Accuracy in batching foods is highly prized in plants as it ensures the quality of mixes and cuts down on give away when measuring quantities of products.
The infusion pump, known as Secta, uses what its developers describe as a "pioneering" rotary mechanism to allow liquid to flow through it continuously.
The pump was designed by PDD Innovations, a consultancy that funded the development work on the device. PDD claims the new pump is highly accurate at controlling rate and volume at an affordable price.
"The new mechanism is highly accurate, as it is not sensitive to pressure and temperature effects, and it is also significantly more cost-effective than existing peristaltic, syringe and diaphragm pumps on the market," PDD stated in a press release. "The SECTA pump has one moving disposable part, which can be easily replaced, whereas conventional pumps can have many moving parts, which are highly toleranced and subject to wear, making maintenance difficult and costly."
PDD is currently developing the pump for use in intravenous infusions or drip lines for patients and is conducting technical trials of a demonstrator prototype with St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.
However Paul Pankhurst, chief executive officer of PDD Innovations, said the pump has a wide range of uses in other industries, including within food plants.
"In the food industry, it could be used to pump foodstuffs from containers, guaranteeing high standards of food hygiene and reducing wastage as suppliers could re-use the containers by fitting them with a new clean pump," he stated in a press release. "In laboratories or the chemical industry, Secta could be used to pump soaps and disinfectants or hazardous materials."
The Secta pump is just 22mm by 22mm in size and has a a fully reversible continuous flow rate of 30ml per minute. The pump has a fluid viscosity range of up to 100cp and an accuracy rate within one per cent of the required dosage. It is also disposable.
PDD recently received £250,000 (€362,000) from the Capital Fund, a £50m (€72m) venture capital fund that invests in fast-growth companies in the greater London area. The fund has a mixture of public and private sector investors.