SMC Pneumatics had a prominent stand at the PPMA Show 2008, which was the first time the company had exhibited in the UK for seven years. Show visitors certainly appeared to appreciate the move, as the SMC staff on the stand were kept busy throughout the event.
Although SMC still describes itself as 'the global leader in pneumatic technology and control system manufacturing' the company has had a very low profile in the UK in recent years. However, Pete Humphreys, Product Promotions Manager at SMC Pneumatics (UK), told the editor of MachineBuilding.net that the company's presence at the NEC would be followed by more publicity to remind machine builders about SMC's extensive range of products and services, and to promote the many new products that the company launches every year.
Speaking before the show, Nick Pittwood, SMC's UK Sales Manager, said: "Since we last attended an exhibition in 2000 we have launched almost 300 new product lines; some 40 per cent of those are directly relevant to the process and packaging markets, and almost all of them will be on display at the show. If you think you know SMC and that we are only about pneumatics, you are in for a surprise!"
The exhibition stand was divided into three main areas:
- Wet, process and washdown products
- Energy-saving and monitoring products
- Static control and elimination products
Of course, it has to be borne in mind that these three were chosen to appeal to PPMA Show visitors, and the company's product range is considerably wider than that.
Wet, process and washdown products
SMC's products in this area are highly suitable for use in the food, beverage and packaging industries. For example, there is a new HY series of hygienic actuators and valves (pictured). All models are suitable for applications in non-food or splash zones of production lines. High-quality construction and special internal lubrication ensure a lifecycle performance that, according to SMC, has never been achieved before.
Energy-saving and monitoring products
Featured on the exhibition stand were the new CVQ series of energy-saving combined cylinders and valves. These are essentially CQ2 cylinders and V100 solenoid valves assembled together to eliminate the need for piping. Not only does this arrangement save space and improve response time, but SMC claims that it reduces energy consumption by 37 per cent per cycle.
Static control and elimination products
Although SMC is not well known in the UK for its static control products, this is an area where the company has been active for several years. Recent additions to the range include the IZS31 series bar-type ionisers. These units, which are offered in various sizes, use the corona discharge method to eliminate static. With a smooth profile and aerodynamic cross-section, these ionisers cause minimal air disturbance and particle generation, which makes them useful for cleanroom applications.
SMC is planning to refurbish the showroom at its UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, incorporating many of the display panels that featured on its PPMA Show stand. Expect to hear much more about SMC in the coming months!