Design Engineering

Valve terminal with piezo technology

By DE Staff   

Fluid Power Festo piezo values

Festo has introduced VTEP, a compact proportional valve terminal for multi-channel pressure control of small volumes. With piezo valve technology on board, it offers high precision, fast response times and dynamic control.

Controlled pneumatics is the compressed air technology pioneered by Festo that combines proportional valve technology, sensors and control algorithms to form a control loop. Thanks to this control loop approach, the pressure control of VTEP is extremely sensitive, accurate to less than 1 mbar, which is approximately the air pressure difference of walking up one flight of stairs. This is perfect for applications such as wafer polishing or patch clamping in life science.

Since it is free of copper, nickel and zinc, it is suitable for battery production and other industrial segments in which these materials are disruptive. In process automation scenarios, paint, adhesives or liquids for testing and analysis also can be dispensed with high precision and according to individual recipes. That is not possible with either electric automation or standard pneumatics.

Piezo valve technology makes pneumatics extremely precise. The valves are silent, wear-free, have no particle abrasion or heat generation. In addition, piezo valves reduce compressed air consumption by up to 50 per cent, which translates into significant energy savings.

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VTEP communicates virtually in real time via high-speed EtherCAT, and the piezo valves react at lightning speed. Perfect timing guarantees significantly improved process reliability in the event of unexpected forces.

VTEP is very adaptable thanks to its customizable control parameters. The terminal supports 1-5 valves and up to 10 working channels. There are three versions, 2-, 3- and 5-way, which can all be easily integrated for multi-channel applications. Pressure and vacuum can be combined in a maximum control range of 6 bar. Optional parallel connections to channels multiply the flow rate without affecting the pressure control.

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