Energy efficiency

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This article contains all the FAQs on the topic of energy efficiency.

Which pneumatic actuator has the least amount of leakage?

Diaphragm-based systems, such as the fluidic muscle MAS, bellows actuator EB and clamping elements EV can be described as being "absolutely" leak-tight, due to the nature of the system. These products have no dynamic sealing points (piston rods/lip seal ring).

How can constantly changing pressure ranges be realised energy efficiently?

The required system pressure is often set for the last element of the control chain. Upstream, the entire system is supplied with the maximum expected pressure. This means that the high pressure level is reduced at the many points where pressure levels are lower. You could say that at these points the energy is 'destroyed'. If the different pressure levels are already controlled at the valve terminal, the losses down to the consumer are lower. If proportional valves VPPM are used as pressure zone controllers on a valve terminal MPA, the pressure levels can be easily set at an optimal and virtually constant level via the bus.

What energy-saving potential do our new servo controllers CMMD-AS have to offer?

Handling tasks are often solved with XY or XZ kinematics. For these 2-axis solutions there is now a compact servo controller, the CMMD-AS, for actuating 2 independent axes.
Especially the function that enables the controller to use the braking energy for one axis to accelerate the other underscores the design in terms of optimal energy usage.

How can vacuum suction grippers connected in parallel be shut off when one or more suction points are no longer needed?

If one or several suction points of a vacuum line are not 'occupied', vacuum is wasted unnecessarily. If each suction point is provided with a vacuum valve ISV, this valve blocks the unused suction points.

What must be taken into account when designing pneumatic circuits with optimal use of compressed air?

The right sizing with regard to the required drive force, the corresponding nominal size of the fittings and tubing and the right valve size.
The various design tools from Festo also help.

How can a higher operating pressure be generated for individual consumers?

What options are there if the pressure required for individual consumers is higher than the available system pressure?
In order not to have to supply the entire compressed air network with higher pressure, a pressure booster DPA would make sense. With this booster, the higher pressure can be targeted at the right place.

How can a pneumatic drive be correctly cushioned?

Vibrations can be reduced with rigid designs. This often means more material or higher-quality material must be used. How can a pneumatic drive be 'cushioned' without having to invest in complex mechanics/frames/cushioning components?
Similar to a controlled servo motor, a cylinder can be moved extremely softly into its end positions with the pneumatic Soft Stop SPC11 without any mechanical design elements having to be added.

How can a suction gripper be used more efficiently?

The trick is to keep the volume to be evacuated as low as possible. This is not always the case, especially with bellows grippers. The porous insert OASI, which also has a support function for very thin workpieces (e.g. slides), can also help.

How can a handling system with a traditional planar surface gantry be designed for energy efficiency?

In addition to using controlled drives, the best way to save energy here is by adjusting the weight. Particularly with handling systems, the weight being moved by a Y- or Z-axis is the decisive parameter when sizing the drives. Weight which is not moved therefore doesn't ever need to be accelerated/braked.
With the kinematics of the new H-gantry, the moving mass in the Y direction has been drastically reduced compared to a conventional X/Y handling system. Just the fact that the motor on the Y-axis doesn't have to be moved reduces the necessary drive energy.

Are rodless drives energy efficient?

Everything that needs to be sealed is a potential source of leaks. In the case of a rodless cylinder, the critical leakage point is the slotted barrel with sealing strip. For the series DGC, Festo has managed to significantly reduce the risk of leakage. Unlike on the previous model, the sealing strip is not only placed on the cylinder barrel, it is also clipped in place properly for an even better sealing effect.

How can compressed air costs be reduced in the vacuum range?

Gripping functions using suction grippers often require high air consumption to generate the vacuum. This air consumption can be very easily reduced by only activating the vacuum when it is needed.
Also, the vacuum level generated for 'holding' a workpiece is constantly measured with the vacuum generators OVEM. If it is sufficient, the vacuum generation stops. Compressed air costs are thus reduced to the minimum required level.

What does integrated current reduction do beyond reducing the current requirement of a solenoid coil?

• Built-in freewheel circuit for fast switch-off (freewheel voltage=Vp+25V)
• Protection against short circuits helps protect the electronics
• Undervoltage and undercurrent detection ensure operational safety
• Monitoring the armature movement of a coil ensures operational safety

How much air does a system consume?

The answer to the question of how much air a system consumes depends on the actual consumption.
It is thus essential to first clarify the system's theoretical level of consumption. Our calculation tool "Air Consumption" will help you do that.
The actual air consumption is measured using a flow sensor. By continuously monitoring the consumption you will get a good overview.

What are the alternatives to a controlled servo motor?

Using the new stepper motor series EMMS-ST together with the motor controller CMMS-ST allows efficient control of the stepper motor. This enables the motion profile to be optimised for the specific requirements, thus saving energy costs.
Generally speaking, closed-loop controlled systems should always be used with electrical systems as they only utilise the amount of power that is actually required. Previously, this was only possible with servo motors.
With the encoder EMMS-ST and the motor controller CMMS-ST, stepper motors can now be controlled efficiently, thus saving energy costs.

How can the return stroke of a pneumatic cylinder be implemented with reduced pressure?

When using Festo valve terminals, it is possible to provide each drive with the individual pressure level required for the forward and return stroke. This is done by installing an intermediate plate with a pressure-reducing valve (preferably a reverse regulator) in the relevant valve position.
The reverse regulator splits the supply air (duct 1) and regulates the pressure upstream of the valve in 3 and 5. This operates the valve in reversible mode. Port 3 routes the air to 2, and port 5 to 4.
During the exhaust process, air is exhausted in the valve from 2 or 4 to 1 and the air is returned to 3 and 5 via the intermediate plate.

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• Different pressures possible at 2 and 4, resulting in lower compressed air consumption
• Venting is not carried out by the regulator and is therefore faster (up to 50%)
• "Ducted" quick exhaust function via the valve terminal is virtually integrated
• The regulator can always be adjusted (with the AB regulator the valve must be switched to do this)

Attention: not every application allows a pneumatic cylinder to be operated with reduced pressure on the return stroke.
It is not possible to use 2x3/2-way valves in combination with ducted exhaust 82/84, as reversible pressure is present at the valve interface.


Are there any pneumatic drives that are particularly lightweight?

Moving weight costs energy and therefore money.
If you need to move pneumatic cylinders, we recommend using cylinders with bearing and end covers made of high-performance polymer. Depending on their size, you can reduce the weight by up to 25%.
The series DSNUP is suitable as round cylinders and the series ADNP for compact cylinders

How can compressed air consumption be optimised with a service unit?

Timely disconnection of the compressed air supply to a system (e.g. at night) prevents individual leaks from adding up. The electric on-off valves allow this to be done conveniently and selectively from a central location.

The golden rule for compressed air consumption

Experience shows that compressed air costs are not only generated during operation but also, and quite significantly, during system downtimes.
The classic energy saver is mundane but highly effective, ensuring that compressed air is only consumed where work is actually performed.

How does the quality of the compressed air affect the air consumption?

If the compressed air is too humid, the life-time lubrication of modern pneumatic components can be washed out over time. This leads to higher wear, which, in turn, results in higher leakage.
The solution:adsorption dryers PDAD or membrane air dryers LDM