Valve manifolds with flexible design
2nd Quarter 2017, Pneumatic systems & components
SMC Pneumatics continues to drive design excellence and application with its SY series of valve manifolds which is manufactured locally at its production facilities in Midrand, Johannesburg.
New generation benefits
The unique, all-purpose series of valve manifolds is available in three sizes, namely SY3000, SY5000 and SY7000. Thanks to its flexibility and innovative redesign, the SY series sees a 29% space saving in installation while offering increased flow rates.
Two of the smaller valve sizes or two larger valve sizes can be mixed on one manifold to match application flow requirements closely. The manifold offers piping options to the top, side or bottom with various port size options. This results in a flow rate of up to 1500 l/min through the biggest valve mounted on the manifold.
Aimed at the food and beverage industry and adhering to stringent standards, the SY5000 series also includes a new IP69K manifold which is suitable for wet areas and can withstand washdown and cleaning. Product manager, Ernst Smith says that the SY series has taken the market by storm and today many of SMC’s customers are benefiting from its flexibility and local assembly in Johannesburg for shorter lead times. “The SY series offers further savings due to its ability to drive bigger cylinders with reduced cycle times, mitigating the need for larger, more expensive solenoid valves,” he continues.
The SY series is available in either rubber or unique metal seal versions, with the latter optimised for higher operating frequencies and extended lifetime performance, boasting switching cycles of up to 200 million cycles. The series incorporates SMC’s energy-efficient V100 pilot valve, a power saving option that reduces consumption per valve coil down to just 0,1 W.
Flexible innovation and customisation
SMC’s SY series offers a myriad of options, optimised for customised projects and applications. Here are a few examples:
• A single valve can be mounted on a base which will offer flow rates exceeding 1500 l/min connected with SMC’s M12 waterproof connector.
• The valve can be supplied fitted with a residual pressure release valve that enables manual dumping of residual compressed air in the cylinder.
• Power and control options such as D-sub connectors, flat ribbon cables, terminal block box, pre-assembled leads and circular connectors offer options for serial transmission.
• Applicable Fieldbus protocols include Profinet, Profibus, DeviceNet, CC-Link, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, CANopen, AS-Interface, OMRON CompoBus/S and CompoNet. Digital as well as analog inputs and outputs can be added to suit customer application requirements.
Safety remains key
“Safety is always considered when we look at products and customer applications,” adds Smith. Overall safety in applications has been improved via optional configurations:
• The addition of a built-in back pressure check that can also be retrofitted.
• The addition of a manual pressure release valve for every cylinder where required.
• A supply shut-off spacer per valve to allow the maintenance team access to the system or part thereof while the rest of the manifold is still pressurised.
• Spacers with double check valves in working lines to enable intermediate stops or for drop prevention of loads in vertical applications.
• Slide locking manual override function with double action and long distance visual indication.
In-house production facilities
SMC’s state-of-the-art production facilities in Midrand focus on cylinder production, manifold assemblies and air preparation combination sets.
“Our in-house production facilities have been well received by the market. We are now able to configure and assemble manifolds to exact requirements in a matter of hours. Benefits have been experienced in cases such as breakdowns and for those wanting larger manifolds matched to unique requirements in a hurry,” concludes Smith.
Delivery of these items will take place on a three-tiered basis: regular orders are delivered within three days, larger orders within two weeks and breakdowns have a same day service.
The new trend in automation for flexibility and products that are lighter and more compact is on the rise and SMC anticipates this type of product development will become increasingly standard.