Go Modular to Distribute Pneumatic Valves
The control of fluid power provided by numerous types of pneumatic valves brings industrial machine motion to life. Several of these valve types are standalone and individually mounted, requiring a connection to each valve. Manifold-mounted, compact modular valves provide a better option for systems with three or more valves because they simplify configuration, installation, operation, and maintenance.
This article will briefly discuss available valve configurations, with the focus on the key design features of modular valves. It will also discuss the use of industrial Ethernet protocols such as EtherNet/IP to operate these valve banks. Application examples are included to highlight the advantages of the distributed control enabled by modular valves.
Overview of Valve Options
There are many pneumatic valves to choose from when designing an automated machine (Fig. 1). General-purpose valves are often used to control pneumatic actuators and cylinders. Air-piloted valves work well in hazardous areas because they don’t require electrical power. Manual valves are available for hand operation, and pipeline valves control flow of a wide range of process fluids.
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