Industry – App-controlled valve

Digital pneumatics

The first valve to be controlled using apps  

The digitalisation we are experiencing as part of Industry 4.0 will profoundly alter the world of production. With the Festo Motion Terminal, Festo is launching the world's first standardised platform that will develop into a "cyber-physical system" thanks to its intelligent fusion of mechanics, electronics and software. This system is characterised by an extremely high level of adaptability and flexibility.

It will enable you to build intelligent machines now for the world of tomorrow, and ensure your systems are truly ready for Industry 4.0, even in terms of pneumatics.


How can the Festo Motion Terminal help you to shape the production of the future?

Digitalisation reduces complexity

  • Motion apps provide a wide range of functions with just one type of valve technology, thus providing maximum adaptability and reduced system complexity. They cover the functions of over 50 individual components.
  • Integrated, intelligent sensors for control, diagnostics and self-learning tasks eliminate the need for additional components and the need to integrate them into the system.
  • Clear product identification: the product key with digital map is a fast way of transmitting information and ensuring traceability.

Adaptability for greater productivity

  • Maximum productivity thanks to self-regulating motion apps that independently adapt to changes in parameters, e.g. for the presetting of travel time.
  • Flexible production thanks to quick and easy adaptation to new formats by changing process parameters, e.g. for remote control and supply and exhaust air flow control.

Standardised networking, data-based decisions

  • Interface standards for Industry 4.0 thanks to OPC UA, using the CPX automation platform
  • Preventive maintenance using monitoring motion apps such as "leakage diagnostics" is the perfect addition to your existing diagnostics concept.
  • Parameterisation can also be performed via a web server and requires no additional configuration software.

The Festo Motion Terminal as a cyber-physical system

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) provide the technical basis for the fourth industrial revolution. As communicative systems, they open the door to new types of functions, services and features as part of the "socio-technical" interaction between people and technology. They act as a bridge between the physical world that surrounds us and the digital world. Their flexibility and ability to adapt to modern production and machine development processes present new opportunities for standardisation, increased flexibility and profitability.

App-based function selection and decentralised intelligence

The Festo Motion Terminal implements functions using programs in the form of motion apps. This is done using integrated, flexible and programmable processors, as well as the smart actuator technology within the system. The decentralised intelligence and software-based function implementation make the system more flexible than "hardwired" components. Adaptations can now be carried out decentrally within the system. This reduces both the bandwidth required for communication and the complexity of controlling and programming tasks for the entire system.

App-based function selection

Functions and hardware are disconnected

The Festo Motion Terminal has powerful on-board processors for decentralised intelligence in the integrated controller [1], plus function elements in the form of motion apps [2]. This means that pneumatic functions are no longer automatically connected to the mechanical hardware, and can simply be assigned using apps. As a result, one valve type is all you need to execute a wide range of pneumatic motions.

Smart actuator technology thanks to integrated sensors

An actuator is a component that influences the physical world, e.g. a valve. However, the sensors in a cyber-physical system turn it into much more than just a pneumatic actuator. Thanks to the new flexibility it offers, smart actuator technology enables components such as cylinders to perform new tasks.

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In the Festo Motion Terminal, this smart actuator technology is realised by a bridge circuit with integrated sensors that is made up of four 2/2-way valves in the form of piezo pilot and diaphragm poppet valves. The ability to pressurise and exhaust independently of one another is the key principle that allows the user to perform a wide range of conventional valve functions using a single valve. This valve technology can also be used to carry out proportional pressure regulation and complex control solutions, such as Soft Stop.

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Integrated sensors with simulation comparison

Built-in sensors are essential in cyber-physical systems, whether they are used for adapting to changes in environmental conditions or for gathering all the necessary information for "big data" processes.

Inherent and virtual sensors

Simulation models enable the system to carry out evaluation and adaptation tasks independently. This means, for example, that external load cells are no longer needed for status monitoring during pressing procedures. The combination of integrated sensors [3] and software-based models not only saves money, it also simplifies the system engineering, from design to modernisation.

For certain tasks, the separately integrated inputs [4] can be used to process data from external sensors in real time for internal control. This opens the door to new types of pneumatic applications.

Intuitive user interfaces

User interface

Cyber-physical systems have a number of different user interfaces in order to ensure spatial flexibility. They prioritise simultaneous communication via multiple channels, also known as multi-modal communication. The essence of this type of communication is that data, functions and operation are easy to understand.

The Festo Motion Terminal offers you multiple human-machine interfaces. Adjustment is quick, easy and direct via the Ethernet connection, your web browser, the intuitive WebConfig interface or the process data of a conventional machine control system. The simple function integration offered by our motion apps will speed up commissioning, reconfiguration and system adaptations.

Adaptable communication interfaces

Communication interface

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) offer new networking capabilities in mechatronic systems. What's really new about this is CPS's standardised communication interfaces, which use open, global standards to prepare the Festo Motion Terminal for future developments, such as software services and global networking.

The CPX bus nodes [5] on the Festo Motion Terminal and the multitude of available I/O modules provide a tried and tested standard for communication in machine and production networks. What's more, you can also use the OPC UA interface on the CPX-CEC to create a service-oriented architecture that is both platform and manufacturer-neutral – the ideal conditions for Industry 4.0.