Fluid Gas Handling

How OEMs Can Improve Life Science Instrumentation Performance

LabTech-Operating-GC_Parker-Precision-FluidicsToday, gas chromatography (GC), mass spectroscopy (MS) and similar life science instrumentation are contributing to results in drug discovery and development, forensics labs, and the next generation of analytical chemistry research across the world. Lab managers are increasingly focused on efficiency and accuracy while keeping operational costs in check. They want analytical equipment that is more sensitive, smaller, flexible and cost-efficient. To meet their needs, OEM design engineers are challenged with finding the balance between improving analytical instrument performance and managing the bottom line.

From a fluid and gas handling perspective, engineers can meet instrument design requirements, improve instrument sensitivity and control costs by selecting valves that are optimized for size, weight and energy efficiency, yet also deliver consistent, high performance. 


Improving Signal Detections in Next Generation Life Science Instruments White PaperRead this white paper on how to improve signal detection in next-generation life science instruments







A new level of control

VSO-Low-Pro-GC_Parker Precision FluidicsParker has recently introduced a new miniature proportional valve designed specifically for analytical chemistry gas flow applications. The VSO® LowPro GC offers a new level of analytical performance for low flow control, maximum allowable leakage rate, and analytic service cleanliness to improve the sensitivity of next-generation analytical instruments, reduce sample noise, and increase signal detection capabilities.

Optimized design

The VSO® LowPro GC was designed for reliability and manufacturability. The latest finite element analysis (FEA) simulation tools were used to reduce the number of parts, size and weight of the valve's internal components – allowing for more repeatable production and a smaller, lighter design. Additional optimization efforts included dynamic, non-linear mechanical analyses, computational fluid dynamics analyses, and electromagnetic analyses, resulting in a valve that is half the size of most existing proportional valves on the market.

Low power consumption

The mechanics of the proportional spring were enhanced using dynamic mechanical analysis software to provide the minimum amount of resistance needed to combat both fluid flow forces and solenoid forces. This resulted in a valve that has very smooth, linear flow control while minimizing the total amount of power needed to move the internal components.

Fast response time

The magnetic circuit was refined using finite element analysis simulation software to decrease air gaps and focus the field strength uniformly around the moving components. This optimization combined with component size reductions has resulted in a very high performing, fast response solenoid design. This improved response time allows the flow of the valve assembly to be more consistent because the valve can keep up with frequent changes in control currents which reduces flow overshooting – especially at low flow ranges. 

One valve solution

The VSO LowPro GC valve was designed with 0.007” (0.18mm) and 0.011” (0.28mm) orifices to achieve the balance needed for a one valve solution. It can be used with a variety of gas types, presenting anti-leak capabilities, flow vs. mA control gain and meets the maximum flow and pressure requirements needed in a laboratory GC application. This one valve solution effectively controls large molecule, higher flow rate conditions while also having the capability to control the small molecule size, low flow rate conditions.

Typical Air Flow - VSO Low Pro GC - Parker Precision Fluidics


Parker Precision Fluidics has been partnering with OEMs in the field of analytical chemistry for over 30 years. Based on that experience, we were able to perfect fluidic control elements that are critical to demanding material science and cleanliness applications. In material science applications, when we select an internal sealing elastomer – we work to understand not only the base material, but different curing agents and curing times. We design our seals by optimizing those variables to reduce outgassing from the elastomer to reduce any potential impact on sample noise. Additionally, for over 20 years Parker Precision Fluidics has implemented a proprietary ultrasonic cleaning process to clean all parts in the fluid wetted path to ensure that we reduce hydrocarbon content and particulates on our parts to levels that have proven to be optimized for analytical service clean applications.

Download our white paper - Parker Precision FluidicsFor more information on the VSO® LowPro GC Valve and how it improves signal detection in next 
generation life science instruments, download our white paper.


Headed to SLAS 2019 Conference?

The SLAS International Conference & Exhibition is an international conference that features science and technology professionals from across the globe. This conference unites scientist, engineers, innovators, researchers, business leaders, and students that are interested in learning about new innovations and applications. The convention is from February 2 - 6 and is located at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Visit the Parker at Booth #1101 to learn how Parker can partner with you in Air Over Liquid and Liquid Handling Fluidic systems in your equipment design. Stop by the Parker Booth and discuss your applications needs. Click here to schedule a time with a Parker Engineer. 


Sam Ruback, Marketing Developement Manager, Parker Precision FluidicsThis blog was contributed by Sam Ruback, marketing development manager, Parker Precision Fluidics Division.






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