New flow control app for Festo Motion Terminal enables precise regulation of compressed air and gases
Filling containers with compressed air or other gases such as nitrogen can be achieved more profitably and economically with the new Flow Control Motion App from Festo, developed for use with its VTEM Motion Terminal. As a leader in industrial automation, the company is continually developing new Motion Apps for the VTEM in order to reduce complexity and time to market for machine builders.
The VTEM combines digitalisation with pneumatics, marking the start of a new age of automation technology. Digitised pneumatics intelligently connect the mechanical system, electronics and software, ensuring better overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) combined with lower energy consumption. The quickly activated Motion Apps can be used to control the piezo piloted valves for almost all pneumatic tasks: increasing flexibility and energy efficiency to accelerate production processes.
For example, it is common practice for food product containers to be purged with inert gases like nitrogen. With the new Festo Flow Control Motion App, users can control the flow rate of compressed air and gases at up to 600 l/min digitally and simultaneously on up to eight independent channels. For more precise dosing, the integrated sensors can be combined with external flow sensors. This saves energy and reduces wastage of expensive process gases.
The versatility of this App-controlled approach becomes evident when we expand this filling example. Controlling the flow using the app allows the gas to be precisely dosed. The closed loop control enables the precise filling quantity to be defined. Another advantage is that this flexible, digitised gas control is tamper-proof. The Selectable Pressure Level App can be used to move filling nozzles to bottles or containers quickly and accurately, achieving flexible parameterisation – which in turn shortens the cycle times. After filling, the nozzles are retracted at reduced pressure to save energy.
Adding the Leakage Diagnostics Motion App means maintenance is simplified too, as it automatically monitors for leaks. Malfunctions can be detected and pinpointed to a specific actuator using diagnostic cycles and defined threshold values – the reliable basis for predictive maintenance.
Thanks to the easy activation of additional functions via Motion Apps, machine developers can create a basic machine type using the Festo VTEM Motion Terminal and then select the relevant Motion Apps to equip it with added value functions and features as per the customer requirements or market opportunities. The ability to copy and transfer parameter sets makes commissioning easier and saves time. Assigning functions via software has the added benefit of preventing operator tampering and protecting know-how, since it’s not possible to tell from the outside which functions the valves are executing.
Festo is a leading international supplier of automation technology with a turnover in 2020 of around €2.84 billion. Festo employs over 20,000 people worldwide and is a proven innovator and problem solver in pneumatic and electrical automation, where it is the performance leader. Festo offers around 30,000 pneumatic and electric products in hundreds of thousands of variants for factory and process automation technology which can be tailored to specific customer needs. Sustainability, reducing its CO2, footprint, digital learning, innovation, performance and speed are the key drivers for the company's future.
Festo Industrial Automation's innovative strength is demonstrated through the launch of around 100 new products every year. The company invests over 8% of its turnover in R&D, resulting in over 2,600 patents held worldwide. For more information about the company's products and UK / Irish services, please visit: www.festo.com/gb and www.festo.com/ie
Festo and Industry 4.0 - Festo has engaged with the Industry 4.0 initiative from its inception: as a user, manufacturer and trainer. As a member of the steering group, the company has taken an active role in defining the core standards such as the RAMI model and the Administration Shell. Festo Didactic has installed Industry 4.0 Cyber-Physical Factory training hardware systems in many leading universities and training centres. It also provides Industry 4.0 training courses for change managers and practical workshops for employees. Industry 4.0 technologies such as OPC-UA communications are embedded in the latest generation products. For more information, go to digital.festo.com
Festo Didactic training delivers training for industry – by industry. Combining Festo's industrial heritage with its future-focused manufacturing and engineering expertise to deliver courses for greater productivity and competitiveness. Offering a wide range of open courses, structured development programmes and tailor-made, customer-specific projects on technology and Industry 4.0. In 2021 Festo launched the industry-leading online training suite, Festo LX. Festo also provides state-of-the-art training equipment solutions for 56,000 industrial companies and educational institutions around the world. More information on Festo training and consulting services can be found at: www.festo-didactic.co.uk
Festo Bionic Learning Network encapsulates the innovative nature of Festo, raising awareness and attracting talent to the company. Exploring the links between nature and technology opens new areas of innovation and demonstrates complex ideas in a stimulating and enjoyable way. Festo works with an alliance of internal R&D, external educational establishments and specialist companies to advance bionic solutions for automation applications of the future. The objective is to benefit from bionics as a source of inspiration and to realise these in industrial automation. For more information about Festo's Bionic Learning Network, please visit: www.festo.com/bionics