The development of a market leader in microdispensing of fluids
“Smaller, more precise, more economical” – this is the motto of the preeflow products. For almost 10 years now, the micro dispensers have been integrated into dosing applications worldwide. Time to look back on the beginnings of preeflow and to consider the future. Thomas Diringer has been responsible for the brand since the beginning of 2008, as business unit manager, and is therefore familiar with all the development stages of preeflow. He is fascinated by the dosing technology and wants to conquer the dosing market even further with the preeflow product group.
Mr. Diringer, how long do preeflow’s micro dosing units exist?
At the end of February 2008, we were at the INTEC trade fair in Leipzig with our product for the first time – and that was also the birth of our micro dosers. This means we will soon be celebrating our 10th anniversary: Innovation in volumetric dosing technology!
The preeflow brand was created out of ViscoTec – how did it come?
The answer is quite simple: The demand for micro dosers on the market was there. At ViscoTec we received numerous inquiries regarding the dosing of smaller and smaller application quantities, which could not be dosed with ViscoTec systems. The customers were particularly interested in process driven repeatability and the precision of dosing. We were able to meet these requirements with preeflow micro dispensing systems.
And then ViscoTec decided to manufacture micro dosers?
That’s not quite true… The idea of developing a small and compact micro dispenser was already in our minds in 2005. It was obvious from the outset that the dosing unit should be based on the principle of the progressive cavity pump. After all, this is the secret of ViscoTec’s success – for than 20 years! In 2008, the decision was finally made to launch the first preeflow product on the market.
What is special about the preeflow microdispensing units – in addition to the progressive cavity pump? Especially in comparison to the competitors…
The effective volumetric dosing! Regardless of whether there are viscosity fluctuations due to changes in temperature, time or pressure, the application is always volumetric. In addition, we guarantee the customer a linear and precise adjustment of the volumetric flow during the entire dosing process – even “on the fly”. The product to be dosed is gently conveyed, even if it is a solids-laden or abrasive material. At the end of the dosing process, a clean thread break-off is achieved by means of a retraction or suck-back function – this is one of the reasons why preeflow microdispensing units are very well suited for bead application. Apart from the dispensing process itself, handling is very easy. The preeflow dispensers can be easily integrated into semi-automatic or fully automatic robot systems.
You have already mentioned the dosing itself – what properties do the materials, that can be applied with a preeflow micro dispenser, have to offer?
Due to the decision to use special high-tech plastics to produce the preeflow products, the dispensers have an extremely high chemical resistance against almost all liquids or mixtures. There are virtually no restrictions as to the materials to be dosed. So far, we have found a solution for almost everything.
How large is the product portfolio so far and can your customers expect an expansion of the portfolio in the future?
My motto is: Standing still is a step backwards. We naturally keep an eye on market developments and then react flexibly with new innovations to constantly changing requirements. We currently have five dispensers and one spray dispenser in our portfolio for the 1-component range. In the 2-component area, we serve our customers with three different mixing systems.
How difficult was it in the beginning for you to open up markets with your products and to make the brand name preeflow known?
At the beginning it was really difficult, because they simply didn’t know our technology. Often and above all, we had to do a lot of convincing work to outshine established time-pressure systems or valve technologies. Over time, however, word had spread that preeflow’s systems are of very high quality and stand for precise, repeatable and low-wear metering of fluids.
Having proven yourself on the international market, what were the milestones that preeflow could celebrate in almost 10 years?
We currently have about 20,000 preeflow systems on the market – I think we can already claim that! It is also impressive for me to see that we have meanwhile created a brand with preeflow that is attracting attention on the dosing market. Ridiculed at first, our technology is now one of the dosing solutions that the market can no longer imagine without. This development is a milestone. But where there is success, there are also imitators. Of course, we observe our market companions, who have in part started to copy our products. According to a Chinese proverb: „The greatest compliment you can make to a competitor is to copy his success”, we are constantly working on improving our product portfolio and intensifying our proximity to the customer. Because: The customer is king!