Pneumatic systems & components


Highly flexible pick and place with digitised pneumatics from Festo

First Quarter 2021 Pneumatic systems & components

A wide range of products, functions and complete solution packages are integrated into the Festo Motion Terminal. One of these products is Motion Apps, which heralds a new Industry 4.0 era. Motion Apps are revolutionising pneumatics by increasing flexibility and energy efficiency, and accelerating production processes. This also has benefits for handling technology, as the automation platform VTEM opens the door for positioning using pneumatics.

Users can execute different tasks with just one valve and operate sixteen pressure regulation channels with eight valves. This significantly reduces the amount of work required, from engineering to format changeovers. For this reason, experts recognise the Festo Motion Terminal VTEM as a revolution in automation technology.

Simplifying pick and place applications

With the Motion Terminal VTEM, users can realise all the functions in their pick and place application in just one system. There is no need for components like shock absorbers or flow control valves. Since Motion Apps now take over many tasks and replace complicated mechanical structures, the design process is much easier. The process data can be read out at any time, enabling users to respond quickly to deviations and guarantee consistent quality.

Positioning using pneumatics

The app ‘Positioning’ gives handling experts flexibility when positioning workpieces of different sizes. They can optimise the end-to-end motions for every possible workpiece size, for example, by precisely defining the variables such as the motion speed and impact energy in the end position.

With the Motion App ‘Positioning’, pneumatic actuators can be freely positioned along the entire working stroke, and the cylinder movement can be controlled using limit values for the speed, acceleration and jerk parameters. Gentle positioning is possible for selected series with strokes of up to 300 mm by specifying the limit values.

Pressure and vacuum control

By using the app ‘Proportional pressure regulation’, safe transport with vacuum is ensured. The vacuum level is adapted to the weight that needs to be moved. This enables plant manufacturers to increase the energy efficiency of their application. Changeover times or manual format changes are a thing of the past as users can easily switch over to the parameters they need. The virtually vibration-free travel into the end position with the app ‘Soft Stop’ minimises wear – and shortens the cycle times.

Software instead of hardware

Thanks to the fast activation of new functions via Motion Apps, machine developers can create a basic machine type using the Festo Motion Terminal and then selecting the relevant Motion Apps to equip it with different functions and features as per customer requirements. The ability to copy and transfer parameter sets makes planning easier and saves time. Assigning functions via software has the added benefit of preventing tampering since it is not possible to tell from the outside which functions the valves are executing.

Maintenance is also simplified, as leaks are automatically monitored, and long lists of spare and wearing parts are a thing of the past. With the Motion App ‘Leakage diagnostics’, malfunctions can be detected and pinpointed to a specific actuator via diagnostic cycles and defined threshold values. This enables predictive maintenance. The Festo Motion Apps are the key to limitless function integration for valve terminals. Combined with software, Festo apps simplify the entire value chain, since only one piece of hardware is required.

For more information contact Festo South Africa, 08600 FESTO (33786), marketing.za@festo.com, www.festo.co.za


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