Controlled Pneumatics: pushing the boundaries of pneumatics

Pressure, flow rate and movement can now be controlled very precisely, and with exactly the energy actually required. Controlled Pneumatics is the combination of proportional technology, sensor technology and control algorithms, and not only improves automation processes that are already known. It also opens up new opportunities, especially for controlling pressure and flow rate. Piezo valves, which enable very precise control, also play a role.

Printing for many functions

Surface processing is a wide application area where the precise use of pressure is important. Controlled Pneumatics controls and provides exactly the right contact pressure to ensure that workpieces are machined totally uniformly, even if they have difficult shapes. The range of opportunities offered by Controlled Pneumatics extends all the way to the reliable polishing of highly sensitive wafers. But controlled pressure is also ideal for dispensing: "pressure over liquid" allows products such as emulsion paint or glue to be dosed with pinpoint accuracy.

Flow rate? Very accurately metered!

You can also use Controlled Pneumatics to precisely control the flow rate. This is interesting wherever expensive gases are used in large quantities, for example. Another example of this is the precise control of nitrogen to prevent oxidation. This means that exactly the right amount of gas that is needed is used – losses are avoided.

Motion profiles optimise the process

Controlled Pneumatics makes it very easy to create pneumatic motion profiles. For example, with a quickly advancing cylinder piston, intermediate stops and a smooth, vibration-free entry into the end position. The return stroke is then done with reduced pressure. This is just one example that can be varied. Such profiles help to reduce compressed air consumption, in some cases by up to 70%.

Simply effective control – the technology

To be able to carry out its tasks successfully, Controlled Pneumatics requires the interaction of several technologies: valves and valve terminals with piezo technology, sensors, controllers and a powerful control algorithm.

Proportional pneumatic valves such as VEAB, VPPI or Motion Terminal VTEM form the essential basis. The small VEAB, for example, reacts incredibly quickly to deviations in dancer rollers. This keeps the tension as even as possible when winding high-tech yarns. The integrated piezo technology with its speed and precision contributes a great deal. ​​

Proportional valve VPPI with its plunger coil actuator or Motion Terminal VTEM with piezo technology for pilot control are suitable when winding film or paper, for example. With the Motion Terminal, this is done via integrated motion apps.

Integrated sensor technology records and processes the data. These are made available to the higher-level controller for parameterisation and evaluation via a powerful communication technology. The specified parameters can thus be controlled almost in real time, which significantly increases production reliability.

In addition to the hardware, a powerful control algorithm that can be optimised to the specific requirement is one of the central features of Controlled Pneumatics. Our experts are constantly exchanging information to ensure that the hardware of Controlled Pneumatics works together as effectively as possible. This allows them to take into account the specific requirements of each automation solution. This is the only way to achieve optimal results.

August 2023