Pneumatic systems & components

Smart positioners of the future

First Quarter 2021 Pneumatic systems & components

Data analytics are driving the migration to digital factories by assisting manufacturing companies to make smarter operational decisions. The ability to gain a clear understanding of the integrated functionality of the factory, as well as the intelligent use of the gathered information, is proving essential in the quest for competitive advantage.

SMC Corporation has always identified with the term ‘keep moving forward’. It is an ethos that is echoed throughout the company, and the heartbeat of a development team which works diligently to bring the most up-to-date and industry relevant components to market.

SMC smart positioners

Achieving considerable success with its electro-pneumatic positioners, the R&D; team was challenged to improve on an already successful existing component. From this, the SMC smart positioner was born.

The new range was designed to pair perfectly with process control valves and actuators. Two versions are currently available, namely:

• IP8001 linear series, which generally pairs with a diaphragm control valve.

• IP8101 rotary series, for valves with oscillating or quarter turn actuators.

Each positioner serves as a source of pneumatic actuating pressure and as a feedback device for the real-time actuator position and valve shutoff.

The driving design concept behind the smart positioner is the ability to do much more than simply control the position of the valve. It enables the user to collect data about the functionality of the valve and assembly performance, automatically alerting the user and enabling faster response times in the event of problems. In addition, it can aid in diagnostics and improve maintenance by means of its built-in microcomputer.

An optional LCD window gives a visual representation of the real-time status of the positioner, while the incorporation of an internal button allows for easy calibration.

The new IP8001/8101 series positioners

A built-in microcomputer and sensor allow easy remote parameter change and monitoring, while an internal push-button allows for easy parameter setting. Zero point/span adjustment is also easier than with previous mechanical positioners. Other features and benefits include:

• Full output functions: Selecting output functions by model, e.g. alarm point output function (2 points) or analog (4-20 mA DC) continuous output function, allows remote detection of operating abnormalities.

• Control state display: Positioning, deviation, and input value are displayed numerically on the internal LCD, allowing visual verification of the control state.

• Handles 2-line input for current equipment: Control furnished with current 2-line input signal (4-20 mA DC), not requiring separate power source.

• HART transmission function: HART transmission function can be designated by model selection, allowing remote monitoring and setting change of positioner.

• Compatible installation: Dimensions of mounting parts are the same as previous mechanical IP6000/IP8000 series electro-pneumatic positioners. External feedback lever and fork lever-type fitting for joining actuator and positioner are therefore also the same.

• Energy saving: Lever-types feature 60% reduced air flow consumption compared with IP8000.

SMC smart positioners are a perfect fit in most industries, including pulp and paper, food and beverage, and water and wastewater, amongst others. Units with ATEX certification are also available, should the need for intrinsically safe components arise.

For more information contact Andy Banks, SMC Corporation South Africa, +27 10 900 1233,,,

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