Controller

FlowTest™

Automated controller for MicroFluidic Systems

Description

The FlowTest™ is an automated controller which is able to simultaneously and independently control eight valves and pumps for use in fluidic systems. The programming of the flow sequences for each connected pumps and valves is carried out on a computer, using the dedicated and user friendly CosDesigner™ software. This programming tool is ideal for the development of new procedures or new systems that require liquid displacement, sampling, and injection. Multiple programs can be set up, stored and managed. The users can effortlessly retrieve and run their programs.

The field of use spans laboratory and industrial applications requiring precise liquid transfers. For example, the FlowTest™ will prove to be an invaluable asset in many quality testing applications and as well as in development of microfluidic systems or instruments using pumps and valves.

The FlowTest™ can also work as a stand-alone instrument, without a computer. In this case, programs are loaded with a USB key. The controller is then operated by a “run/pause” and a “stop” buttons conveniently located on the top of the control box.

The programming is done in two steps :
1. Draw your fluidic diagram in the design area and save time by selecting your pumps and valves using the database of the software in which specifications of your fluid control devices are stored.
2. Program the flow sequences for each fluid control devices and execute what you have just programmed.

Download the flyer of FlowTest™

Reference Designation
CMS Controller for pumps and valves in fluidic systems

Specifications

FlowTest™ microfluidic controller pilots up to pumps and valves (FCD: Fluid Control Device). Each pump and valves is quickly and easily connected to one of the 8 output of  FlowTest™ thanks to 8 spring-loaded terminals.
FlowTest™ microfluidic controller is programmed with the intuitive and user friendly CosDesigner™ software. FlowTest™ is connected to a PC or a laptop with a USB cable.
FlowTest™ microfluidic controller also operate as a stand alone device. In this stand alone mode, a program to control the 8 pumps and valves is built and exported to a USB key with CosDesigner™ software. The program is loaded into the FlowTest™ thanks to the USB stick. Then the program is run, pause or stop using Play/Pause and Stop button located on the FlowTest™ microfluidic controller.
4 IRQs input can be used in order to plug sensors or interruptors into the FlowTest™ microfluidic controller : start and stop of selected outputs (pumps and valves) can be programmed with CosDesigner™  according to IRQ's input signals. Sophisticated feedback loops can be easily created using this feature. 
 
Dimensions : L x P x H : 22,5 x 18 x 8,5 cm
Weigth : 1,52 kg
Capacity :  8 Fluid Control Device (pumps and valves)
Output voltage : 12VDC and 24 VDC (automatic switching)
External Triggers : 4 IRQ's (0-5 v TTL : dry contact) to start or stop operation sequence of selected output (pumps and valves)
2 buttons : Play/Pause & Stop located on the microfluidic controller
Connections of FCD : 8 spring-loaded terminal blocks for fast and easy connection
8 bi-colour LEDs indicating the state of actuation of the 8 output
USB-A port : Designated for USB key in order to load programs into a remote controller.  the controller operates in stand alone mode using the play/pause and stop button
USB-B port : Designated for PC or laptop connection
Power supply : 110-120 V, 60 Hz / 220-240 V, 50hz
CosDesigner™ software: Easy programation of sophisticated operation sequences for each pumps and valves (up to 8) thanks to CosDesigner™ intuitive graphical user interface (run under Windows Vista, XP & Seven)

Leds.jpg ftoutput.jpg
Fig.1: 8 bicolour Leds Fig.2: Terminals for fast FCD connection

Fig.1&2: FlowTest™ microfluidic controller has 8 output with 12 VDC or 24 VDC  output voltage. 8 terminal blocks are a fast connection system used in order to connect the 8 pumps and valves to the  FlowTest™ microfluidic controller. 8 bi-colour Leds indicate the actuation state of pumps and valves : green if the pump or valve, connected to the corresponding output, is actuated, red if it is not.
 
USB_IRQ.jpg Lexan.jpg
Fig.3: 2 USB ports and 4 IRQs input
Fig.4: 2 button for control of execution
 
Fig.3&4: 4 IRQs input can be used for sensors or interruptor connection. The operations sequence of selected valves and pumps can be programmed to start or stop when  sensors or interruptors activate IRQs inputs.The USB-B port of FlowTest™ microfluidic controller is used to connect the controller to a PC or a laptop on which CosDesigner™ has previously been installed. The USB-A port of FlowTest™ microfluidic controller can be used in order to load a program built with CosDesigner™ into FlowTest™ thanks to a USB stick. Then FlowTest™ microfluidic controller can be used in stand alone mode and Play/Pause and  Stop buttons are used to control the execution of the program by the microfluidic controller.

CosDesigner™ Software

CosDesigner™ provide an intuitive and user friendly graphical interface to program operations sequence for each pump and valve connected to FlowTest™. CosDesigner™ interface and features were designed to be give a powerful yet easy to use solution to control pumps and valves, in the appropriate manner according to users need in their fluidic applications, their microfluidic experiments or their instruments using pumps and valves.
 
CosDesigner_GUI
Fig.1: Graphical user interface of CosDesigner™

Fig.1: The graphical interface of CosDesigner™ software is ergonomic and shows key information to control pumps and valves : the user can build and visualize his fluidic scheme , the different parameters of the operations sequences executed by the pumps and valves controlled by FlowTest™ as well as the chronograms of corresponding output signals.
 
Interface Graphique Base de Données
Fig.2: Drawing zone Fig.3: Database of FCDs: pumps and valves

Fig.2&3: The drawing zone of CosDesigner™ is used to draw the fluidic scheme of  an application or a instrument thanks to the graphic library available in CosDesigner™. The reference and specifications of pumps and valves are stored in CosDesigner™ database. New pumps and valves are easily added in the database with a simple text editor.
 
Sequence2.jpg Chrono2.jpg
Fig.4: Operations sequence of  one FCD Fig.5: Chronograms of FCDs

Fig.4&5: A programming window is used in order to build the operations sequences of each pumps and valves controlled by FlowTest™ microfluidic controller. Each operations sequence is actually built with a serie of steps ; each step can use several different parameters and various operation modes. This approach offers a very powerful, flexible and simple solution to operate pumps and valves in any needed manner according to users applications. For each programmed pumps and valves, a chronogram shows the output signal as function of time.
 
Execution.jpg
Fig.6: Program execution

Fig.6:
When the programming of operational sequences for each pumps and valves is done, the execution of the program can start. An execution window indicates the connexion status  between FlowTest™ microfluidic controller and the computer ; then the program start and when the user press play button and a progress bar shows the execution of the program : FlowTest™ microfluidic controller operates the pumps and the valves to have them follow the ir respective operational sequences in parallele. 2 icons play/pause and stop  in  CosDesigner™ can be clicked on to start, pause, go on or stop the program.

Many other features and tip'n tricks are available in CosDesigner™ with the aim of making user's life easier, saving his time and offering flexibility and convinience to him.

Movies

FlowTest™
Controller for Microfluidic Systems

CosDesigner™ Software