Metall-Komponenten zu entwickeln, die hohe Anforderungen an Stabilität und Massereduktion erfüllen. Für die Fertigung größerer Bauteile als bisher möglich bietet FIT als erstes Unternehmen in Deutschland das Gel Dispensing Printing an, bei dem hochviskoses Gel aus einer Düse schichtweise aufgetragen und mit UV-Licht ausgehärtet wird. Der Vorteil des Verfahrens liegt in der schnellen Fertigung von sehr großen Kunststoffteilen bis zu 1,80 m Höhe, die sehr gut nachbearbeitet werden können. XXL-Teile lassen sich so bis zu zehn Mal schneller als mit vergleichbaren Ablegeverfahren herstellen. Wie 3D-Druck-Technologien in betriebliche Prozesse integriert werden, stellt der Hausgerätehersteller Miele vor. BMW gibt einen Einblick, wie additiv hergestellte Schäume für einen Einsatz in der Automobilindustrie qualifiziert werden. Die Herstellung lichttechnischer Komponenten mittels 3D-Druck ist Thema eines Vortrags des Dienstleisters Canto. Die Potenziale der additiven Fertigung für Sondermetalle, insbesondere hochschmelzende Refraktärmetalle und Edelmetalle, wie sie in der Luft- und Raumfahrt, der Medizintechnik oder der Schmuckherstellung benötigt werden, zeigt Heraeus auf.

Wie AM-Fertigungsprozesse für eine gleichbleibende Serienqualität zu zertifizieren sind, welcher Stand hierbei erreicht wurde und welche Richtlinien sowie Standards bezüglich Arbeitssicherheit und Qualifizierung erarbeitet sind, beleuchten die Vorträge der abschließenden Tagungs-Session. Hierzu referieren Experten vom DVS – Deutscher Verband für Schweißen und verwandte Verfahren, vom TÜV Süd und der Siemens AG. 

Die Anwendertagung ist von Anfang an Teil der Internationalen Messe und Konferenz für additive Technologien Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D vom 5. bis 7. Juni 2018 in der Messe Erfurt. Die Veranstaltung feiert in diesem Jahr ihr 15-jähriges Jubiläum. Sie findet seit 2004 in Erfurt statt und ist damit einer der internationalen Vorreiter für die 3D-Technologien. Zum umfangreichen und in dieser Form einmaligen Programm der Kongressmesse gehört das Forum AM Science am 6./7. Juni. Neu auf der Agenda steht an beiden Tagen das Forum Medizin-, Zahn- und Orthopädietechnik. Ebenfalls erstmals im Programm ist das Forum Recht am 5. Juni. An diesem Tag finden außerdem die Foren Additive Lohnfertigung, Konstruktion, Werkzeug-, Formen- und Vorrichtungsbau sowie Automobilindustrie statt. Am 6. Juni laden die Foren 3D gedruckte Elektronik & Funktionalität sowie 3D Metal Printing und am 7. Juni das Forum Luftfahrt ein und runden das hochkarätige Kongressprogramm der drei Messetage ab.

Die 3D Druck Community trifft sich erneut an allen drei  Tagen zur 3D Printing Conference. Neben Trendthemen und technischen Innovationen präsentieren die Referenten Einblicke hinter die Kulissen ihrer Forschungs- und Entwicklungstätigkeit sowie von ausgerichteten Wettbewerben. Die Themenauswahl erstreckt sich von der Start-Up Finanzierung über Digital Fabrication bis hin zu Bildungsthemen. Beim Start-Up-Award werden auch 2018 die innovativsten Gründer und bei der 3D Pioneers Challenge die besten Designideen gesucht.

Mehr als 200 Aussteller werden in der ausgebuchten Messe die neuesten Entwicklungen, Produkte und Leistungen rund um Additive Manufacturing vorstellen.

2017 kamen 4.800 Fachbesucher und Kongressgäste sowie 207 Aussteller aus 13 Ländern zur Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D nach Erfurt.

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JPK Instruments announce partnership with Swiss company, Cytosurge AG. The partnership makes Cytosurge’s FluidFM® technology available on the JPK NanoWizard® AFM platform

JPK Instruments, a world-leading manufacturer of nanoanalytic instrumentation for research in life sciences and soft matter, announce an exciting partnership with the Swiss company Cytosurge AG. JPK’s NanoWizard® AFM users will now be able to add Cytosurge’s unique FluidFM® technology that opens up a new world of applications. In single cell experiments it gives the user, for example, the broadest range of force control available.

JPK Instruments have announced their new partnership with Cytosurge AG whereby JPK users of NanoWizard®, CellHesion® and ForceRobot® systems may now add FluidFM® technology for applications requiring the precise delivery of liquids at the femtoliter scale. Being able to isolate, manipulate and image single & multiple cells in their natural environments is vital to researchers in many fields, notably those involved in drug discovery, early stage diagnosis and cellular force interactions making the addition of FluidFM® to the world of AFM imaging and force spectroscopy an ideal pairing.

FluidFM® technology reinvents the micropipette: It unites the best features of microfluidics and force microscopy by introducing closed microscopic channels into force sensitive probes. This unique combination enables the handling of liquid volumes at the femtoliter scale (10–15 l), as well as force controlled manipulations of microscopic objects. This means micro- and nanopipettes can be controlled with utmost precision and without damaging the cells under study. FluidFM® technology has proven to be highly versatile with an impressive portfolio of validated applications in life sciences and beyond. The possibility to carry out all operations, also when fully immersed in liquid render the technology ideal for biological applications at the single cell level.

For use with AFM, a good starting point is the schematic shown here. Specially fabricated microchanneled FluidFM® probes mount directly on the AFM using its standard optical force feedback control. With the help of a specifically designed microfluidic control system, flow can be controlled through the microfluidic channel inside FluidFM probes, thus dispensing (or aspirating) substances or objects at the cantilever opening.

There are three key user benefits to those using JPK’s instrumentation with FluidFM® technology. JPK’s Head of Sales, Hauke Kahl, is glad to have these arguments. “First, JPK users can already study materials over a broad range of forces, from piconewton levels with optical tweezers (NanoTracker™) through conventional AFM imaging & force spectroscopy (NanoWizard®, CellHesion® and ForceRobot®) to the low nanonewton range. Adding FluidFM® enables measurements up to 50nN and even higher, giving us a broader range of force control than with any other instrument scanning probe microscopy (SPM) combination. Furthermore, with the special FluidFM® probes, a user may deliver liquid, e.g. a new drug formulation, directly into an individual cell or extracellularly over a larger volume area. The AFM is then used to track any changes in topography or in interactive forces. Lastly, providing a significant benefit over the use of glass pipettes, FluidFM® probes can carry out effective transfection of DNA. This could become very important to those studying sensitive iPS stem cells.”

Cytosurge’s CEO, Dr Pascal Behr, talks about the new partnership and his expectations of working with JPK: “Our vision at Cytosurge is to provide a new generation of tools to stimulate novel applications at the forefront of nanotechnology, life sciences and single cell biology. Our patented FluidFM® technology and our experience in the market gives us a state of the art leadership position. Seeing how JPK have successfully sold in the bio and pharma markets with their SPM products, JPK is an excellent partner to make our technology available to more AFM users. We are looking forward to a successful partnership with JPK resulting in a win-win-win situation; for our customers, JPK Instruments, and us.” Fact sheets on the technology and the components involved in adding FluidFM® to JPK’s AFM family are fully detailed on JPK’s web site. Just click here to learn more.

For more details about JPK’s NanoWizard® AFM and their applications for the bio & nano sciences, please contact JPK on +49 30726243 500. Alternatively, please visit the web site: or see more on Facebook: and on You Tube:

About Cytosurge

Cytosurge AG was founded as an ETH Zurich spin-off in 2009 and successfully develops and distributes scientific measuring instruments and robotic systems.

Cytosurge is focusing its activities into three distinct customer-focused business units: AFM SOLUTIONS, CELL & BIOSCIENCE and 3DPRINTING, each perfectly adapted to its specific target market.

Whether via the revolutionary FluidFM nanosyringe, the fully integrated FluidFM BOT system, or the award-winning μ3Dprinter, Cytosurge provides leading-edge tools and processes to those who want to go beyond current technological boundaries.


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