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How the Right Biopharma Pump Controller Can Reduce Manual Intervention and Optimize the Process Run

by PSG | Jan 19, 2022

Automated pump monitoring systems bring a variety of benefits when used in biopharma liquid-processing operations. They can be used to optimize pump performance by giving the operator the ability to automatically control operational parameters while cutting back on the need for manual intervention. This control makes it easier to run simple process steps in biopharma applications more effectively, resulting in precise, consistent results without the need to dedicate time and effort to manual monitoring.

Since most biopharma processes must adhere to strict process conditions to create a safe and usable product, making use of automated pump controls can provide operations with a considerable advantage.

Protect and Streamline Your Process

Today, there are pump systems that still require manual oversight in the form of interaction and control steps. This not only demands continuous monitoring by operators, but results in a lack of consistency in the process – the ideal pump solution is one that possesses automated capabilities that can identify and tune to the proper process parameters.

That’s where pump manufacturer Quattroflow® stepped up to solve the problem. Quattroflow has created the Q-Control Integrated Pump Controller, an automated pump control system specifically designed to reduce manual intervention and keep your operation running smoothly.


Q-Control optimizes pump performance by giving the operator the ability to automatically control such parameters as flow and pressure. Benefits of the system include:

  • Automatic adjustment of pump motor speed in order to meet desired flow and pressure conditions
  • Process Alarm feature for specific alarm configuration
  • Trend and alarm data logging
  • Ability to add additional sensors

Automated pump controllers allow manufacturers to reduce manual interaction because they directly interface with pressure and flow sensors. This allows the controller to read parameters like the pump’s flow rate and pressure levels during operation and then automatically adjust those parameters through increases or decreases in the pump’s motor speed to ensure the process is consistent.

However, not all automated pump controllers are created equal. Some still pose a risk for errors and other technical issues.

Thankfully, the Q-Control Integrated Pump Controller has been specifically designed to monitor critical parameters to keep your process running smoothly.

A standout feature of the Q-Control is its Process Alarm, which allows users to set up specific alarms for every connected pump sensor so that if the pressure exceeds a certain set point, the pump will automatically cease operating. This feature minimizes the risk that potential errors or malfunctions could result in a disruption for your process.

The Q-Control also comes pre-programmed with the ability for additional sensors to be added as needed. For instance, a level sensor can be utilized to allow for an automatic pump-stop condition when the tubing is emptied. Users can also configure alarms that will stop the pump, for example, if pressure increases due to filter clogging.

Data on these various alarms – as well as trend data – is constantly logged into a historical file that can be reviewed later on. This access to operational data gives the user an easy-to-understand history of the pump’s operations.

Make Process Automation Seamless

A variety of automated pump control systems are available in the market, but they are far from being plug-and-play. Typically, their implementation requires the pump to be outfitted with a programmable logic controller (PLC). The PLC uses sensors to read parameters such as flow rate and pressure levels during operation and then automatically adjusts those parameters through increases or decreases in the pump’s motor speed.


A PLC also requires a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller. PIDs work in conjunction with the PLC through external flow and pressure sensors. Essentially, the PID serves as the pump’s cruise control, sensing when operational conditions change and adjusting pump speed accordingly.

While the addition of a PLC and PID controller does make pump automation viable, these components increase the complexity and cost of a pump’s operation because it requires knowledge of software programming and setup, additional wiring and configuration expenses, and a human-machine interface.

So, what’s the ideal solution?

The Q-Control Integrated Pump Controller is built with the minimization of manual intervention in mind. Q-Control circumvents the complex and costly setup of a separate PLC, as the PID controller is integrated into the pump itself.

Due to the fact that Q-Control enables the pump to automatically adjust its motor speed in order to meet desired flow and pressure conditions, manual interaction can be reduced.

That isn’t the only way Q-Control automates pump operation. It comes with an Autotune feature designed to make it easier to find and set the correct parameters to configure the PID controller. When Autotune is enabled, the pump speed oscillates, allowing the sensor to determine an optimized set of PID parameters that will enable more stable and accurate pump control.

Integrated pump automation can dramatically improve your operation’s productivity in simple process setups. But existing automation methods still require manual intervention and pose high barriers to entry for many. Q-Control reduces those barriers, bringing you the benefits and flexibility of an automated pump control system without the hassles or added complexity.

Finding the Right Pump for Your Operation

The benefits that come with a control system like Q-Control are meaningless if the system isn’t compatible with your specific operational parameters.

That’s why Q-Control is designed to be flexible enough to be used in a wide variety of setups with many different sensors.

Q-Control is available for use on Quattroflow’s QF30, QF150, QF1200, QF2500 and QF4400 multi- and single-use pump models. It can be connected to up to four analog and two digital inputs, which includes various types of flow, pressure, level and diaphragm sensors, as well as start/stop switches. Q-Control is compatible with the flow sensors from fellow PSG brand em-tec, particularly the BioProTT™ FlowMCP with Clamp-On Transducer and BioProTT™ FlowTrack models.

Additional sensors can also be added as needed; for instance, a level sensor can be used that will perform an automatic pump-stop condition when the tubing goes empty.

Q-Control is built to fit your needs and provide easy-to-operate pump control no matter the setup. By seamlessly interfacing with the pump’s flow, pressure, diaphragm and level sensors, Q-Control allows the user to precisely select, set, monitor and control its operational parameters automatically, which results in direct control of pump operation and more operational safety.

Click here to find out more about the Q-Control from Quattroflow.