Mass Flow Control #Redefined

June 4, 2024 Vincent Hengeveld
FLEXI-FLOW Compact with Vincent Hengeveld

Swift & Stable, Proven & Precise

Two years ago, Bronkhorst introduced a completely new mass flow controller product line to the world; the FLEXI-FLOW Compact. Now, this product line has several line extensions and customers can use it in a variety of processes. We asked our product manager, Vincent Hengeveld, responsible for Bronkhorst’s gas flow product portfolio, why this product is so revolutionary and how customers can benefit from this device.

“As a product manager, I was part of the development team creating a completely new concept; develop a product featuring ease of use and flexibility through the entire customer journey from product selection to product use. And we succeeded… The result is a mass flow controller, called FLEXI-FLOW Compact.
With this flow instrument, we are able to both measure & control gas flow , but also to measure & control the upstream and downstream pressures in your process with one flexible instrument. The temperature measurement completes the multi parameter functionality of this instrument. This is the future in mass flow control…. Mass Flow Control #Redefined. After the introduction two years ago, we started working on extending the product line and these models are available now as well.​”
- Vincent Hengeveld -


Flow sensor created with surface channel technology
Flow sensor created with surface channel technology

Can you tell something about the technology which is used?

 “The concept of measuring mass flow and pressure is based on a technology called TCS, Through Chip Sensor. This new sensor exists of a capillary tube made with MEMS technology and combines the best of two worlds; a fast and stable flow sensor applied in our proven bypass construction for a reliable and highly accurate flow measurement.

Through Chip Sensor is a flow sensor created with surface channel technology. Early development which started around 2007 together with the University of Twente (NL), was the first step towards a more dedicated approach in 2013 when the intention was to make a marketable product with this the technology. Our R&D colleague Wouter Sparreboom will tell you all about this technology in his blog ‘Revolutionary flow sensor by surface channel technology’.“

What is so interesting for our customers?

“The most interesting part for our customers is that the instrument is flexible to use, meaning that with this mass flow controller you can both measure and control mass flow and pressure. That’s really unique! Besides that, the instrument is one of the most compact ones on the market. It allows users to save space in their system and a reduction of weight. This was one of the requests we received from our analytical customers and benchtop bioreactor customers.

All unique features and detailed specs we gathered in one easy overview for you. Check it out.

Smart flow controller configuration tool Bronkhorst FlowSuite
With the Bronkhorst FlowSuite software, the flow controller can be configured

Can you give an example of where an instrument like this is used?

“During the development phase of the FLEXI-FLOW Compact we frequently talked to customers about their needs. Two important target groups for us were the builders of analytical equipment and bioreactor manufacturers. Both type of customers have specific needs which we succeeded to incorporate in the new mass flow controllers.”

Gas flow controllers for lab analyzers and analytical market
Analytical equipment

Analytical equipment

“Gas mass flow controllers are key components in many analytical techniques, like mass spectrometry, chromatography, atomic spectroscopy and combustion analysis. The role of flow controllers is feeding gases to a collision cell as part of an ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) setup or for sampling gas control. Working together with a lot of customer in lab environments, we learned that it is essential for them to have flow instruments with a small footprint so they can be built in the equipment.

Check out the application note to learn more about the use of the FLEXI-FLOW Compact in analytical equipment.”

Benchtop bioreactor applications

“In (benchtop) bioreactors the role of gas flow controllers is to supply gases for growing bacteria, yeast or cells before the biological synthesis can take place. The flow controllers make sure that gases are added continuously over a period of a few days to several weeks. We learned that bioreactor manufacturers attach great value to have a solution to supply multiple reactor sizes with one single gas box. First to give their customers more flexibility in their applications, secondly to reduce the number of different types of instruments that are used. We took this into account in the development process of the FLEXI-FLOW Compact and made sure the instrument has a wide dynamic range. Next to that, the instrument has a built-in gas database with all common bioreactor gases, enabling the possibility to tailor the instrument for the right gas. The FLEXI-FLOW Compact gives you the opportunity to reduce the amount of models so you need less spare instruments in stock.
Read our application note to learn more about the role of this flow instrument in benchtop bioreactor applications.”

Flow controllers for benchtop bioreactor and bioprocessing
(Benchtop) bioreactor application

“But of course, these customers are not the only ones who can benefit from this flow instrument. In any kind of process where you have the need of measuring & controlling gas flow, or pressure with one flexible instrument…. For example, in research or universities set ups, where you want only one instrument for multiple experiments… it can be your flow instrument of choice. This is the future in mass flow control”.

Mass Flow Control #Redefined.”

Are you interested to learn more about this revolutionary gas flow controller?

All unique features and detailed specs we gathered in one easy overview for you. Check it out

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