The Bear, The Pump, and Three Forks: A Tale of Sabotage Near Godfather Lake

From the time KNF was founded, “durability” has been one of the most distinguishing traits of our pumps. We feel a strong sense of pride whenever our customers use adjectives such as: “strong”, “enduring”, and “tough” when describing our products. That said, there are rare occurrences when a KNF pump succumbs to unusually extreme punishment. Not too long ago, a KNF customer, Brian Jarrell, informed us of one such example.

Brian is the Recreation Director at The Lodge and Spa at Three Forks Ranch, a luxury Resort and Spa approximately 40 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The sprawling, 50,000-acre resort offers beautiful landscapes, scenic mountain vistas, various year-round activities, and upscale amenities. As part of his duties, Brian is responsible for maintaining ponds and other natural features across the huge property. To that end, many bodies of water around The Lodge, including nearby Godfather Lake, are equipped with solar-powered aeration systems. These aeration systems employ KNF N 828 gas pumps to inject air into the water for improved clarity and quality. When Brian needed help with his system’s pump, he called KNF and told us his wild story of a shaggy saboteur.

A visitor admires the wildlife & natural beauty of Three Forks Ranch (photo via threeforksranch.com)

One day, while making his usual checks around the property, Brian approached a pond to find that the nearby aeration system was completely silent. As he examined the control box, it became evident that the protective cover had been completely ripped off. According to Brian, a large black bear – 7 feet tall and 450 pounds – had destroyed the cover protecting the aeration system’s electronic components. As bad luck would have it, heavy snow soon fell over the exposed electrical components of the system, short-circuiting one of the two KNF pumps inside.

These circumstances are certainly extraordinary, and even frightening considering that a huge bear was probably lurking nearby while Brian was examining the damage from only a few hours earlier. However, according to Brian, scenarios involving wild animals are nothing unusual in his line of work. “We have had animals destroy our property in the past – problems with elk and bear chewing wires.” Brian calmly elaborated, “They are typically searching for food when they stumble onto a piece of equipment and become very curious. This bear may have been bored and was likely looking for something to do.” Well it certainly appears that this bear found something to do! On the bright side, this was the very first incident involving aeration systems on the property. Prior to the curious and destructive bear, both system and pump were “running just as strong as when they were originally installed” in 2004.

The suspect: Ursus americanus aka American Black Bear

The suspected saboteur: Ursus americanus (aka American Black Bear)

After finding the mauled machine, Brian soon contacted a KNF Technical Sales representative and, after a “painless and easy” conversation, he was on his way to receiving a replacement pump. When asked about the required repairs, Brian seemed almost relieved, “The whole thing was taken care of within a matter of hours. I am very appreciative of KNF”. In fact, he rates his experience with KNF a 10 out of 10. We’re glad to know that Brian’s experience was  positive, and we hope that the local black bear population seeks entertainment elsewhere in the wilds of Colorado.

Chef Mario Waldispühl Uses KNF Rotary Evaporator to Concoct Culinary Creations

Chef Mario Waldispühl with KNF RC 900 Rotary Evaporator

Chef Mario Waldispühl photographed with a KNF RC 900 Rotary Evaporator at ILMAC exhibition in Basel, Switzerland.

Mario Waldispühl is a young, enthusiastic kitchen chef of the Gasthof Krone Blatten restaurant in Malters, Switzerland. The native Lucerne chef is known for his creative and colorful cooking style which starts with fresh, seasonal ingredients grown locally throughout the region. From there, the chef and his staff apply imagination, a passion for cooking, and a love of food. This formula results in astonishing culinary combinations – a true feast for the eye and palate.

Whether he’s developing an elaborate multi-course menu, or making a ground-standing stew, the culinary talents of chef Mario Waldispühl extend well beyond the kitchen. Only a few months ago, the talented chef surprised attendees of the ILMAC exhibition in Basel, Switzerland by providing high-end, culinary creations to visitors at the KNF booth. Perhaps even more surprising than the location of the high-quality fare was the means by which they were created – using a KNF RC 900 Rotary Evaporator!

Mario Waldispühl explains the benefits of cooking with KNF’s RC Series Rotary Evaporator, and discusses his love for cuisine in the October, 2016 edition of KNF Neuberger, AG magazine, “Notabene” (German). The interview provided below is an excerpt from the English translation of the original article.


  1. While we are doing this interview, the summer season is already coming to an end, but the summer season Menu in Gasthof Krone Blatten is still up. – Which food would you order?”
    “Clearly the basil ravioli! By the way, it’s the dish from the summer menu, which I cook best.”
  2. Do you have a culinary wish that you have not yet met?
    “Fresh Maine lobster in a restaurant on the coast of Maine.”
  3. Is there a dish from your childhood that you have never got close to, what is your subjective opinion?
    “Grandma’s dumplings! In such taste memories, of course, it is above all about feelings, about emotional bonding.”
  4. Let’s go from the “normal kitchen” and the emotions into the world of technology. Cooking with a rotary evaporator – when did you hear about it for the first time?
    “About 10 years ago the molecular kitchen was very popular. This is where the rotary evaporator plays an important role. Because with it one can quickly and easily separate liquids, distill and boil at very low temperatures. The boiling point is considerably lower under vacuum; A tomato sauce, for example, boils in the rotary evaporator already at 40 degrees, whereas in classic cooking, between 70 and 80 degrees. I think every ambitious, modern chef dreams of cooking, experimenting with a rotary evaporator. For me it was so, but the devices are not quite cheap.”
  5. How did you get your rotary evaporator dream come true? Or in other words: How did you get to your rotary evaporator?
    “I was lucky! I have a regular guest working at KNF Flodos. One night I was talking about the rotary evaporator and he asked if I were tempted to cook with one . And so it happened that I came to an RC 900 from KNF and to return the favor, I will cook at KNF’s Ilmac booth.”
  6. When this article is published, the exhibition is already over – and the “culinary secret” has already been aired. Can you tell us, therefore, with which delicacies you would like to pamper your guests?
    “We start with a drink with chili and limes. Then there is tuna with chili, wasabi, seaweed- an indescribable taste experience! For dessert the main components will be chocolate and chili. And yes, chili did it to me; the results obtained with this spice with the rotary evaporator inspire me absolutely – an aromatics-technical revelation! We were able to hide the sharpness of the chili peppers, while the taste is fully revealed. So our “Little Experiment” at the fair is also very suitable for people who do not eat hot (spicy).”
  7. The RC 900 Rotary Evaporator from KNF is designed for laboratories. Is there something you think you should modify so that it is suitable for use in gastronomy?
    “No not at all. It is perfect for us as it is – no changes! Except when KNF would develop a model that cleans itself, then … Fun aside: It is in the nature of the matter that we need a lot of time to clean the RC 900, but this is easy and can not be changed. But you can dream.”

Article originally appeared in KNF Neuberger, AG magazine, “Notabene”, Oct. 2016.

Reaction Time: Q&A with Jim Abbott, Market Manager, Julabo USA, Inc.

PITTCON mascot, Pete Con, standing beside the Julabo reactorNot too long ago, while attending the PITTCON show in Atlanta, Georgia, we came across a unique and eye-catching exhibitor system – a special reactor manufactured by Julabo USA, Inc. featuring two KNF SIMDOS® liquid metering pumps transferring fluids to and from the reactor vessel. The machine is quite intriguing on its own; however, after having noticed the two KNF liquid diaphragm pumps, we contacted Jim Abbot, Market Manager, from Julabo USA, Inc. to learn more about the company’s impressive reactor.

1. Overall, what is the purpose of this reactor, what exactly does it do? Does it have an official name?

“We typically just refer to the small reactors of 100mL to 5L size as ‘bench scale’ or ’bench top reactor’, and the 10L to 100L sizes as ’kilo-scale pilot plant reactors’. Systems are available in both glass and stainless steel. Also, we are proud to be the US distributor of Berghof high pressure reactor systems – these have a ton of applications which they are used for but typical uses include: pharma, bio-pharma, plastics, paints, polymers, adhesives, petrochemical, energy, and most recently cannabis. The reactors are primarily used in mixing applications but with add-on features they can be easily equipped for various distillation methods such as: refluxing, short path and fractional distillation. All of our units are automation capable and can be easily controlled using our PC or PLC based AUTOReactor™ control and data logging packages.”

2. What is the function of the two KNF SIMDOS® pumps used within the Julabo reactor?

SIMDOS_Pumps_2 SIMDOS_pumps_1“We use the KNF pumps to control liquid additions or product sampling. The KNF SIMDOS pumps are used, specifically, because of their high quality, reliability, and automation capability. The pumps are connected to our PC or PLC based AUTOReactor™ control and data logging packages which allows users to program and control the process quite effectively and efficiently.”

3. I noticed that the reactor uses both KNF SIMDOS 10, and SIMDOS 02 pumps. Is there a reason why two different KNF SIMDOS pump types were selected?

“We displayed both [pumps] on [our demo] system, but typically we use the SIMDOS 02 on the bench scale reactors, while the SIMDOS 10 is used on the kilo-scale reactors. This is because of their different delivery rates as associated with the scale of the process, but quite often these are used interchangeably across both platforms.”

4. Is there any particular reason that compelled the system’s designer to choose KNF pumps over other dosing pumps from other pump manufacturers?

“We (Julabo) have had a long relationship with KNF both in the USA, and around the world. Moreover, we know without a doubt that KNF has the same principals as JULABO as far as delivering high-quality, reliable products.”

5. Will the Julabo reactor(s) be featured at the ACS tradeshow next week?

“Yes it will; we plan to display it again with the [KNF SIMDOS] pumps in a different configuration but always taking front stage, hand-in-hand with the JULABO products.”

6. Would you like to share any additional facts, or interesting notes regarding this system?

“We are devoted to offering our expertise in temperature control and reaction systems to our customers. Likewise, we are dedicated to providing solutions, from the inception of a process, through scale-up, and into manufacturing. One of the key factors is we design all of our systems with the utmost flexibility so as processes change, and companies grow we to can change and grow together with them.”

Julabo will be exhibiting at the upcoming ACS tradeshow in Philadelphia on August 21-23, 2016. If you will be attending the show, then be sure to check out Julabo’s incredible reactor system(s) incorporating KNF SIMDOS dosing/metering pumps. Also, don’t forget to visit KNF booth #1626 to see our latest laboratory technology, including: SIMDOS 10 and SIMDOS 02 liquid metering/dosing pumps, LABOPORT diaphragm vacuum pumps, LIQUIPORT liquid transfer pumps, the versatile VC 900 vacuum controller, and KNF’s award-winning RC 900 rotary evaporator.

Safe, Gas-tight Transfer of Dangerous and/or Expensive Media

The following is a case study presenting the issues encountered and overcome when problem-solving a pyrophoric gas transfer application with KNF customer, Air Products and Chemicals.

INTRODUCTION

Spontaneously-Combustible-SignAir Products is a leading international manufacturer of industrial gases and chemicals. With a staff of over 21,000, the company, based in Pennsylvania, operates in 50 countries across the globe and supplies a wide variety of processing media for myriad applications and industries.

Among goods produced specifically for the semiconductor and solar industry, Air Products manufactures a special gas mixture employed in etching and gas deposition processes to coat silicon wafers and glass substrates; these methods help, for example, to create the active films in flat panel displays and solar cells.

Owing to their pyrophoric properties, the utmost care is required both when manufacturing and using these gases. All system components that store or transfer the gases must therefore prevent air contamination. Should such gases come into contact with air, an exothermic reaction takes place in which a telltale oxidation product is created and deposited in the form of a white coating.

>> Read the Complete Case Study

KNF Exhibiting at the World’s Largest Printing Equipment Show

reprographic printingAs a trusted partner to many of the world’s leading industrial reprographic printer manufacturers, KNF is preparing to showcase its latest product developments at Drupa 2016. Considered the world’s largest printing equipment exhibition, Drupa is open every three years in Dusseldorf, Germany. This year, the show runs from May 31st through June 10th, and KNF is excited to be a part of it.

At the show, KNF will be exhibiting its latest product developments including liquid pumps with flow rates from microLiters/min to 12 L/min+ and gas pumps with flow rates from microLiters to 300 L/min. Additionally, KNF offers a wide selection of pumps that can be optimized for specific needs through engineer-to-engineer collaboration. Optional materials, motor types, fluid connections and other modifications are available to optimize performance, life, and cost at any quantity.

KNF liquid and gas pumps perform important ink handling tasks, including the ink transfer to print heads, ink degassing, print head cleaning, vacuum generation for print head meniscus control, and ink circulation. From continuous inkjet to drop-on-demand, from large format printing to product barcoding, KNF has the pumps needed for high-quality, consistent printing.

Please plan to stop by our booth in Hall 4, booth B01 if you will be attending Drupa 2016. To learn more about KNF pumps for reprographic printing visit www.knfusa.com/reprographics or read our related Application Notes:

In Case You Missed It: KNF Neuberger Pump Used on PBS’ “NOVA”

“The global cyberwar is heating up and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers.”

So says the voiceover talent, during a recent episode of “NOVA” on PBS. During the episode, real-world examples are provided to examine the science and technology behind today’s cyber warfare. Already, highly sophisticated, stealthy computer programs such as the notorious Stuxnet worm can take over the control systems that regulate food factories, pipelines, power plants, and chemical facilities—even our cars.

However, this blog isn’t written to put a scare into our readers; we just found it interesting that 23 minutes into the episode, a KNF air pump is used to pop a balloon! (episode available on PBS website via link below)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/cyberwar-threat.html

Liam O’Murchu, Sr. Development Manager at Symantec, demonstrates how a PLC—or programmable logic controller—can be used with malicious code to override an intended program command. The air pump, KNF model N 828, inflates a balloon for three seconds, and then stops, as directed by the PLC. However, if infected, the PLC can be used to drive the pump continuously, thus leading to the balloon being inflated until…POP!

KNF Demo to Debut at SLAS 2015

In just a few short days, some of us here at KNF will be leaving for our nation’s capital to attend the 4th annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, being held from February 8th-10th. We are particularly excited about this year’s SLAS event as we will be unveiling a brand new demonstration at the KNF Neuberger booth (# 1511).

The new KNF demonstration effectively showcases a number of real-world pump applications, including: direct liquid transfer, vacuum aspiration, and pneumatics via 3 unique KNF pumps. When initiated, the demo cycles continuously through three separate stages. Light-up placards provide clarity for the viewer by explicitly stating which of the following processes is being performed in the demo:

KNF Pump Applications Demo

The KNF demo cycles through Vacuum Aspiration, Onboard Pneumatics, & Direct Liquid Transfer.

1) Vacuum Aspiration– The first process (pictured right) shows fluid being aspirated by the suction created from a powerful vacuum pump. You may notice the system’s ability to generate vacuum-over-liquid easily and quickly – this is due to the selection of a pump with a high gas flow rate, and the ability to handle moist gas with slugs of liquid.

2) Onboard Pneumatics– The next stage demonstrates high pneumatic performance in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient manner. The system employs a micro gas pump to pressurize a pneumatic cylinder which, in turn, raises a tube – a similar function to needle aspiration which is performed for various medical applications.

3) Direct Liquid Transfer– The 3rd process demonstrates direct liquid transfer, using a diaphragm liquid pump. Here, direct transfer of liquid media is made possible using a specially-designed, two-headed pump with high self-priming ability, and smooth flow – ideal for demanding, real-world applications, such as direct handling of liquid waste.

While each stage of the demo illustrates a unique application, it’s important to note the commonalities amongst the stages: First, each pump/stage includes chemically-resistant materials, which allow for the transfer of aggressive media. Each pump also utilizes a brushless DC (BLDC) motor. The BLDC motor (available for most KNF pumps) enables more precise speed control, lowers audible noise and vibration, and promotes a longer lifetime of operation. Also, a new KNF Digital Control provides enhanced programmable features over previous analog controllers while promoting consistent performance and reliability. Tested to over 1.6 million on/off cycles and 100,000+ hours in pump life tests, the KNF Digital Controller offers superior performance in demanding applications.


If you’re going to be at SLAS next week please stop by the KNF Neuberger booth (#1511) to check out our new demo, and to learn more about KNF’s range of gas and liquid OEM pumps.