Proportional pneumatics hold a sizable cost advantage over electric and hydraulic systems.
NOT JUST FOR MOTION
Servopneumatic systems are not only for motion control. They are also suited for many applications involving force, pressure, and flow control, and a variety of other more esoteric command objectives such as altering air flow for temperature control, or moving a screen to regulate light intensity, among others.
In processing and packaging machinery, for example, an application that can benefit from servopneumatics is dynamic rail guides. Such a system can eliminate the need for programming related to frequent and unexpected product changes (especially at contract warehouses) and can assist in rapid change-overs by reducing human errors and set-up time even for like-sized products.
Another servopneumatic application in processing and packaging machinery maintains constant pressure or flow rate in material feed tanks with constantly changing surface levels. This facilitates processing by providing a constant line speed on a manufacturing or packaging line.
Servopneumatics are also used to apply constant force while silk-screening or labeling curved container surfaces, as well as apply constant force when extruding or molding soft materials. In all of these cases, servopneumatics provides precise electronic control to traditional pneumatics by adding sensors to critical activities and closing the loop in an electronic controller either at the system control level (PLC or computer) or the device level (valve controller). The opportunities to increase machine or system functionality, improve performance, and eliminate capital and operating costs in a variety of industries are limited only by the designer's creativity. Such improvements benefit not only machine builders, but their customers as well.
Enfield Technologies, (800) 504-3334, enfieldtech.com