This operations manual describes the processes and procedures necessary to safely unpack, install, operate, and maintain a Vape-Jet 3.0 Automated Filling System, for hardware version 3.0 (minor revisions also supported).

Safety Procedures

This standard operating procedure (SOP) describes the materials and processes necessary to maintain operator safety while operating the Vape-Jet and Jet-Fueler filling systems. This SOP is to be performed every time filling operations commence.

Facility Safety Equipment

  • Anchored nitrogen cylinder chain

  • Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) or surge protector

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Ventilation

The Vape-Jet system utilizes pressurized nitrogen gas for normal operations. Improper handling of nitrogen gas cylinders can be dangerous as they are highly pressurized.

Compressed Nitrogen Hazards (N₂)

  • All compressed gas cylinders should be properly identified, and the specific hazards of each cylinder should be known.

  • Improper handling of cylinders could result in sprains, strains, falls, bruises, and broken bones. All compressed gas cylinders are potentially hazardous because of the pressure inside the cylinder (including low pressure cylinders). A sudden release of this pressure can cause serious injury or death by propelling a cylinder or whipping a line. Other hazards such as explosion and cold burns could occur if gases accidentally escape from the cylinder due to mishandling.

  • Compressed Nitrogen gas cylinders present hazards because of the volume of gas and the pressures involved. Simple asphyxiation is the primary hazard associated with compressed Nitrogen. Leaking tanks and connections are hazardous to the operator because Nitrogen gas is colorless and odorless, it can escape into the atmosphere undetected. Leaking or vented inert gas can displace breathable air, quickly reducing the concentration of oxygen below the level necessary to support life. Therefore, the room should be well ventilated as a precaution.

  • Nitrogen cylinders should be well maintained and certified periodically by the supplier, a poor condition cylinder is prone to leaks or ruptures.

  • Nitrogen Cylinders must be fastened securely at all times whether in use, transit, or storage (example: chained to a wall bracket, or tank dolly). Cylinders secured with a chain or strap must have the chain or strap attached 2/3 of the way up on the cylinder.

  • Cylinder safety caps must be in place during transport or when Nitrogen cylinders are not in use for an extended period.

  • Always store Nitrogen cylinders in a well-ventilated area.

  • Protect cylinders, valves, and regulators from corrosion due to weather or chemicals.

  • Proper valves and/or regulators for the specific gas (Nitrogen) must be used. If the regulator connections do not readily fit together, the wrong regulator is being used. Do not force connections to fit, as you may permanently damage the threads. Proper valve and regulator safety must be followed according to the specific documentation for each valve and regulator.

  • Store and use cylinders away from heat or ignition sources and out of direct sunlight.

  • Close all valves and depressurize lines when not in use and before moving a Nitrogen cylinder.

  • Transport large cylinders only on an approved dolly or cart (tanks over 35"' in height).

  • The valve should be kept free of debris when the regulator is not attached, a poor connection is prone to leaks.

  • Regulators should have fresh Teflon tape wrapped on the threads every time they are attached to a cylinder to prevent leaking. Always check for leaks after attaching a regulator to a new tank.

  • Empty cylinders should be stored separately from full Nitrogen cylinders.

Motion Hazards

  • The Vape-Jet makes automatic movements during operation and does not have an interrupt switch for the door since it is sometimes necessary to observe the machine closely during operations.

  • The operator should take care to not touch any motion component during operations, and not wear any clothing or accessories which can be caught in motion components.

  • The door should be kept closed under most operational circumstances.

Burn Hazards

The reservoir, oil lines, chamber, and needle can be as hot as 80C under operational conditions and should not be touched until they have cooled off, or without the use of protective gloves. Likewise, the oil in the reservoir represents a burn hazard.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Gloves

  • Safety goggles

  • Hairnets

  • Face mask (to prevent inhalation of aerosolized oils during the clean in place procedure)

Unboxing & Installation

Congratulations on purchasing a new Vape-Jet!Begin by preparing the area in the manufacturing facility where Vape-Jet is to be installed. Per the materials list, the table should be sturdy, take additional care to ensure it is level and has at least 3’/1m clearance in front to allow for the Vape-Jet door to open. The table should additionally be fitted with pressurized cylinder safety chains for the nitrogen supply.

Ensure the table is located within 5’/1.5m from an electrical outlet (110v AC, single phase). The table should preferably be located near an RJ-45 jack or have a Cat. 5 Ethernet cable routed directly to it from the nearest LAN switch in the facility. The Vape-Jet will require internet access to take advantage of remote service and support.

Scheduling a remote installation and training session with a Vape-Jet support engineer prior to unboxing is highly recommended. Click here to submit a support request.

Unboxing Checklist

  • 1x Vape-Jet Automated Cartridge Filler

  • 1x Vape-Jet Reservoir

  • 2x Vape-Jet Beaker

  • 1x Nitrogen Gas Regulator

  • 1x PTFE tube ¼”ODx1/8”IDx30” long

  • 1x AC power cord

  • 1x Luer-lock blunt-tip needle, 18AWG (installed in the Vape-Jet)

  • 1x Ethernet Switch

  • 2x Cat. 5 ethernet cables

Materials

  • Box cutter or scissors

  • Wire cutters

  • Worktable at least 72”x36” and capable of supporting 150 pounds or 68kg 4. Category 5 Ethernet cable

  • Computer with Local Area Network and internet access (Windows, MacOS, Android, Chrome, iOS compatible)

  • Nitrogen bottle, food-grade or better, type CGA-580 thread, with safety chains

  • Adjustable wrench

  • 9/16” open ended wrench

Procedure

  • Remove the ratchet straps from the pallet to expose the pallet wrap. Take note of the condition of the ShockWatch sticker applied to the pallet wrap and remove the Final Verification and Packing Checklist from underneath the top shipping label. Cut the pallet wrap with scissors or box cutter.

  • Unbox the reservoir and regulator boxes, being careful to not break the beakers packed in the regulator box. Attach the regulator to the nitrogen bottle, secure using the adjustable wrench. Remove the sealing tape and attach the PTFE tube to the output of the push connector on the regulator. Unwrap and set beakers aside.

  • With the shipping box in its upright position, use scissors to cut the tape securing the box closed, to reveal the Vape-Jet.

  • Remove packing material around the Vape-Jet.

  • Place the Vape-Jet on the worktable and remove external tape which seals vents, ports, jacks, and door.

  • Connect the facility Ethernet cable to the Ethernet Switch; connect the Vape-Jet and Computer to the Ethernet Switch.

  • Secure the nitrogen bottle and regulator in an upright position with chains to the leg of the workbench, wall anchor, or other safe position.

  • Connect the nitrogen tank and regulator to the Vape-Jet by pushing the free end of the PTFE tube into the push connector on the outside upper rear right of the Vape-Jet.

  • Open the Vape-Jet door, cut, and remove the zip-ties (4 total) that secure the motion stages and nitrogen quick-connector.

  • Place the Vape-Jet beaker into the beaker holder on the center front edge of the filling platform.

  • Remove the tape from the nitrogen quick connector inside the Vape-Jet enclosure and remove the tape from the corresponding connector (and product dipstick port) on the Reservoir.

  • Place the Reservoir in its holder inside the Vape-Jet enclosure, such that the product dipstick port is pointed towards the product dosing valve and pump. Locate the product PTFE line and remove the tape from the Swage nut, being careful to not let it slide down the corrugated heat shroud. Insert the compression fitted end of the product PTFE line into the Reservoir product dipstick fitting, hand tighten the Swage nut, and then secure with ¼ turn using the 9/16th” open ended wrench. Insert the Reservoir power Molex plug into the Molex receptacle located near the underside of the reservoir holder.

  • Ensure the enclosure filter is properly seated in the holder on the rear of the unit, and visually inspect the outside and inside of the enclosure for any obvious shipping damage.

  • Join the previously scheduled installation and training meeting via the Google Meet link provided in the calendar invite or click here to submit a support request.

  • Once unboxing and setup has been confirmed with Vape-Jet support, the power cord may be plugged into the back of the unit, connected to the facility mains via a surge protector(required) or Uninterruptible Power Supply(recommended), and the unit switched on from the rear panel.

  • The Vape-Jet will then power on with several fans, alignment camera LEDs and enclosure LEDs becoming active. The stages will move to their home position and the enclosure LEDs will sequence through several colors, displaying green when the unit is fully booted up.

  • The manufacturing facility will then need to have its Information Technology specialist obtain or assign the IP address of the Vape-Jet on the facility LAN and set this address to a static configuration. This IP address will then need to be bookmarked in the web browser of the computer to be used to operate the Vape-Jet. Navigate to this IP address and continue with the training session.

Camera Calibration

The Camera Calibration procedure is performed to train the Vape-Jet to identify cartridges so that the filling process can be done automatically via Machine Vision Alignment. This procedure must be performed every time a new cartridge type is introduced to the system, since minor variations between manufacturers exist even for standard 510 style cartridges.

As a part of the Vape-Jet Service and Support agreement, a Vape-Jet Engineer will happily perform and train on this procedure remotely for as many cartridge, pod, capsule, or bottle types as are needed in the manufacturing processes of the facility. Click here to submit a support request.

Materials

  • Computer with Local Area Network and internet access (Windows, MacOS, Android, Chrome, iOS compatible)

  • Vape-Jet Automated Cartridge Filler

  • Empty 510-style cartridges vertically packed-as-shipped in foam trays, Juul-style pods (vertically packed), two-piece capsules (vertically packed in standard filling jig), or bottles (up to 60ml, arranged in a custom regular grid jig).

Procedure

  • Boot up the Vape-Jet and the manufacturing computer, then navigate to the Vape-Jet IP address from the web browser to load the GUI.

  • Navigate to the Camera Calibration page from the “Calibration” drop-down list on the left panel of the Vape-Jet GUI.

  • Open a new box of empty cartridges, place them upright on the worktable and gently tamp the tops of the cartridges or pods with your hand to ensure they are all close to the same height in the foam. This step is necessary for every tray to be filled, to ensure that every cartridge will be in focus and therefore be easily filled due to proper alignment.

  • Open the Vape-Jet door. Click the “Loading Position” button from the right-side panel, and place a tray of cartridges, pods, or capsules onto the filling platform.

  • Close the door.

  • Use the “Concentric Jogger” to move the platform under the camera, such that a cartridge, pod, or capsule is directly underneath.

  • Click the video display to select the Machine Vision Camera.

  • Carefully adjust the “Camera Focus” slider to bring the topmost feature of the cartridge, pod, or capsule into sharp focus. Most 510-style cartridges or pods will be focused directly on the center post as it is the highest point of these styles; bottom-filled cartridges have shorter center posts and so focus will be on the outer edge of the cartridge tank, similarly to capsules.

Calibration logic for traditional 510-style cartridges:

  • From the “Configuration” page, fill out the “Cartridge Info” section with manufacturer, type, part numbers (must contain text, can’t be only numbers), and make sure the “Pod Type Cartridges” toggle is in the leftmost position to select for cartridges.

  • From the “Camera” page under the “Calibration” drop down, adjust the “Camera Focus” slider to focus on center post.

  • Click “Inner Circle Calibration”.

  • Set “Maximum Circle Radius” and “Minimum Circle Radius” sliders to be within about 3-10 of each other, such that a solid lock can be found on the center post.

  • Adjust “Detection Filter 1” and “Detection Filter 2” sliders to only lock on the center post when in frame.

  • Adjust the “Inverse Ratio of the Accumulator Resolution to the Image Resolution” (IRARIR for short) slider to between 1.0 and 2.5.

  • Click the “Outer Circle Detection” tab, then click “Enable Outer Circle Detection” and follow logic of steps 2b-2e to identify the outermost circle of the cartridge tank, with IRARIR set to between 3.5 and 7.5.

  • Click “Calibrate Optical Scalers” and wait for the routine to complete.

  • Click the gear symbol in the upper right to open the “Configurations” window; fill out “Configuration Name” and “Configuration Description”, then click “Save New”, and “X” or “Close” out of the window.

Calibration logic for Pod style cartridges:

  • From the “Configuration” page, fill out the “Cartridge Info” section with manufacturer, type, part numbers (must contain text, can’t be only numbers), and make sure the “Pod Type Cartridges” toggle is in the rightmost position to select for pods.

  • From the “Camera” page under the “Calibration” drop down, adjust the “Camera Focus” slider to focus on center post.

  • Click “Inner Circle Calibration”.

  • Set “Maximum Circle Radius” and “Minimum Circle Radius” sliders to be within about 3-10 of each other, such that a solid lock can be found on the center post.

  • Adjust “Detection Filter 1” and “Detection Filter 2” sliders to only lock on the center post when in frame.

  • Adjust the “Inverse Ratio of the Accumulator Resolution to the Image Resolution” (IRARIR for short) slider to between 1.0 and 2.5.

  • Click “Calibrate Optical Scalers” and wait for the routine to complete.

  • Click the gear symbol in the upper right to open the “Configurations” window; fill out “Configuration Name” and “Configuration Description”, then click “Save New”, and “X” or “Close” out of the window.

Calibration logic for bottom-fill 510-style cartridges:

  • From the “Configuration” page, fill out the “Cartridge Info” section with manufacturer, type, part numbers (must contain text, can’t be only numbers), and make sure the “Pod Type Cartridges” toggle is in the leftmost position to select for cartridges.

  • From the “Camera” page under the “Calibration” drop down, adjust the “Camera Focus” slider to focus on the outer circle of the cartridge tank.

  • Click “Inner Circle Calibration”.

  • Set “Maximum Circle Radius” and “Minimum Circle Radius” sliders to be within about 3-10 of each other, such that a solid lock can be found on the outermost circle of the cartridge tank.

  • Adjust “Detection Filter 1” and “Detection Filter 2” sliders to only lock on the outermost circumference when in frame.

  • Adjust the “Inverse Ratio of the Accumulator Resolution to the Image Resolution” (IRARIR for short) slider to between 3 and 7.5.

  • Click “Calibrate Optical Scalers” and wait for the routine to complete.

  • Click the gear symbol in the upper right to open the “Configurations” window; fill out “Configuration Name” and “Configuration Description”, then click “Save New”, and “X” or “Close” out of the window.

Calibration logic for capsules:

  • From the “Configuration” page, fill out the “Cartridge Info” section with manufacturer, type, part numbers (must contain text, can’t be only numbers), and make sure the “Pod Type Cartridges” toggle is in the leftmost position to select for cartridges.

  • From the “Camera” page under the “Calibration” drop down, adjust the “Camera Focus” slider to focus on the circle of the capsule.

  • Click “Inner Circle Calibration.”

  • Set “Maximum Circle Radius” and “Minimum Circle Radius” sliders to be within about 3-10 of each other, such that a solid lock can be found on the capsule.

  • Adjust “Detection Filter 1” and “Detection Filter 2” sliders to only lock on the circumference of the capsule when in frame.

  • Adjust the “Inverse Ratio of the Accumulator Resolution to the Image Resolution” (IRARIR for short) slider to between 1 and 7.5.

  • Click “Calibrate Optical Scalers” and wait for the routine to complete.

  • Click the gear symbol in the upper right to open the “Configurations” window; fill out “Configuration Name” and “Configuration Description”, then click “Save New”, and “X” or “Close” out of the window.

Needle Calibration

The Needle Calibration procedure is performed for the Vape-Jet system to determine the location of the needle relative to the camera focus. This procedure must be performed every time a new needle is installed in the system, or anytime the needle is bumped out of alignment; poor needle calibration or a misaligned needle can cause mis-fills and improper dispensing action.

As a part of the Vape-Jet Service and Support agreement, a Vape-Jet Engineer will happily perform and train on this procedure remotely. Click here to submit a support request.

Complete the machine vision alignment camera calibration before conducting the needle calibration procedure.

Materials

  • Computer with Local Area Network and internet access (Windows, MacOS, Android, Chrome, iOS compatible)

  • Vape-Jet Automated Cartridge Filler

  • Empty 510-style cartridges vertically packed-as-shipped in foam trays, Juul-style pods (vertically packed), two-piece capsules (vertically packed in standard filling jig), or bottles (up to 60ml, arranged in a square grid jig).

  • (1) Vape-Jet Needle Calibration Jig (Print at 100% resolution & cut out one of the square jigs)

  • Tape

Procedure

  • From the “Configuration” tab, click “Load” on the desired hardware profile (a dry run configuration should be chosen, or set after loading), then click “Focus Camera”, once the gantry moves to focus, click “Load” on the “Needle Calibration Config” profile.

  • Click “Loading Pos” and place a leveled tray of empty cartridges on the platform.

  • Place one pre-cut Needle Calibration Jig on top of the cartridges so that it lays flat, using the tape if needed.

  • Click “Needle” from the “Calibration” drop-down list on the left panel of the Vape-Jet web interface to launch the Wizard.

  • Step 1 of the Wizard set up the Vape-Jet by loading the tray of cartridges, which has been done. Click “Next” to Step 2.

  • The filling platform will then move closer to the operator by several millimeters, and the “Up” position of the needle will be set with the slider. This position should be 3-5mm from the topmost feature (e.g., center post) of the cartridge, pod, or capsule. This position will be used during dispense operations. Click “Next”.

  • Step 3 requires the operator to use the “Concentric Jogger” to move the filling platform until the dot on the Needle Calibration Jig is visible from the Alignment Camera feed, the alignment circle should be locked onto the dot, if so, click “Align” then click “Next”. If the Machine Vision Alignment circle does not recognize the dot, then adjust the “Camera Calibration” until it locks (and save the configuration).

  • Step 4 (Calibrate Needle Offset) will be accomplished by using the “Concentric Jogger” and “Needle Down” button to move the filling platform until the needle is directly above the center of the dot on the Needle Calibration Jig; click “Needle Down” until the needle is nearly touching the Needle Calibration Jig to get a better view of the needle position relative to the dot. Click “Next”.

  • Step 5 (Calibrate Filling Point) will be skipped, click “Next”.

  • Step 6 (Set Needle Down Position) will be skipped, click “Next”, then click “Finish”.

  • Click on the “Configuration Tab” and click the “Advanced Settings” toggle, scroll down to the “Needle” section, and record the “Needle Offset from Camera (X)” and “Needle Offset from Camera (Y)” values.

  • Click “Load” on the profile for the cartridges being calibrated, which are loaded into the Vape-Jet.

  • Remove the Needle Calibration Jig from the top of your cartridges.

  • Update the “Needle Offset from Camera (X)” and “Needle Offset from Camera (Y)” values in the cartridge profile; set “Needle Up Position” and “Needle Down Position” to “2”; set the “Optimal Dispense Distance” to “4.5”; set the “Optimal Point Angle” to “90” if not using the “Outer Circle Detection” routine.

  • Click “Dispense” from the “Operation” drop down menu on the left, set up a dry run, and click “Dispense”.

  • Click on the Crosshair icon in the upper right corner to load the “Heads Up Display” and observe the needle position; If the needle is too close to the center post, increase the “Distance From Center” value by increments of 0.1, or if the needle is too close to the wall, decrease by increments of 0.1.

  • Once the needle is clear of the cartridge center post and wall, start increasing the “Needle Down” value until it is inserting at least 8-10mm below the level of the cartridge wall.

  • Continue observing and adjusting the “Needle Down” and “Distance from Center” as needed until the dry run completes. If the needle does not hit any cartridge, the calibration is complete and validated; click “Save” from the “Configuration” tab and update any old profiles with the new needle calibration values for “Needle Offset from Camera (X)” and “Needle Offset from Camera (Y)”.

Product Loading

This procedure will be performed prior to pump dispense calibration and filling operations. Perform after
the cleaning procedure to maintain product specificity.

Materials

  • 9/16″ open ended wrench

  • Formulated product, up to 1050ml per batch

  • Stir rod

  • Silicone scrapers

  • Vape-Jet beaker

Procedure

  • Begin with a clean reservoir, removed from the Vape-Jet enclosure for ease of access.

  • With the top clamp, Viton seal, and bulkhead removed, carefully transfer your prepared product formulation into the reservoir making sure the Viton gasket area remains clean. Utilize a stir rod and/or silicone scrapers to facilitate transfer from your formulation container to the reservoir.

  • Replace the Viton seal, bulkhead, and top clamp such that both clamp (top and bottom) hinges are aligned with the bulkhead dipstick.

Ensure both clamps are secured tightly to avoid leaks under pressure

  • Open the door, connect the reservoir bulkhead to the Vape-Jet; the dipstick port connects to the Vape-Jet PTFE oil path (semi-clear tube with barbed metal insert in the end) via the Swagelok connector. Insert the end of the PTFE tube all the way into the connector (with retention rings inside/over the barbed insert) and tighten the compression nut with the 9/16″ wrench.

  • Connect the nitrogen port of the reservoir bulkhead to the corresponding quick-connector (barrel style with black PTFE tubing) inside the Vape-Jet.

  • Connect the Molex connector (square white plastic electrical connector with 4 pins) of the reservoir to the corresponding Molex on the Vape-Jet.

  • With the nitrogen regulator valve closed (should be turned counterclockwise until loose), open the primary valve (counterclockwise) on the nitrogen bottle, inspect regulator for leaks.

  • Hold a cloth or paper towels underneath the reservoir, and slowly open the regulator to pressurize the reservoir to about 20psi. If any leak occurs immediately disconnect the reservoir from the nitrogen supply with the quick connector, clean any leaked product, re-tighten the clamps, reconnect nitrogen, and repeat pressurization.

Operating pressure is typically between 20psi and 60psi, depending on product viscosity and operating temperatures. The dispensing valve is maximally rated for 100psi, though it is not recommended to exceed 60psi.

  • Boot up the facility manufacturing computer, open a web browser and navigate to the Vape-Jet GUI bookmarked IP address.

  • Click the “Turn On All Heaters” button underneath the “Control Functions” tab, located below the video display.

If the system is cold, allow at least 30 minutes to heat completely before proceeding to the next step

  • With the Vape-Jet beaker in the filling platform holder, click “Drip Cont.” to move it underneath the needle.

  • From the “Load/Clean” wizard located on the left panel menu of the GUI, follow steps 1 and 2. At step 3, click the “Toggle Valve Bypass” button, allowing product to flow through the oil line; click it again to stop flow as soon as product has been dispensed into the drip container (Vape-Jet beaker).

  • The oil line is now primed, and the Vape-Jet is ready to proceed with the Dispensing Pump Calibration Wizard if this is a new product formulation, otherwise, load the existing configuration profile from the “Configurations” window accessed via the gear in the upper right of the GUI and proceed with dispensing operations.

Pump Calibration

The Dispensing Pump Calibration Wizard must be completed as a part of the Configuration procedure for any new product formulation. That is, product of differing viscosity due to different terpene content (e.g., 5% terpene vs. 10% terpene) or constituency will require this calibration to be performed.

As a part of the Vape-Jet Service and Support agreement, a Vape-Jet Engineer will happily perform and train on this procedure remotely. Click here to submit a support request.

Ensure the Vape-Jet system and product formulation are pre-heated to the desired operating temperature for at least 20 minutes prior to performing the Pump Calibration Procedure​. Cold formulations can cause pump errors due to high viscosity.

Materials

  • Calibrated Digital Balance, 0.01g x 100g minimum accuracy and capacity

  • Clean Vape-Jet Beaker

  • Ethyl or isopropyl alcohol

  • Kimwipes or similar low-lint wipe

  • Computer with Local Area Network and internet access (Windows, MacOS, Android, Chrome, iOS compatible)

  • Vape-Jet Automated Cartridge Filler

Procedure

  • Complete the Machine Vision Alignment Camera Calibration procedure.

  • Complete the Needle Calibration procedure.

  • Complete the Product Loading procedure.

  • Click “Pump” from the “Calibration” drop-down list on the left panel of the Vape-Jet web interface to launch the Wizard.

  • Click “Next” on Step 1, since the tray of cartridges will be already present in the machine from steps 1 and 2 of the Calibration Procedure.

  • “Set Prime Position” determines the first guess of the syringe pumping required to dispense the desired mass of product.

Slider position 0 corresponds to the syringe fully depressed, containing no product.

Slider position 3000 corresponds to the syringe fully extended, containing 5ml of product.

Pure THC distillate is slightly less than 1g/ml in density, with terpenes further reducing product density. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is as follows:

1.0g cartridges will have slider position of approximately 600 (i.e., 3000/5ml / 1g/ml = 600 position/g).

0.5g cartridges will have slider position of approximately 300

0.3g cartridges will have slider position of approximately 200

  • Select the appropriate Prime Position and click “Next”.

  • “Cycle Pump” determines the “Pump Charging Delay” and “Pump Dispensing Delay” times in milliseconds (1000 milliseconds per 1 second).

  • “Pump Charging Delay” is the length of time that elapses between the syringe moving to the Prime Position, and the product fully filling the specified volume of syringe.

    • This value is typically between 500ms and 2500ms depending on product viscosity, dispensing volume, system temperatures, and operating pressure.

  • “Pump Dispensing Delay” is the length of time to wait after dispensing to begin the next dispense cycle.

    • This value is typically between 100ms and 500ms and is used to mitigate dripping product anywhere but inside a cartridge, pod, or capsule.

Select long delays for both Pump Charging Delay and Pump Dispensing Delay parameters for the initial dispense.

  • Turn on the calibrated balance (scale) and tare the Vape-Jet beaker.

  • Click “Loading Pos.” to move the filling platform to loading position, open the door, and place the Vape-Jet beaker in the holder.

  • Click “Drip Cont.” to move the beaker underneath the needle.

  • Click “Cycle Pump” from Step 3 of the Wizard to dispense the initial guess quantity of product.

  • Click “Loading Pos.” and remove the beaker; place it on the calibrated scale to readout the mass of product dispensed.

Pay close attention to the syringe as the “Cycle Pump” routine runs, note whether the “Pump Charge Delay” and “Pump Dispense Delay” times need adjusting. E.g. If there are lots of bubbles present in the syringe when the plunger begins to move back to 0 position, then the “Pump Charge Delay” needs to be increased; if the syringe fills completely with product then waits a time before moving back to 0 position, then the “Pump Charge Delay” is too long and needs to be decreased. Similarly, with “Pump Dispense Delay”, too long a delay will be unnecessary, and too short may allow product to drip outside a cartridge.

  • Record the mass dispensed and click “Next”.

  • Enter the “Desired Weight in Grams” in the field, using a leading 0 for less than 1-gram cartridges, e.g., 0.5 for 500mg, or 0.3 for 300mg, etc. This value can be set to dispense precisely 1g or precisely over dispense to 1.1g, or any value between a single drop up to 5.0g.

  • Enter the “Measured Weight in Grams” from step 11c and click “Next”. The routine will recalculate the Prime Position to be nearer the Desired Weight.

  • Repeat Steps 8-12, click “Next” from Wizard “Verify & Save” to confirm the new Prime Position is accurate.

Each time the pump cycles during this step is an opportunity to optimize the Pump Charging Delay

Dispense Operations

Materials

  1. Loaded Vape-Jet Beaker

  2. Kimwipes or similar low-lint wipe

  3. Computer with Local Area Network and internet access (Windows, MacOS, Android, Chrome, iOS compatible)

  4. Empty 510-style cartridges vertically packed-as-shipped in foam trays, Juul-style pods (vertically packed), two-piece capsules (vertically packed in standard filling jig), or bottles (up to 60ml, arranged in a custom regular grid jig).

Procedure

  1. From the Vape-Jet main GUI interface, click “Operation” on the left side menu.

  2. Ensure the machine is clear and unobstructed, then click next.

  3. Open the machine door and load an empty tray.

  4. Close the machine door and click "Next"

  5. Using the "Concentric Jogger" from the machine control panel, move the filling platform such that the Machine Vision Alignment Camera is directly over the cartridge in the left/back corner of the tray, then click the "Align" button to center.

  6. Once the Machine Vision Alignment Camera is aligned, the "Next" button will be activated, click it to continue.

  7. Using the "Concentric Jogger" from the machine control panel, move the filling platform such that the Machine Vision Alignment Camera is directly over the cartridge in the right/front corner of the tray, then click the "Align" button to center.

  8. Once the Machine Vision Alignment Camera is aligned, the "Next" button will be activated, click it to continue.

Product should be formulated, loaded into the reservoir, system heated and stable for 20-30 minutes, and the dispensing lines primed from the "Load/Clean" wizard with nitrogen at operating pressure prior to proceeding with dispensing.

9. Clicking the "Dispense" button will start the dispense routine. Once finished, a new empty tray can be loaded and run again with the same settings without leaving the screen.

CIP (Clean in Place) Procedure

Materials

  1. Screwdriver or tri-clamp torque tool

  2. 9/16” open ended wrench

  3. Paper or terry cloth towel

  4. Kimwipes or lint-free wipe

  5. 99% Isopropyl alcohol*

  6. Silicone scraper tools

  7. Vape-Jet branded beaker or similar borosilicate beaker

  8. Vape-Jet 2.0 and 3.0 only: manufacturing Computer with local access to Vape-Jet Graphical User Interface (GUI)

  9. Face mask (to prevent inhalation of aerosolized oils)

95% ethanol may be used for first cleaning if needed for product reclamation; due to the tendency of ethanol to form an emulsion with some products, a second cleaning with 99% isopropyl will be required to maintain operational performance of the valve.

Procedure

  1. Remove excess product from the system upon completion of filling operations. Ensure the excess product is collected in the beaker by either holding it directly under the needle or using the tray holder in the “Drip Cont.” location. Place a paper towel between the needle and Machine Vision Alignment Camera to prevent product from splashing onto the lens. Expel the remaining product from the reservoir and product lines with nitrogen by clicking the “Toggle Valve Bypass” button from the “Load/Clean” wizard, or “Pump Control” tab. Click “Toggle Valve Bypass” again from the wizard, or “Move Valve to Output” from the “Pump Control” tab to stop the flow of nitrogen when the beaker is full or there is no longer product flowing from the needle.

  2. Turn off the nitrogen regulator by turning the knob counterclockwise until loose. Disconnect the nitrogen supply by separating the pneumatic quick connector attached to the nitrogen port of the reservoir; the quick connector receptacle has a check-valve in it which will prevent the nitrogen escaping the regulator and pressurized tank, but the reservoir will vent to atmosphere.

  3. Turn the reservoir heater off by clicking the temperature readout below the camera display box. Disconnect the Molex connector by gently depressing the locking tab and separating the plug from the receptacle, being sure to pull the housings and not the wires.

  4. Using the 9/16” open ended wrench, loosen the Swagelok nut which connects the PTFE product line to the dipstick port of the reservoir, and put the PTFE line and corrugated heat shroud in a downward position, to prevent the nut from sliding down the PTFE line.

  5. Remove the reservoir from its holder in the filling system. Loosen the top tri-clamp with a torque tool or screwdriver, remove the clamp, bulkhead, and seal to access the inside. Use silicone scrapers to remove the bulk of any excess product and clean all internal parts with Kimwipes and alcohol. Repeat with bottom tri-clamp, plate, and seal if desired.

  6. Replace bottom plate with seal and clamp, ensuring the clamp is firmly tightened to prevent leaks when under pressure.

  7. Place ~250ml of alcohol into the Reservoir and replace the top bulkhead, seal, and top clamp, ensuring the clamp is firmly tightened with a torque tool or screwdriver. (*the top and bottom clamps must be aligned with the dipstick to fit properly in the holder and ensure that all product can be dispensed.)

  8. Place the sealed Reservoir into the Reservoir holder. Reconnect the Reservoir bulkhead to the filling system. The dipstick port connects to the PTFE oil path (semi-clear tube with barbed metal insert in the end) via the Swagelok connector. Insert the end of the PTFE tube all the way into the connector (with retention rings inside/over the barbed insert) and tighten the compression nut by hand, then ¼ turn with the 9/16″ wrench.

  9. Place paper or terry cloth towels on the area underneath the reservoir to absorb any potential leaks, then connect the nitrogen port of the Reservoir bulkhead to the corresponding quick connector (barrel style with black PTFE tubing). Slowly repressurize the reservoir to 20psi by turning the regulator knob clockwise, inspect for leaks, immediately disconnect the quick connector if a leak occurs​. If leaking, clean up any leaks, then ensure the seals, bulkheads, and clamps are properly seated and sufficiently tight, then reconnect the reservoir.

  10. Connect the Molex plug (square white plastic electrical connector with 4 pins) of the Reservoir to the corresponding Molex receptacle on the filling system.

  11. Turn on the reservoir heater from the GUI by clicking the temperature readout located under the camera display. Set the reservoir temperature to 60C from the “Configuration” tab; the Chamber and Needle heaters should still be on from filling operations, set their temperature to a maximum of 70C, clicking “Save” to update the settings.

  12. Vape-Jet Only: with the Vape-Jet beaker in the filling platform holder, click “Drip Cont.” to move it underneath the needle, place a paper towel between the needle and Machine Vision Alignment Camera to prevent alcohol and product from splashing onto the lens.

  13. Jet-Fueler Only: hold or place the Vape-Jet beaker directly underneath the needle.

  14. From the “Load/Clean” wizard located on the left panel menu of the GUI, follow steps 1 and 2. At step 3, click the “Toggle Valve Bypass” button, allowing alcohol to flow through the oil line. Click it again to stop flow once 10-25ml of alcohol has been dispensed into the Vape-Jet beaker. Discard the collected alcohol in an appropriate container and replace the beaker.

  15. Then adjust the “Pump Speed” slider to 1 or 2 (the fastest speed), adjust “Cycle Count” slider to 10, and click the “Clean” button. This will actuate the valve and syringe to full draw to clean them.

  16. Vape-Jet Only: click “Loading Position” to move the stage to remove and discard collected alcohol; replace the beaker and click “Drip Cont.”.

  17. Repeat steps 15 and 16 until the Reservoir is empty.

  18. Click “Toggle Valve Bypass” to blow any remaining alcohol out of the Reservoir and lines, click again after about 20-30 seconds or until there is no more alcohol spray.

  19. Repeat step 15, clicking “Clean” until there is no liquid alcohol or vapor condensation visible in the syringe, typically at least 40 total cycles.

  20. Turn off the Reservoir, Chamber, and Needle heaters by clicking their displays again (or by clicking the “Turn Off All Heaters” button underneath the “Control Functions” tab).

  21. Turn off the primary nitrogen valve and disconnect the nitrogen port of Reservoir from the quick connector.

Deep Clean Procedure

This standard operating procedure (SOP) describes the materials and processes necessary to clean more thoroughly each component of the oil path of the Vape-Jet and Jet-Fueler filling systems. This SOP is to be performed if the filling system will be idle for an extended period, after 240 hours of operation as preventative maintenance, or between batch filling operations if the maximum cleanliness and minimum cross-contamination is desired.

Materials

  1. Screwdriver or tri-clamp torque tool

  2. 9/16” open ended wrench

  3. 10mm open ended wrench

  4. 2.5mm hexagonal driver

  5. Needle nose pliers

  6. Paper or terry cloth towel

  7. Kimwipes or lint-free wipe

  8. 99% Isopropyl alcohol

  9. Ultrasonic bath

  10. Alconox Powdered Precision Cleaner

Procedure

The following describes cleaning of each part of the oil path of the filling system, which is identical for Vape-Jet and Jet-Fueler. Ensure all heaters are off by clicking “Turn Off All Heaters” from the “Control Functions” tab.

Reservoir deep cleaning:

  1. Using the 9/16” open ended wrench, loosen the Swagelok nut which connects the PTFE product line to the down stem port of the reservoir, and put the PTFE line and corrugated heat shroud in a downward position, to prevent the nut from sliding down the PTFE line.

  2. Wipe the stainless-steel barbed insert and compression fittings on the PTFE with a Kimwipe and alcohol.

  3. Disconnect the nitrogen supply by separating the pneumatic quick connector attached to the nitrogen port of the reservoir.

  4. Remove the reservoir from its holder in the filling system. Loosen the top tri-clamp with a torque tool or screwdriver, remove the clamp, bulkhead, and seal to access the inside. Use silicone scrapers to remove any excess product and clean all internal parts with Kimwipes and alcohol. Repeat with bottom tri-clamp, plate, and seal.

  5. Place the top bulkhead, bottom bulkhead, and seals into the ultrasonic bath with Alconox and warm water in the quantities specified by the manufacturers. Sonicate for at least 1 hour, heat optional.

  6. Rinse all parts with clean water, rinse with alcohol, and let air dry.

Valve and syringe deep cleaning:

  1. From the “Pump Control” tab, set the syringe position to approximately half draw.

  2. Vape-Jet Only - Loosen and remove the 4 thumb screws holding the pump housing cover in place. Set the screws and pump housing cover to the side.

  3. Jet-Fueler Only - open the hinged acrylic door

  4. Use the 10mm open ended wrench to loosen the two (2) threaded-barb connectors that attach the PTFE oil lines to the input and output of the valve housing.

  5. Wipe the ends of the threaded connectors with Kimwipes and alcohol. Remove the PTFE line that connects to the reservoir and set aside for later.

  6. Using the 2mm hexagonal driver, carefully loosen and remove the two (2) screws that hold the syringe retention clamp to the pump face and set aside the clamp and screws.

  7. Using thumb and forefinger, loosen the exposed syringe plunger retention bolt by rotating the top face of the knurled bolt away from the operator, i.e. rotating counterclockwise if looking at the syringe from the plunger end. The bolt will remain captured in the pump translation stage.

  8. Carefully depress the plunger slightly into the syringe body until the plunger is clear of the pump translation stage.

  9. Using the 2mm hexagonal driver, loosen and remove the two screws that hold the valve housing to the face of the pump body, and set them aside. Remove the valve and syringe by pulling away from the pump body, there should be no resistance.

  10. Carefully unscrew the syringe from the valve housing by turning counterclockwise and remove the plunger from the syringe body by pulling gently.

  11. Wipe all parts with Kimwipes and alcohol, then place the syringe body, plunger, valve, and reservoir PTFE assembly into the ultrasonic bath with Alconox and warm water in the quantities specified by the manufacturers. Sonicate for at least 2 hours, heat optional.

  12. Rinse all parts with clean water, rinse with alcohol, and let air dry.

Needle deep cleaning:

  1. Using the needle nose pliers, carefully loosen and remove the needle from the LuerLoc heat block by turning the base counterclockwise, if looking up from the end of the needle. Set the needle aside for later.

  2. Using the 2mm hexagonal driver, carefully loosen the three (3) screws that hold the heat block together and set aside the screws and top plate of the heat block.

  3. Remove the PTFE assembly that connects the needle to the valve and place it and the needle into the ultrasonic bath with Alconox and warm water in the quantities specified by the manufacturers. Sonicate for at least 2 hours, heat optional.

  4. Rinse all parts with clean water, rinse with alcohol, and let air dry.

Reassembly Considerations and Warnings

Assemble in the reverse order as removed, and ensure that all connections are tight, especially the LuerLoc connection between the syringe and valve. Reinsertion of the syringe and valve assembly must be done gently to avoid damaging the syringe glass. Reconnecting the syringe plunger to the pump translation stage will require the syringe key to be aligned to the translation stage so that it may slide in. Ensure the key is aligned prior to seating the syringe/valve assembly by gripping the syringe glass and plunger; do not attempt to align the plunger key after the valve assembly is installed. Ensure the syringe retention clamp is tight enough by clicking “Cycle Pump” from the “Pump Control” tab several times; if it is too loose, the syringe will pull slightly out of the valve housing on draw back, and then slightly in on dispense. Retighten the syringe connection to the valve by hand, then tighten the syringe retention clamp screws more with the 2mm hexagonal driver.

Overtightening of the syringe retention clamp can crack the syringe. Improperly seated syringe, valve, or plunger can result in a broken syringe upon pump cycling. Damages caused by improperly installing the syringe, valve, or plunger are not covered by the standard warranty.

Maintenance Schedule

Maintenance Activity

Frequency

Notes

Clean in Place

Every product changeout.

After each use.

After prolonged storage.

See SOP in section 7.

Deep Cleaning

Every 240 operational hours.

After contamination concern.

After system power-off without CIP.

See SOP in section 8.

Air Filters

Detach filter foam and wash with soap and warm water every 30 days.

Contact sales for replacement at

contact@vape-jet.com or

(971) 606-3420 or

Click here to submit a support request.

Change Syringe

Every 6 months as part of deep cleaning.

After severe contamination concern.

See SOP in section 8

Change Valve

Every 12 months as part of deep cleaning.

After severe contamination concern.

See SOP in section 8

Motion Components

Lead screws on the vertical Camera Focus axis must be lubricated every 6 months, WD-40 Specialist Spray & Stay

Gel recommended.

Belt-driven axis require tensioning every 6 months as part of vendor guided maintenance.

Tensioning must be performed with a Vape-Jet technician remotely directing procedure.

Click here to submit a support request.

Troubleshooting and Annotated Pictures

Heater Errors

Vape-Jet products have a safety feature which disables the system if a heater is disconnected from the system while under power. ​Always turn off the reservoir heater if you plan to disconnect it​. Not disabling the heater through the GUI will cause the machine to stop operations, display an error, and require a full power-cycle.

Heater Error Symptoms:

  • Temperature readout in GUI is frozen.

  • GUI Indicates heaters are on, but no heat is produced.

  • Error message popup in GUI saying “Thermal Runaway Error”

Disconnecting the reservoir heater plug while under power is dangerous and can damage the machine.

Instructions

  1. Turn off the system by toggling the power switch to the “off” position (located on the rear of the machine, “off” being denoted by a “O” on the switch).

  2. Wait 15 seconds.

  3. Turn the system on by toggling the power switch to the “on” position (“on” being denoted by a “I” on the switch).

Identify the cause of the error and implement process controls to prevent future occurrences.

Pump Valve Errors

Problem

When starting the machine or during operation the GUI displays a “Pump Valve Error”

Cause

This problem is most likely caused by improper clean-out of the valve assembly or inadequate system warm-up time. Product residue can cause the torque required to turn the valve to become excessive.

Solution

The following steps should be taken to correct the pump errors.

  1. From the GUI enable the chamber heater.

  2. Bring the chamber heater to temp and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.

  3. Reset the pump from the GUI pump control.

  4. Proceed with normal operations.

Prevention

To prevent this problem, ensure that the system is consistently cleaned after each use, and that the valve assembly is not permitted to cool-down with product still inside.

Further Solutions

If the above steps do not clear the error, try heating the valve assembly with a heat-gun until it is a consistent 75c and restart the machine.

System Specifications

Electrical Specifications

Input Voltage

110V-125V

Wattage

200W (Idle) – 800W (Max)

Max Amperage

8A

Plug

NEMA 5-15 (Type B)

Fluid Path Specifications

Pump Type

Syringe Pump /w Mechanical Valve

Pump Drive

Stepper Motor /w Optical Encoder

Pump Speed

Adaptive variable speed dispense. Minimum 300ms dispense stroke.

Accuracy @ 30% Stroke

< .1% (Every pump is independent cal lab tested and results provided.)

Repeatability @ 30% Stroke

< .1%

Resolution

1/3000th of 100% syringe stroke length

Syringe Materials

Borosilicate Glass, PTFE

Valve Materials

Ceramic / 316 Stainless Steel

Hose Material

PTFE

Needle Material

316 Stainless Steel

Reservoir Material

316 Stainless Steel /w Viton Gaskets

Fittings Material

PTFE / 316 Stainless

Injector Assembly Heater

Power

150W

Type

Resistive Cartridge Heater inside Aluminum Block

Temp Range

25C – 95C

Accuracy

+- 1C

Pump Assembly Heater

Power

150W

Type

Resistive Air Radiator Element

Temp Range

25C – 75C

Accuracy

+- 5C

Air Flow

35CFM Max

Reservoir Heater

Power

300W

Type

Silicone Heater Pad

Temp Range

25C – 95C

Accuracy

+- .5C

Mechanical Specifications

Max Travel Motor

360mmx410mm

Max Speed

15000mm/min

Repeatability / Accuracy

0.078 / 0.091 mm

Max Force @33mm/sec

55N

Type

NEMA-17 1.2A

Operational Parameters

Operating Temp

20°C ~ 35°C

Storage Temp

10°C ~ 45°C

Cartridges per Hour

300 – 1000

Cartridge Compatibility

Any circular cartridge with more than .25mm alignment space after needle insertion. (CCell, 510, Etc.)

The technical specifications contained within are given in good faith and are as accurate as possible based on current testing data. Due to a continued program of improvement these specifications may change from time to time without notice. We apologize for any inconvenience due to changes of specification or errors and omissions within this document.