The Journal of Industry and Technology

Industrial Analytical Instrumentation

Euro Technology

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Automation and control

Festo's new VPPX valve gives increased process quality

Festo, the leading supplier of automation technology, has launched a new proportional valve VPPX with an external sensor input, and offers users improved performance, maximum flexibility and excellent process quality.

The valve is a proportional integral derivative (PID) controller ideal for use in industrial control systems found in process, packaging and water and wastewater applications.   The incorporation of an external sensor, means friction, hysteresis and leakage are effectively cancelled out which enables engineers to build faster and more accurate machines and systems, while enhancing the quality and efficiency of their processes.  Significant time savings can also be made, even in simple pressure regulation, with the sensor integrated into the system.

The VPPX valve is easily programmable using Festo Configuration Tools (FCT) and the user can select the control circuit (internal/external), the control behaviour (direct/inverted), the setpoint value, actual value and sensor signals (current/voltage).  Previously, users had to specify whether the control signals were provided as current or voltage when designing the system.  However, now users have increased flexibility as they can decide at the last minute how the signal should be transferred to the control system. 

The setpoint value, initial pressure and external sensor's signal can be viewed in real time on the oscilloscope, and parameters can be easily adjusted for the optimum control characteristics, with set values recorded for future use.

"The valves can be easily adapted to specific tasks, and its simple operation with self-explanatory graphical support reduces the effort required during programming and speeds up commissioning," says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo. "Plant managers and operators can now be constantly aware of the internal pressures of their systems, and as such, use this valuable data to ensure they are operating efficiently.  The VPPX gives users increased freedom and flexibility and can also be used for more complex applications with FCT." 

The proportional valve VPPX is ideal for use in many applications, for example, it can be used as a level controller in bottling systems, to control reservoirs, or for powders and granules with the aid of a pinch valve.  The valve is also suitable for use in simple positioning tasks in process automation, for speed adjustment in pneumatic motors, and for pressure control with internal or external sensor, force, torque, vacuum and flow control.

Festo in profile
Festo is a leading international supplier of automation technology with a turnover in 2011 of over €2.1 billion. Festo employs more than 15,000 people worldwide and is a proven innovator and problem solver in the field of pneumatic and electrical automation where it has established itself as the performance leader.

Festo Industrial Automation's innovative strength is demonstrated through the introduction of around 100 new products being launched every year. The company invests 9% of its turnover in R&D resulting in over 2,900 patents held worldwide.

For further information about the company's products and services, view website: www.festo.co.uk

Festo Training & Consulting specialises in the development of people, organisations and technology skills. Offering a range of open courses, structured development programmes and tailor-made, customer-specific projects, Festo trains over 42,000 delegates worldwide every year.

For further information on the training and consulting services, view website : www.festo-didactic.co.uk

Festo's 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 up 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 the development of bionic solutions for automation applications of the future.

For further information about Festo's Bionic Learning Network, view website: www.festo.com/gb/bionics 
 Refer to page 624

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