Mechatronics Canada

November 26, 2020

In March of 2020, Festo introduced the VAEM solenoid valve controller for multi-head micro-dispensing in pharmaceutical manufacturing and laboratory applications that require high speed and a low coefficient of variation (CV). The compact and energy efficient VAEM provides individualized control and calibration of to up to eight solenoid valves.

“As our life science technologists were designing the next generation of Festo multi-head micro-dispensing systems, they found that a more advanced valve controller was required, one that would meet their speed and precision goals,” said Craig Correia, Director of Life Science & Process Industries, Festo North America. “As development on the new valve controller progressed, the team also designed in energy efficiency, minimal heat generation, ease of use, compactness, and importantly, the capability to compensate for flow variations in individual valves.”

The VAEM can open a valve in under 2 milliseconds. Rapid and precise control of the valve decreased CV from 3% to less than .5% in laboratory benchmark testing. The VAEM enables users to easily and quickly calibrate flow through individual channels, which improves precision across multi-head systems.

The VAEM employs a “hit and hold” strategy to lower energy consumption. A short burst of high current “hits” the open position, and then the VAEM switches to a minimum current to “hold” the open position for a specified time. The strategy of using current rather than voltage to control valves diminishes heat buildup and aids in maintaining specified flow.

VAEM valve controllers are suitable for 2/2- and 3/2-way solenoid valves. They feature RS232 communication. Future iterations of the valve controller will have options for Ethernet, Modbus TCP, and IO-Link. A PC based graphical user interface (GUI) enables users to pre-calibrate the dispense heads and to save the control parameters for standalone operation. External 24 V trigger-input synchronizes the VAEM with other systems. The controller’s dimensions are 3.6 x 3.9 x 1.1 inches (92 x 100 x 28 mm).

For more information, visit www.festo.ca.

Latest Articles

  • Prev
  The global wire and cable market worldwide is estimated to grow from $335 billion in ...
  One of the easiest ways for manufacturers to transform their operations with IIoT ...
  NSK is a global manufacturer of ball and roller bearings, precision linear motion and ...
  The world is changing. Every day. In many ways. The fourth industrial revolution, ...
  One of Omron’s main focuses with respect to sensor innovation is to incorporate more ...
  It seems like IT leaders everywhere want the flexibility to run workloads wherever it ...
  What will the factory of the future look like? This is the question that many ...
  The Customer Experience Centre. Four thousand four hundred square meters of ...
  Mechatronics Canada had the opportunity to talk with Eric Rice, Product Market ...
  As development progresses and the benefits for the process industry become clearer, ...

Featured Article: 

 

MC Omron Tradtional Factories have Data Needs Too 1 400

The right tools and tech can enable advanced predictive maintenance, bottleneck prevention and optimization. Find out how digitalization is bridging the gap between legacy systems and Industry 4.0.
 
Without a doubt, digitalization is setting high standards for efficiency and throughput in production. Today, as manufacturers move ever closer to Industry 4.0, the question has increasingly shifted from ‘if’ to ‘when’ production companies will be able to make use of the data being generated with every piece that comes off the line. How do traditional companies take the first steps to digitalization and put that data to work? How do they make the move to unlocking the potential in every production system to improve and optimise their output? And what is the simplest way to harness the power of cloud computing and artificial intelligence at the edge?
 
As we know, not every modern factory is a greenfield high-tech showroom with pristine workers in lab smocks. In fact, many of them may not even be all that modern, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t benefit from the modern tools, processes and best practices that are the hallmarks of a productive and successful factory. In this journey to modernity, digitalization has become a vital bridge, enabling owners and production directors to begin harvesting the data that can provide vital clues to enhancing production.
 
Start with Sensors
As new standards of efficiency and quality become the norm, those seeking a competitive edge are turning increasingly to digitalization. Sensors (from very simple to highly complex) can be incorporated into all types of production lines, to measure everything from unit temperature and speed to output shape and size, weight and hardness and most everything in between. Sensors can form part of a wireless network, sending signals remotely, or can be connected directly into an existing production system, depending on the needs of the factory.
 
From Raw Data to Vital Information
 
The resulting output from these sensors is the raw data that can be transformed into information and insights to streamline efficiency, remove bottlenecks, reduce downtime and optimize production cycles—when used correctly. Before any data can be analysed, it has to be stored, either on an in-house server or using a cloud-based service for greater scope for expansion and off-site processing. Exactly how much storage is needed depends on the application, level of digitalization, output form and required analysis. For comparison, a production line with simple sensors attached to monitor throughput will generate significantly less data than one with quality-control cameras monitoring multiple types of product forms.

 

Read More


 

Mechatronics Canada

Mechatronics Canada‘s editorial informs and engages a targeted audience of manufacturers, distributors, specifiers and end users delivering an editorial mix of the right content for the right audience.

Subscribe Here

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil