Growing Vape Market
The vape market has been on the rise for several years and is projected to continue to grow at a rapid pace The global e-cigarette and vape market size was valued at USD 10,261.8 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 24.9% from 2019 to 2025 1. Single use vape cartridges are used for both disposable and rechargeable vaporizers. Recent health concerns associated with the growing vape market will drive spur increased regulations for manufacturing vape cartridges. These increased regulations will drive demand for more accurate and reliable manufacturing equipment as seen in the Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Zaxis Inc. pumps are already being used to manufacture pharmaceuticals because of the eVmP’s exceptional precision and accuracy. The manufacturing of vape cartridges requires pumps that can handle highly viscous fluids while dispensing very precise doses in each cartridge. Zaxis Inc. metering pumps use positive displacement to pump fluids making them ideal for fluids with low or high viscosity. A natural progression for the vaping industry will be to convert their existing pump equipment to the Zaxis eVmP precision dispensing system.
Highly Viscous Fluids
Concentrated plant-based oils such as cannabis and hemp are known to be highly viscous fluids. Manufacturers use a number of different techniques to obtain the correct fluid viscosity for vape cartridges including distillates with thinning agents, cutting/infusing the oil with additives to thin the consistency, or infusing terpenes and strain-specific flavorings.
On a manufacturing production line all metering and dispensing pumps need to be able to overcome the backpressure the highly viscous fluids create. The Zaxis eVmP VS-Series was design specifically to deal with highly viscus fluids. The servo driven motor has nearly 4 times the torque of a traditional stepper motor and can handle flow rates near 2,000 mL/min and back pressure up to 200 psi. Meaning, the eVmP VS-Series can not only overcome the backpressure created by highly viscous fluids, is can dispense at a faster rate increasing product line throughput.
When manufacturing single use cartridges precision dosing is essential. In the Vape industry the FDA is particularly strict upon delivering exactly what is on the product label. Inconsistent dosing can upset end users if they receive a less than full product. Inconsistent dosing and overfilling can also have a damaging effect on the financial bottom-line of production.
The rising market has shined a spotlight on the Vape industry. Consumer safety is a top priority and with that comes higher quality control, including the repeatability of precision mixing ingredients. The FDA states that if you do not report your ingredients or changes to your ingredient quantities “your products may be deemed “misbranded” under federal law and therefore, subject to regulatory action, including seizure and injunction. Submission of false information is also punishable by criminal and civil law.2” If an e-liquid or “juice” mixture diverges from its label by the smallest percentage the FDA often requires destruction of the entire batch including video evidence of its destruction. Precision metering/dosing is vital to the successful and safe manufacturing of e-liquids.
The Zaxis eVmP system achieves +/- 0.5% full scale accuracy and 0.5 CV with 0.01 µL resolution through the use of a rotating and reciprocating positive displacement design. The use of positive displacement in the eVmP design helps reduce the risk of contamination or bleed over between packages. The difference between the external diameter of the piston and the internal diameter of the liner is near perfect. This means when the piston head is drawn away from the fluid path a vacuum is created ensuring volume remains constant through the entire cycle of operation. Furthermore, the eVmP rotating and reciprocating design renders highly repeatable results. With stainless steel pump head construction and sapphire hard, alumina ceramic, internals Zaxis eVmP pumps will last for millions of maintenance free cycles.
Not only is the FDA scrupulous when it comes to ingredients and dosages, the Vape industry also has a discerning customer base that is well informed about their products and often demand high standards that preserve a plant’s unique profile, flavor, and complexity. Precisely mixing each element of a juice as a distinct individual dose can be far more exact than big batch mixing producing a very high-quality product and reducing the margin of error and potential waste.
No One Wants a Leaking Pen
Many of the first Vape pens came with a warning not to lay them down or tip them over as the oil from the tank would often leak out. Cartridge design has evolved over the last few years and with the vape market on the rise the development and refinement of cartridge design is a continual process. There are several different leak tests that can be performed to validate a cartridge design. Closing off the vents and running a pressure decay test through the mouthpiece will validate all of the seals and ensure the tank is leak tight. Then opening the vents and running a mass flow test through the cartridge is especially helpful in validating that an atomizer filter design will not leak fluid.
The Isaac HD and Zaxis 7i are multi-function leak testers that have the capability of running multiple kinds of tests in the same unit. Both leak testers come with electronic regulators and up to 100 stored programs. This mean the air pressure setting will automatically adjust from test to test saving time and removing user error. Finding a desired flow rate for a cartridge is a delicate and precise task as the flow of air should be unimpeded while the flow of liquid should not pass through the saturated filter in full drops. The intuitive user interface makes test parameters easy to adjust and customize. The ability of the Isaac HD and Zaxis 7i to set and sense the difference between such tight parameters allows designers to develop cartridges that function perfectly without leaking.
The Zaxis eVmP VS-Series is ideal for handling the highly viscous fluid and extreme precision required for manufacturing single-use vape cartridges. The VS-Series servo motor technology is not only powerful enough to overcome the backpressure created by highly viscous fluids, but it also has the speed and accuracy to increase quality throughput. The Zaxis line of leak testers can validate the design of any vape cartridge as well as determine if there are any cartridge leaks or defects.
- Grand View Research. “E-cigarette And Vape Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Distribution Channel (Online, Retail), By Product, By Component, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 – 2025” Grand View Research, July. 2019 https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/e-cigarette-vaping-market
- FDA “ How Do I Comply with FDA’s Tobacco Regulations?” FDA 27, Aug. 2019 https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/compliance-enforcement-training/manufacturing