Advice on choosing pneumatic valves and terminals
Festo has published a White Paper aimed at helping machine designers to improve their electropneumatic controls by choosing the right valves and valve terminals. The free paper, Quality and an attractive price – the right way to buy valves / valve terminals, also dispels some misleading information, and highlights some of the key factors affecting costs of ownership.
Valves and terminals must meet technical requirements, such as flow rate, function, size and IP class. The paper advises on other factors such as the electrical energy costs of solenoid valves. It argues that the biggest potential for cutting energy costs relates to their sealing. Some valves need a permanent leakage to operate and specify five-micron fine filters which create a bigger pressure drop than 40-micron filters. Costs associated with these factors can be many times the electrical savings.
The underlying message of the White Paper is to ensure that designers are more aware of all of the issues involved and are not misled by headlines promising dramatic savings that only consider one narrow aspect of their design.
“Today’s global market for valves and valve terminals is so large that it is almost impossible for engineers to maintain an overview,” says Jacqui Hanbury, a Festo product manager in the UK. “Often price seems to be the only buying criterion, but it pays to look more closely, particularly with regard to total cost of ownership, higher productivity and process reliability.”