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Dec 8th, 2008
 
Bartels Mikrotechnik shares its view on the Micropumps market
 
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 > Dr. Ulrike Michelsen , Manager Marketing and Sales

Dr. Ulrike Michelsen studied Chemistry at the University in Bremen. The PhD thesis was carried out at University of Bremen, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo and Japan Advanced, Institute of Science and Technology, Ishikawa. Afterwards she worked as a PostDoc at the Krebs Institute for Biomolecular Research in Sheffield, UK for nearly two years. In 2000 she started in combination with a management course as a trainee at Bartels Mikrotechnik. Thereafter her first position within the company was as product manager for biochemical applications soon taking over the responsibility for Marketing and Sales at Bartels Mikrotechnik.

Bartels distributes self-developed microfluidic products. The key products here are the Bartels micropumps. An especially attractive market for micropumps is for Bartels portable consumer devices. Here the USPs of micropumps open up a mass market. Low power consumption and small size combined with high quantities form a requirement profile that can only be addressed by micropumps.
 
> YOLE
Could you present Bartels Mikrotechnik to our readers?
> Dr. Ulrike Michelsen
MP5 pump
Ever since its foundation in 1996 Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH has been a synonym for great innovative power and microtechnological know-how. Bartels is specialized in innovative applications of micro systems technology (MST) in the branches of classical consumer goods, mechanical engineering and medical technology. Microfluidics, microactuation and micromechanics constitute the company's technological focus. The international activities of Bartels Mikrotechnik subdivide into two business segments: Bartels microEngineering and Bartels microComponents. In the business segment Bartels microEngineering the company supports industrial customers in the transformation of conventional product solutions into product innovations by the means of micro systems technology (MST). No matter if optimizations of existing products or completely new inventions are requested flexible, individual and market-oriented solutions are developed. In the second business area, Bartels microComponents, Bartels distributes self-developed microfluidic products. The key products here are the Bartels micropumps. Due to their radically simple design, these piezoelectric diaphragm pumps are not only offered in large quantities as standard products but can easily be adapted to customer specific requirements as well. The customization of micropumps and the correspondent electronic controllers is part of the services Bartels microComponents offers. Microvalves and -filters complete the range of products.
 
> YOLE
What are according to you the main challenges of micropumps?
> Dr. Ulrike Michelsen
Working principle of the piezo pump
From users view it is certainly the combination of technical requirements and reliable function with a competitive price. Standard components as the micropumps offered by Bartels microComponents ensure fast, low-priced access to all the advantages of the micropumps for flexible use in customer applications. However, a micropump with a single configuration can never cover all diverse requirements of microfluidic applications. In some cases standard pumps can do the job but in other cases a customization will be required. The simple principle of piezo membrane pumps allows the customer specific adaptation to specific requirements like e.g. flow- or back pressure rate, increased repeatability or materials. Looking at it from the development standpoint this is only feasible if high quantities will be needed. For Bartels microComponents as a supplier and developer of micropumps this is the main challenge.
 
> YOLE
What are the main technical trends?
> Dr. Ulrike Michelsen
Double actuation mp6 pump
The trend of miniaturization has reached the pump world with the aim to achieve the typical pump characteristics macro world pumps exhibit. First systems are available on the market now covering parts of the performance characteristics customers require. The next developments and products reaching the market will be heading to broaden out the spectrum of pump characteristics opening up wider fields of applications. For demanding applications as for example in the life sciences another trend is the development of integrated closed loop control micropumps systems. This is typically realized by implementation of a separate sensor to have controllability and improve accuracy. With the new micropump mp6 Bartels microComponents is already providing a first system following this trend. The new double actor system intrinsically offers the possibility of a feedback signal via the pump itself to have a better control of the system. By switching the second piezo actuator between pumping and sensing flow parameters can be analyzed and used for a controlled-loop operation.
 
> YOLE
Micropumps can be used in many applications. What is according to you the most promising one?
> Dr. Ulrike Michelsen
In general there are two main market routes for micropumps. On the one hand it is replacement of conventional pumps with the advantages micropumps offer by their smaller size and low energy consumption. On the other hand new, innovative applications can be addressed. An especially attractive market we see is portable consumer devices. Here the USPs of micropumps open up a mass market. Low power consumption and small size combined with high quantities form a requirement profile that can only be addressed by micropumps.
 

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