Festo's Pneumatic Valve Terminal Offers More Control Options

Festo has released a new pneumatic valve terminal for machine builders that provides more control options in a compact package, making it a good option for standardization on one terminal, according to the company.

The VTUG is aimed at engineers building machines for a number of industries, including food, beverage, packaging, electronics, semiconductor, and light assembly, according to Festo.

It is especially conducive to applications that require special pressure and temperature concerns, Daniella Gonzalez-Olgren, a valve product specialist for Festo US, told Design News, in an email. Its flexibility in terms of control options also makes it a good choice as a standard valve terminal for machines. "It's ideal for applications with low-pressure range, such as external pilot air for vacuum operation and common pilot air supply for all valves," Gonzalez-Olgren told us. "The target users are machine builders that require high pressure (up to 10 bar), and high temperature (Up to 60C). So basically anyone that's looking for a cost-effective solution (for these applications)."

Key among the new features of the VTUG is its numerous control options, which allow for a range of connections and installation options and provide design flexibility. "Its connections range from multi-pin up to fieldbus with enormous pneumatic and electrical options," Gonzalez-Olgren said. "You can pair it up with the CTEU node that uses I-Port from Festo, you can have it with multi-pin, you can have it with different protocols like DeviceNet, ProfiBus, CanOpen, CC-Link, and EtherCat."

The VTUG also is a good option for control cabinet installation, she added, "since you can get it with bottom ports, no special assembly required."

Additionally, Festo offers a number of options for the VTUG's electrical module, allowing customers to change it at any time -- i.e., from multi-pin to fieldbus -- simply by switching the module. The VTUG also allows machine builders to perform a number of design functions that weren't previously available to them, Gonzalez-Olgren said.

"They can add vacuum and pressure zones in the same manifold, as well as different pressure zones," she told us. "They can also achieve higher flows per footprint of the valve terminal without breaking the bank, and can mount the valves directly without the need of any brackets."

Festo has designed the VTUG to be more energy efficient than competitive products, with the inclusion of a current reduction circuit that reduces power consumption by 35 percent once the valve has been activated. The company also kept ease of installation in mind with the new terminal. The VTUG includes captive screws and seals, "which make the installation very easy especially if the machine is in a hard to reach place, since you don't risk dropping a screw or seals while you're trying to install or replace a valve," Gonzalez-Olgren said.

Machine builders using VTUG also can configure valve terminals directly in Festo's online configurator, which allows them access to CAD drawings and documentation to support the design as they go.

For pricing and availability information about the VTUG, which Gonzalez-Olgren said varies depending on the configuration and number of valves, engineers can visit Festo's website.

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