A new multifunctional stream switching system for process analytical instrumentation that is capable of integrating stream selection and filtering functions into one compact, modular assembly is now available.

Created by Parker Hannifin, the new Gen II R-max system for gas and liquid analytical applications is based on the proven technology of its popular R-max stream switching system and incorporates numerous enhancements to further improve application flexibility, process integrity and serviceability. Backward compatibility allows the features of the Gen II R-max to be installed on existing R-max units very easily and quickly.

The original R-max, the predecessor to the Gen II system, has been widely adopted by the process analytical community since its introduction in 2001. The system is popular because it offers the flexibility of delivering multiple sample streams to an analytical system with a single, small footprint assembly. Other important advantages include the system’s modular design, which simplifies configuration and maintenance, and the availability of normally-closed, normally-open and single three-way configurations.

During development of the Gen II R-max Parker took the opportunity to add a number of features requested by customers, which differentiate the system from similar commercially available products. These enhancements include a captured vent that prevents cross contamination, an improved position indicator for quick recognition of valve actuation, easier removal of cartridges for maintenance, and an atmospheric reference vent module.

Designed to control both gases and liquids in analytical systems ranging from vacuum to 500 PSIG (34-bar), the Gen II R-max only requires 65 PSIG (5-bar) actuating air pressure. The new system was engineered with a focus on improved product reliability and reduced cost-of-ownership. It is designed for use in the analytical, oil and gas, petrochemical, and chemical industries.

The Gen II R-max utilises state-of-the-art surface mount technology to reduce leak paths, internal volume and dead volume. With surface mounting, system components can be easily removed and replaced without breaking process connections. In addition, the Gen II R-max system features an internal self-purging outlet header that eliminates the need for an additional outlet loop.

New features of Parker’s Gen II R-max stream switching system include a captured vent that provides a low pressure header to separate the sample stream from the actuation air, thus preventing cross contamination of the sample stream. An enhanced position indicator also displays a yellow band against a black background, to provide easier recognition of valve actuation.

The Gen II R-max stream switching system retains all the advantages of its R-max predecessor, such as the use of surface mount technology that enables users to add additional streams or functions very easily, and the modular valve design that helps to simplify field maintenance and reduce system downtime. Overall system efficiency is maximised by the system’s low internal volume and low dead volume, which reduces purge time.

The Gen II R-max, like the R-max, is also available on the Parker IntraFlow ISA/ANSI–SP-76 compliant (NeSSI) modular surface mount system. IntraFlow substrate fittings have been developed specifically for analytical, laboratory and other complex general-purpose instrumentation flow control systems. IntraFlow fittings provide maximum flexibility with minimum space requirements. All flow paths, regardless of direction, are maintained on a single plane within the system, as no lower level manifold blocks are required. Every feature of the Gen II R-max system is available within the IntraFlow product line.