KNF Micro has been developing, designing and producing micro gas pumps since 2011.

Small but Mighty: Micro Gas Pumps From KNF Micro AG

They are small, powerful and they’re really gaining ground: micro gas pumps. In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in demand for ever smaller and more powerful pumps, particularly for use in battery-operated handheld devices. However, developing and producing these micro pumps requires a lot of skill and attention to detail. Their small dimensions make them challenging enough to produce, plus they are usually required in large production numbers and for specialist applications – a unique set of requirements.

Consequently, KNF decides to introduce a new product group specifically for this growth market in the mid-1980s – the NMP pump series. Ever since, all KNF gas pumps up to a certain size have been categorized as micro gas pumps. In line with the Group’s strategy to promote dedicated competence centers, the next logical step was to establish a specialist Product Center for the younger brother of our larger diaphragm gas pumps. The green light was given and after that everything quickly fell into place.

In 2011, KNF begins searching for suitable premises in Switzerland. The final decision falls on a building just being constructed in Reiden, which is to include a modern glass cube on the first floor that the landlord is willing to adapt to KNF’s requirements. It is the perfect location. In no time at all, KNF Micro AG proceeds from quite literally nothing to a modern production facility with bright office spaces and an airy terrace. Now all that is left is for the mighty micro gas pumps to make their mark on the world stage.

Just five months after KNF first views the premises, the first micro gas pumps roll off the production line at the new Product Center in Reiden on May 14, 2012. And since then, we have hardly stopped to catch our breath: Demand is high and the number of pump types ever growing. Everything in Reiden is perfectly set up for micro pumps, with small-size components, assembly platforms with specialist equipment and a development team that specializes in meeting the needs of customers in the micro gas pump segment.

Today, KNF Micro AG has 60 employees and remains as dynamic as ever. The center is always looking for ways to optimize its production processes and regularly releases new innovative solutions to meet the continued demand for miniaturization. In 2016, KNF Micro releases the NMP 03, the smallest gas transfer pump in the world at the time. Measuring just 24.2 mm, this tiny pump is half the length of a match, and yet it can pump up to 500 ml/minute. This makes it the ideal choice for hand pipettes used in research and medicine.

In addition to their small size, micro pumps are also very quiet, which is why they are often found in equipment such as ventilators where they come in close contact with people. Another common application is in the printing industry, where these pumps are used to create a small, precise vacuum near an inkjet print head, which ensures a consistently high print quality. They are also found in portable gas analyzer systems designed to protect people and equipment against harmful substances.

Reiden is the KNF Group’s third Product Center, following in the footsteps of Freiburg-Munzingen in Germany, which specializes in ‘large’ gas pumps, and KNF Flodos in Sursee, Switzerland, which focuses on liquid pumps.

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