New piezo valve technology from Festo delivers high accuracy pressure regulation with medical precision
Pneumatic automation specialist Festo has developed a new range of piezo valve based pressure regulators that deliver smooth, precise pressure control and metering suitable for a wide range of applications.
Originally, the characteristics of piezo valves made them ideal for medical applications, as Paul Kendall, MedLab sector specialist for Festo UK explains: “Piezo valve technology has low energy consumption, does not generate heat and is silent in operation; so that it won’t disturb patients under treatment. Critically, the technology is also non-magnetic and so will not interfere with any other medical equipment.”
Festo’s VEAA and VEAB family of regulators mean these properties can also be applied to precision industrial applications, such as small part assembly, printing and electronics production. Examples include pressure over liquid for precision dispensing, controlling the contact pressure applied by pneumatic actuators and low-pressure regulation for wafer production.
The VEAA/VEAB family has been specifically designed to offer high precision pressure control with maximum flow rates of either 7 litres/min or 20 litres/min. The range provides regulators offering a pressure range spanning from -1 to 0 bar up to 0.06 bar to 6 bar.
The regulators are built around an innovative piezo bender. The proportional characteristics ensure stable and reliable regulation and stepless pressure changes. This control is coupled with low hysteresis, high repeat accuracy and low energy consumption.
Compared to pressure regulators using traditional on/off valve technology, VEAA and VEAB valves offer precise, silent and stable regulation to a preset value without fluctuations in the output pressure – even with varying air consumption. They can reliably regulate very small volumes, as well as vacuum and overpressure. These piezo based regulators are therefore particularly suited to applications with low to micro air consumption with cylinders, grippers and rotary actuators, as well as for applications requiring highly dynamic response characteristics.
Since the piezo component is virtually immune to mechanical wear and doesn't abrade, the valves offer a very high number of switching cycles (≥ 300 million) or setpoint changes. For use individually or in combinations of up to eight modules on one valve terminal, VEAA and VEAB valves are supplied ready to connect without the need to set any parameters.
VEAA and VEAB regulators are certified in accordance with EN ISO 13485, which ensures that medical equipment meets demanding quality requirements. They also hold CE and UL certifications.