Monday 10 May 2010

Unique pneumatic valve terminal accommodates four different valve sizes

Festo has further extended the capabilities of its popular VTSA pneumatic valve terminal, which can now accommodate 55 mm ISO size 2 valves, as well as 18 mm, 26 mm and 42 mm valves. This additional capability enables the terminal to handle flow rates as high as 3,000 l/min - 30% more than the previous model - and opens up entirely new application areas in medium to large machine control.

The new valve terminal is capable of housing up to 32 pneumatic valves - in any combination of the four permissible sizes - on the same manifold, without the need for adapter plates. It is the only terminal on the market offering this level of configuration flexibility, making it an obvious first choice for OEMs and machine builders seeking a fully scalable control solution.

Its high flow rate capability - together with its easy integration with the metal version of their CPX electrical terminal and the availability of specialised safety function valves - makes it ideal for machines used in heavy-duty manufacturing environments. Typical applications include automotive presses, tyre manufacturing machines, brick and ceramic tile production machines, and large palletising systems. Supplied fully-assembled and pre-tested, the valve terminals are 100% compliant with the international ISO 15407-2 and ISO 5599-2 standards.

VTSA valve terminals feature robust, all metal sub-base modules, and employ generously proportioned air ducts designed to maximise flow rate. Festo offers a wide range of compatible 5/3, 5/2 and dual 3/2 and 2/2 valves, all of which have an operating pressure range of -0.9 to 10 bar. The valves are available in 18 mm, 26 mm, 42 mm and 55 mm sizes, with respective flow rates of 500 litres/minute, 1,100 litres/minute, 1,400 litres/minute and 3,000 litres/minute. All four valve sizes offer a choice of 24 Vdc and 110 Vac solenoids for maximum applications flexibility, and can be configured so that their solenoid breather ports vent into the exhaust port instead of to atmosphere.

Festo is introducing a series of pneumatics products featuring integrated safety functions, to help users comply with the new EN ISO 13849-1 safety standard. A number of these products, including soft-start valves, and 5/2 fail-safe valves for lifting and rotary cylinders, are compatible with the VTSA valve terminal.

A unique feature of this valve terminal is that it allows the valves to be oriented so that all pneumatic and electrical connections are accessed from one side of the unit. This leads to a very clean installation, which requires less physical space and simplifies servicing. Furthermore, the valves all feature front-panel LEDs and the pressure regulators are equipped with swivelling pressure gauges, making it easy for operators to see the overall system status from a single viewpoint.

The VTSA valve terminal can have individual electrical connections, a multi-pin connection or can integrate directly with Festo's CPX terminal controller, which is a modular, high functionality hub with an Ethernet interface and extensive fieldbus protocol support. The controller enables advanced remote diagnostics capabilities to be easily incorporated into factory-wide local area networks, to provide centralised control and monitoring of individual valve performance. Local diagnostics can either be performed using the valves' front panel LEDs, or via Festo's unique CPX-MMI handheld control unit.

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