Pneumatic valve terminals now handle higher flow rates

Paul Boughton

Festo is further extending the capabilities of its popular VTSA pneumatic valve terminal, which can now accommodate 55mm ISO size 2 valves, as well as 18mm, 26mm and 42mm valves. This additional capability enables the terminal to handle flow rates as high as 3000 l/min, which is 30 per cent more than the previous model, and opens up new application areas in medium to large machine control.
The new VTSA 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 claimed to be the only terminal on the market offering this level of configuration flexibility, making it a good choice for OEMs and machine builders seeking a fully scalable control system.
Furthermore, the VTSA terminal's high flow rate capability - together with its easy integration with the metal version of Festo's CPX electrical terminal and the availability of specialised safety function valves - makes it useful 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 fully 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 to maximise the 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 10bar. The valves are available in 18mm, 26mm, 42mm and 55mm sizes, with respective flow rates of 500, 1100, 1400 and 3000 litres/minute. All four valve sizes offer a choice of 24V DC and 110V AC solenoids for application flexibility, and can be configured so that their solenoid breather ports vent into the exhaust port instead of to atmosphere.
Festo is also 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 feature of the VTSA valve terminal that is claimed to be unique 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 that 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 CPX-MMI handheld control unit.
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