Smaller flow solutions are the trend

April 25, 2023 Dion Oudejans

In many markets we see a shift towards miniaturization. For example, in laboratories, working space is getting more and more expensive. Downsizing and footprint reduction… that’s the trend. All with the same goal; saving costs.

How does this affect our flow solutions? Small flow meters and compact pressure controllers with minimal dimensions fit this tendency of footprint reduction. Therefore, we continuously design new products with smaller dimensions.

small pressure controller

Why is footprint reduction of flow solutions important?

Having worked in both the Life Sciences and Analytical industries, I am inspired by the ever-increasing demands for small footprints. It has been a continuing trend for many years that lab real-estate has become more and more expensive, which has led to footprint reduction of flow instruments.

A strong driver behind footprint reduction has been the NeSSi system initiative, which is commercially known as Parker IntraFlow and Swagelok MPC. Bronkhorst’s most compact instruments, the IQ+FLOW series, are inspired by this initiative. With a footprint of 17mm x 17mm for the internal building blocks – like sensors and valves – we managed to keep it even smaller than the universal 1.5" x 1.5" NeSSI layout.

Compact flow & pressure solutions

As we know that footprint reduction and saving costs is crucial in the life science, biotechnology and analytical markets, we continue to develop products that meet these requirements in combination with the desired performance. A small footprint of our flow instruments is our focus for years now.

Our newest product line extension is part of the IQ+FLOW pressure controller series. The new pressure controllers with media-isolated pressure sensors can handle a much wider variety of media, like helium, hydrogen, oxygen, methane, moisture, corrosive gases and flammable gases. Find out more about these pressure controllers.

IQ+FLOW, small flow meters
IQ+FLOW, compact pressure controller

Manifold flow solutions for extended functionality

If you are working on a complete re-design of your system and you have the chance to incorporate new technologies, you can decide to use manifold flow solutions and add more functionality to your system.

Analytical equipment is a good example of a complex flow system that can benefit from manifold flow solutions with extended functionality by adding pressure sensors, flow sensors, valves and more complex flow paths.
Are you looking for an example of flow controllers used in combination with a gas chromatograph? Check our customer story 'Flow control in gas chromatography'. 

Case: Gas Chromatography
Manifold flow solutions
Manifold flow solutions

Innovation with MEMS chip technology

The size and function of sensor technology is driven by the physical characteristics of the measurement principle. So, to change the footprint, we had need to look at alternative measurement technologies.

Working in conjunction with the TNO, the Dutch organisation for applied scientific research, we designed a range of ultra compact flow meters and pressure controllers built around MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) chip technology. This allows us to offer fully functional instruments with a minimum footprint of 20 x 40 mm, which is much less than the footprint of conventional flow meters and pressure control instruments.

Customized Flow Solutions

Flow and pressure sensors, including proportional valves, shut-off valves and filters, are available as compact items, like Lego. This gives us the opportunity to customize your compact multi-channel flow systems just the way you need them.

How can you benefit from this?

  • Compact assembly ensures space efficiency
  • Top mount and side ported modules, easily accessible
  • No compromise on control functionality
  • Pre-tested ’Plug and Play’ manifold assemblies, reducing customer test requirements
  • Analog or digital communication

If you think that a customized flow solution will meet your needs, then let us know and challenge our team.

Would you like more information about our smallest pressure controllers?

Ask advice IQ+FLOW pressure controllers


1 Kings Court
Willie Snaith Road
Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7TG
Tel. +44 1223 833222
[email protected]

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