“Finally, a diaphragm pump as reliable as our equipment!”
The Hargraves team set out to identify opportunities where innovative advanced fluidic components could be developed to have a major positive impact to their target markets. Several original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) cited that the diaphragm pump was the weak link in their equipment. The pump typically was the first component to either fail or need service. Their expected life was found to be relatively low, with most pumps lasting less than only 3,000 hours in real world operation. This was unacceptable to most system designers as their products needed to operate in demanding environments for significantly longer. The cost to the OEM’s to rebuild the pumps or replace them with new ones was significant. The consequence of having dissatisfied customers because their product was plagued with downtime due to pump issues was even more costly.
Several OEM’s challenged Hargraves to develop a reliable diaphragm pump to last 10,000 hours under their rigorous application conditions. This was determined to be the length of time that their own product would last. In addition, they challenged Hargraves to advance their own product technology by packaging the required performance in a much smaller, compact envelope. These system designers realized that incorporating a reliable, service-free, miniature diaphragm pump with exceptional performance would permit them to reduce their own costs and increase their product’s marketability! The challenge to drive the state-of-the-art in fluidic delivery and control components for their customers became the foundation for the Hargraves Value Proposition.
The Hargraves engineers were receptive to the challenge. They investigated the different reasons that pumps failed and benchmarked the existing technologies and designs. Their research found three common failure modes of diaphragm pumps: