Modularity in pneumatics

There is no way around modularity in pneumatics
Maximum flexibility is also a goal of Industry 4.0. Production plants should be able to switch to new products as automatically as possible and without any loss of time. The trend is therefore towards modularization. For the manufacturers of pneumatic systems, this represents a great challenge, since the lines can not be easily enlarged or reduced. Even small changes in pneumatic systems have an impact on the energy efficiency of the system. That is, a pneumatic system that works efficiently for Application A may lose efficiency when converting from Manufacturing to Application B. The dependencies of the individual components in pneumatic systems with each other are very high and complicate the modularization. Nevertheless, some manufacturers already offer intelligent modules that enable the integration of pneumatics into automated systems and even increase their flexibility (https://www.servi.no/service-og-vedlikehold/oljeanalyser/) . This is made possible, for example, by new valve generations and valve terminals, where different valves with different flow rates are provided in one module. Smaller and smaller valves have paved the way to such solutions.

With just a few simple steps, production systems can be adapted to changing requirements. Appropriate systems are available, among others, from the Italian manufacturer Metal Work and from Aventics, the successor to Bosch Rexroth. Finally, in order to incorporate such solutions into higher-level systems, the electronics of pneumatic systems is increasingly being adapted to the requirements of Industry 4.0. The flexibility also results from the possibility of no longer connecting the modules centrally with the control cabinet, but rather decentrally. This reduces the installation effort and offers space for extensions with additional valves. These modern systems are rounded off by the equipment with all common interfaces and protocols. Customers can thus assemble flexible pneumatic systems according to the modular principle.


Miniaturization and energy efficiency
As in most technical areas, the solutions are getting smaller and smaller, as long as it brings benefits to users. In pneumatic systems, there are great successes in this regard. Even today, there are pilot valves the size of a 5-cent coin. Engineers are working on even smaller valves for the future. Research is being carried out, for example, on microvalves produced by etching in silicon. Thus, in the field of pneumatics, the nano range is approaching and opening up new fields of application for the technology. In conventional pneumatic systems, in addition to networking, energy efficiency plays an important role. Especially in terms of modular solutions, there are big challenges in this area, because an unfavorably configured system works much less energy efficient than a system in optimal configuration. Much is already dependent on the installer today: Often, cables are simply too large in size because the available design tools are not sufficiently used. In order to future-proof pneumatic systems, not only the manufacturers are in demand, although their advice in this area is indispensable.

For example, the use of a 3/2 valve together with an intelligent system control can already achieve high energy savings compared to a 5/2 circuit. The benefit of such a sophisticated system configuration just has to be spread further. because the available design tools are not sufficiently used. In order to future-proof pneumatic systems, not only the manufacturers are in demand, although their advice in this area is indispensable. For example, the use of a 3/2 valve together with an intelligent system control can already achieve high energy savings compared to a 5/2 circuit. The benefit of such a sophisticated system configuration just has to be spread further. because the available design tools are not sufficiently used. In order to future-proof pneumatic systems, not only the manufacturers are in demand, although their advice in this area is indispensable. For example, the use of a 3/2 valve together with an intelligent system control can already achieve high energy savings compared to a 5/2 circuit. The benefit of such a sophisticated system configuration just has to be spread further. For example, the use of a 3/2 valve together with an intelligent system control can already achieve high energy savings compared to a 5/2 circuit. The benefit of such a sophisticated system configuration just has to be spread further. For example, the use of a 3/2 valve together with an intelligent system control can already achieve high energy savings compared to a 5/2 circuit. The benefit of such a sophisticated system configuration just has to be spread further.