What is the best matching word for the mode of operation of a pump doing injections into a pipe system?

By "injections", individual short feedings with no (temporal or other) relation to each other are meant. That mode is distinct from a "pulsed mode" where constantly are pulses generated.

Could one use "The pump operates injective." or "The pump is in injectional operation mode." to describe that mode of operation in contrast to a "continuous operation mode"?

Or should one better stick to the less precise term "non-continuous operation mode" in that case?

Thanks in advance!

To clarify what that modes of operation should stand for:

Setting the pump to "continuous operation mode" means to instruct the pump to produce an continuous output until it is told otherwise. While operating in that mode, the output level of the pump can be directly adjusted from 0 to 100%.

Setting the pump to "injectional operation mode" means to force the pump to produce no output until an external command instructs it to do so for a limited time from that moment on. In that mode, the configured output level of the pump comes into effect only while instructed to produce an output by the external command.

This question is aimed to find the suitable words that can be used to distinguish between these two modes of operation.

  • Can you describe in more detail what triggers an injection when not in pulse mode? Is it manual? Based on some signal or stimulus? Is it actually random?
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 11:16
  • Injections are manually triggered by an regulation algorithm to compensate randomly occurring demand or to handle single small adjustments. The regulation algorithm is specifying the starting time and duration of each individual injection. In continuous operation mode the regulation algorithm is specifying an constant output level for the pump to compansate an predictable demand. (This question relates to the logical abstraction of a generalized pump interface in a regulation process.) Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 12:23
  • In that case, I would suggest "autonomous" or "self-regulating" as more descriptive. If that works for you, I could put the time in to writing a proper answer.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 12:26
  • 1
    Or perhaps "dynamic" which is widely used in such contexts: e.g. "dynamic demand adjustment". Or "response" or "responsive", as in "responsive injections" or even "dynamic demand response".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 12:32
  • I think, by using "autonomous", "self-regulating" or "dynamic", i'am loosing detail within the logical description on what is actually happening. Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 12:42

4 Answers 4


Intermittent? Discontinuous? One-Shot?

  • I like "intermittent" (though you'd have to qualify it with "injection" or some other term to describe what is happening intermittently). +1
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 12:43

My original suggestions didn't apply after reading your clarification in your comments.

In this case, I would use burst to describe the mode of operation. The term burst is often used to describe the occurrence of a sudden event. Since it is a pump, it should be implied the sudden event is the pump discharge.

The pump is in burst operation mode.

Since you say this mode involves setting a start time and duration, this describes in interval:

The pump is in interval operation mode.

  • The words "beating" and "pulsing" both imply a regular, periodic injection. I like "regulating", but unfortunately that applies to providing supply for predictable as well as unpredictable demand.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 12:46
  • @DanBron: I have adjusted my answer to match the OP's comments.
    – jxh
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 13:02
  • I do like "burst mode"! +1
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 13:04

If I am reading your explanation properly, we are talking about a pump that is either in continuous operations, or it is waiting to be "actuated." A good example would be a sump pump with a paddle float switch. When the paddle float is submersed in water, it floats to the surface. This action turns the actuator on the pump, which causes the pump to turn on. When the paddle float is pushed down, the pump will turn off.

Oxford dictionaries defines actuate as follows:

Actuate - Cause (a machine or device) to operate

E.g. "the pendulum actuates an electrical switch"

In my field, we don't typically see pumps that support mixed modes like you're describing. Either the pump is an actuated pump, or it is a continuous flow pump. In this case, I think you could steal the distinction to describe your situation.

"The pump is in actuated control mode." "The pump is in continuous operation mode."


After giving a second thought on this topic, i came to the conclusion that i have mixed up two different things when comparing what a pump does (injecting something) against how a pump does something. (with an continuous operation)

Therefore, the act of injecting something is not applicable as a mode of operation to a pump.

From a technical point of view, a single dosed injection is achieved by generating a single independend impulse of a given time on the pump.

That leads to an

impulse operation mode

in contrast to the

continuous operation mode

The "pulsed mode" mentioned in the question is in this case laying on another logical layer (internal pump logic) and is within this distinction part of the continuous operation mode.

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