Setting Up M110 Microfluidizer & Troubleshooting Plugged Reaction Chambers



Hi, I'm Rich with New Life Scientific and today I'm going to actually shoot this video and actually show you how to set up this microfluidics, especially the M 110, eh, 30,000 PSI unit. This is kind of the pre production right in between that full production model that they make. And it's definitely a step up from the benchtop models. And most of my customers are overwhelmed at how much more production this will do than your standard benchtop models. So when you get the machine in, let's just say you haven't never run one of these. Just real quick, you got your main reaction chambers here. The first one here is the diamond, and then there's a ceramic one back here. This is your main reaction chamber. 

And a lot of times people, they buy the machine, they run it and they call and they say, well, my chamber is plugged up or I'm not getting any flow. And so the first thing that you really need to do and know how to understand these machines is that you can disassemble the parts here and you're going to have to actually the best thing to do over here you can see I have one set up, but this is an ultrasonicator, this is a Branson. And you need to have one of these on hand so that you can stick one in if you really got a bad plug. 

Most generally what we do here is we'll actually take it out and reverse it and just do a couple of pumps to try to unplug it and then turn it back again and try to get the flow going. But if you have some really bad plugs, you almost need to run maybe some denatured alcohol through it. But again, the last resort is getting some heat and getting it into Sonicator over there, getting it in a bath, and even at that, sometimes you need to keep running production. So sometimes it's a good idea to actually have an extra one of these. So while one is being kind of boiled in the Sonicator, that you can actually get it up and going and have another ratchet chamber ready to put in. 

But over here, I'm just going to point out a couple of tools that I have. Basically the best thing to have is a couple of adjustable wrenches. I've got different sizes here and then a five eight wrench is the one you need to use the most. This wrench here fits all of your fittings here. And these are the fittings that you're going to actually be taking off the most. So say if you need to take this reaction chamber apart, it also has a quick knob here to release the clamp here. But the best thing to do first is just to take the ends off. That way you can kind of get right to that. So it's just as simple as and that's what I like about this clamp it actually holds everything in place. But it's just a quick. 

I mean, they unscrew really easy once you get that initial loosening part done. So we're just going to bring these out first and we're going to look at the way these fittings here are real quick. And you can see this is what you call your collar here. And then you have your holding nut. But you can see there's a cone fitting on here where that cone actually sits in a receiving kind of the opposite cone. And what you always need to make sure is there's about two threads right there to the edge of this piece here. Because if you're screwed back too far, you don't get near the leverage. If you're screwed up too far where it can't actually seal up and make the seal, then you have issues there too. 

But one thing you got to be careful too, is when you're actually screwing this, it can actually turn that and move that. So best thing to do is just to set it at two threads. And you can see that one actually moved when I unscrewed it. So now you get it reset. Now it's ready to put back on. So we're just going to lay this aside a second. And now we got access to both of these. So again, we're just going to remove this side here and just unscrew it by hand here. And now we can actually loosen this up and just slide this out like this. If you want to remove both of them, you can easily do the same on the back. So you can see the arrow here. 

The fluids are coming through this way, going back around and then they go through the heat exchanger in the back. So what you would do is just turn the arrow that way, stick it in here, slip it back in like that and then just tighten your nut up here and just one little crank back. And then you would actually just turn the machine on. You'd start the motor over here and then you just push to start, pull to stop. So you'd push it, try to get a couple of pumps and try to push the plug out. And once you get some fluids coming out, a couple, two or three pumps, then I would just stick a rag here and try to catch it. And then you take that back off and you can flip it back around. 

Now if you can't get it like this, then this is when we would take it over. And then we put it in the Sonicator over here. We would probably put it in an alcohol bath, heat it up and just leave it sit for a couple of hours. And that's where it's nice to have that extra chamber, reaction chamber and to keep production moving. So these are just some basics that you're going to encounter with microfluidics or any kind of fluidics machines so that's why they make it very easy to get to these things. Everything out here is kind of on a work table here. This wrench pretty much all you need to remove this, remove it in that Sonicator. 

And another thing too, is when we ship this machine here, we're actually going to take this front part off for shipping and take this line off. So again, this wrench would be used to put these lines back on. And then these fittings here are basically the same thing. They're bigger fittings that are identical to this. So when this comes out, you check for two threads, screw that up. And then I would use my big wrenches to crank this one down. Again, if you don't get it seated right and there's a leak, there's a little weep holes where you'll actually start getting fluid out of these weep holes right here. So that kind of tells you whether it's seated right or if you don't have it tight enough.

Every high pressure fitting has weep holes where the fluid will actually come out, identifying a leak before it gets too bad. So anytime you see fluids dripping from any of these holes on these fittings here, you can see there's one there that's just identifying the fittings aren't tight enough. So if you put stuff back together, it's very easy to forget to tighten one nut and you get that leak to just shut it off, go over there and tighten it down, turn it back on and you're up and going. So none of that is even when you receive the machine and there's maybe a leak, don't panic. That's really normal. So that's why it's a good idea to go through the whole thing before you even turn it on and just tighten everything really good and make sure that there's no loose nuts. 

So this particular machine is a three phase. You need a three phase outlet and you also need air. And all the air does is it actually has some pneumatic switches that it runs and that's what makes it run really fast. So I've actually got this set up for a quarter inch, just a simple plug in quarter inch. Or you can even if you have a standard fitting and you want to use an air hose on this one too. But you will need an air supply. Doesn't take much at all. You can have a simple small little air compressor if you don't have in house air. And it can just almost sit on the floor next to it. And it's just running enough air to run the switches. And then you have the shut off valve here. 

And then the three phase plug on this one, also 20 amp. You'll need that plug there. I have kind of a reducer plug to move it to 30 amp because I only have 30 amp, three phase up here to run this machine. So these are some of the things for setting up the machine. And once you get that done and always make sure you're constantly keeping an eye on your oil down here. This just simply watches your oil, how dirty it gets, perhaps. And to make sure it stays full once in a while, because the way these machines work, there's a constant pounding. These hydraulic cylinders are applying a tremendous amount of pressure and then it releases and it pounds again. It just kind of does that constant pounding. 

And that's one of the biggest reasons why there's actually a shut off valve for the pressure gauge here. These pressure gauges are very durable, but that consistent pounding will ruin them. So once you set your desired pressures with the pressure control knob here and you're getting that consistent, if you're wanting to go all the way to 30,000, you can crank it up to that, or if you want to crank it a little bit lower. But once you get that desired pressure setting, not only do you want to tighten your lock nut right here, because of that pounding, it will actually turn the knob from the pounding. So you can tighten that lock nut down and then shut this shut off valve so that the gauge will no longer work and keep it preserved. 

And then if you need to change your settings, just open this back up and then start adjusting it again. And then lock it back down and lock that back down for your production runs. So those are some of the things that you need to be aware of. I'm actually going to shoot another video on taking this apart and changing the main head seal on it. So we're going to be shooting that in a little bit. But if you start getting leaks out of this port right here, that basically means that your plunger seal is going to need changed. So as soon as you see dripping there, might as well just stop and do a plunger seal change. And that's pretty common because the plunger seals are only limited. They're just limited because they're notwithstanding those 30,000 PSI pressures. 

So again, they have it set up to be able to change those out pretty quick. And we're going to cover that in the next video. But this is the main setup where you need some air for your pneumatic switches. You need three phase power to run it, 20 amp breaker on it, and just keep an eye on the level of the oil. And then on the back real quick, we're just going to spin this around. And you can see they have it pretty easy to take the back off. It just lifts off the screws. And I like to leave it because we're always going to want to keep an eye on it. And the way I talked about the fittings on the front, it's the same way with fittings on the back. 

I've seen hydraulic fittings come loose because of this pounding action, the vibrations. And so you always want to just kind of keep an eye on it. And again, having adjustable wrenches and you can actually kind of go through and just snug make sure everything is tight. Now we do that here. We run these machines hours here, testing them. But again, there's always that chance that after you use it, they can still work their way loose. So don't let that surprise you. Again, that's part of hydraulic system that's producing that kind of pressures. So this is a really nice machine. It's actually a 2020 model. And were really happy with this because it looks brand new inside when we got it in. So the only thing I really did was change the plunger seal on it and got it up running. 

And yeah, it was a great, nice machine. But we actually even have this one sold, so it's getting shipped out and we'll probably be getting another one in soon. But anyways, I think I'm going to stop here on this video. This is a super machine to run. There's no electronics, it's just mechanics. You got the start stop button for the motor, you've got the pull push switch for the intensifier, and then you've got the pressure adjustment here and just a emergency shut off knob over there. This kills everything down. The air is set up. Once you hook the air up, it already has the regulator set for it. 

If you do need to get an electrician in and wire in a plug for three phase, there's a chance that the motor could run in reverse on initial startup, if there's absolutely no pressure being built, you need to switch to your legs on the three phase and that's pretty common for an electrician to know that. So those are just some of the basics on this machine and getting it running. And I hope this helps you out and thank you for watching the video. Bye.