Pneumatic systems & components

SMC launches wireless valve bank in SA

1 September 2020 Pneumatic systems & components

In response to customer demand for a reliable communication system, which could limit the number of cables needed to communicate between multiple valve banks/field sensors and a PLC, a wireless communication module was the only logical answer. SMC has developed such a system, the EX600-W, which has addressed all the necessary safety and interference concerns.

SMC’s Wade Holland.

The module has been registered with ICASA for use on the 2,4 GHz frequency band. This falls well out of the range of any frequency disturbances generated in an industrial environment, thus negating all possible interference from welding machinery, motor drivers or electro-magnetic heating systems. Furthermore, the base and remote modules use a unique frequency hopping algorithm to provide stable communication and prevent disruptions from other electronic devices. The system is designed to work within a 10 m radius using an encrypted protocol to prevent unauthorised network access.

The EX600-W base unit makes use of Ethernet/IP or Profinet protocols and is capable of pairing with up to 127 remote modules. The base unit can handle up to a combined total of 1280 inputs and 1280 outputs. These can be distributed throughout the wireless network as required, giving complete control of the system layout.

Success stories

Numerous automotive industry customers have tested the EX600-W on their tool changers and spot welders. In over two years of test operation zero failures were reported.

In another application, a leading developer of solutions for automotive, aerospace and the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, designed a compact three-station pick and place robot cell. Due to the elimination of field-based wiring, simple block diagrams replaced complex wiring plans. The elimination of communication wiring enabled the controls engineer to significantly reduce the setup and integration times, reducing the delivery time of the cell from six months to four weeks.

In a third case, SMC UK and ATG partnered with MAKE UK to design and build a state-of-the-art training facility for engineering apprentices. The 10 m radius of the EX600-W offered the perfect range for wirelessly integrating all training stations in the cell, with one base unit connected to the PLC via Ethernet/IP. This has significantly reduced the cabling costs and installation time of the various stations. Furthermore, thanks to the built-in web function of the EX600-W, all stations can be remotely monitored away from the physical infrastructure.

For more information contact Wade Holland, SMC Corporation South Africa, +27 10 900 1233,,


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Festo Motion Terminal VTEM bolsters productivity
Third Quarter 2020, Festo , Pneumatic systems & components
The world’s first valve to be controlled by apps.

SMC brings Industry 4.0 solutions to South Africa
Third Quarter 2020, SMC Corporation South Africa , Other technologies
SMC’s wireless valve banks can now communicate wirelessly in IoT applications.

The role of hydraulics and pneumatics in smart mining technologies
Third Quarter 2020 , Editor's Choice, Pneumatic systems & components
A Bosch Rexroth South Africa perspective.

Quick, easy leak detection
Third Quarter 2020, SKF South Africa , Pneumatic systems & components
Compressed air production is an integral part of manufacturing plants but it is also one of the largest energy consumers. Air leaks amplify the load on a compressor, leading to higher electricity consumption ...

Rethinking pneumatic technology for the factories of the future
Third Quarter 2020, Parker Hannifin Sales Company South , Editor's Choice, Pneumatic systems & components
As manufacturing continues its rapid journey to digitalisation, one must ask, what will become of conventional technologies? Take pneumatics for example, which remains based on the age old principle of ...

SA-built air dryer for food and beverage
Third Quarter 2020, Artic Driers International , Pneumatic systems & components
The SA Series of air dryer offers an ideal solution for cleaning and drying compressed air for any food and beverage operation.

Do all wireless solutions solve real industry problems?
Third Quarter 2020, Festo South Africa , Editor's Choice, Pneumatic systems & components
Wireless technology makes use of devices that allow us to communicate without using cables or wires and it plays a role in solving complex engineering problems. With this platform machines can communicate ...

SMC steps up to support essential service customers through lockdown
Second Quarter 2020, SMC Corporation South Africa , News & events
SMC Corporation South Africa, as a leading supplier of advanced pneumatic and electrical automation technology, has remained open and certified as an essential services supplier throughout lockdown. We ...

SMC offers services as well as components
Second Quarter 2020, SMC Corporation South Africa , Pneumatic systems & components
Besides being a leading supplier of industrial automation components, SMC South Africa also offers value-added services. One of these is in-house control panel design and construction. This takes a labour-intensive ...

Pneumatic and electric grippers
Second Quarter 2020, Gimatic , Pneumatic systems & components
Gimatic is a leading global manufacturer of pneumatic and electric grippers for industrial automation. The company specialises in the production of vacuum cups (flat and bellow), pneumatic nippers, air ...