Festo is launching a series of low-cost modular pneumatic valves, together with a complementary series of low-cost digital I/O modules, for its successful CPX automation platform. These additions further extend the platform’s suitability for diverse automation control applications, bringing a new level of system configuration flexibility to OEMs and machine builders.
The new MPA-L valve terminals feature sub-bases manufactured from polymer instead of metal to save cost and weight, and can be configured – and retrofitted in the field – one valve at a time. The terminals are intended primarily for cost-sensitive applications where configuration flexibility and expandability are key demands, such as in factory automation, biotechnology and the food processing industry. The new CPX-L digital I/O modules are cost-optimised, high channel density units, which are suitable for I/O intensive automation control systems.
Festo’s new MPA-L low-cost modular valve terminals are based on the company’s MPA-S terminals, but provide increased design granularity and a wider range of electrical connection options to simplify system integration. All MPA valve terminals, which include the MPA-S, the new MPA-L and the high flow rate MPA-F, are specifically designed to facilitate condition monitoring and diagnostics. As well as being compatible with Festo’s CPX modular automation platform, which offers a wide choice of electrical control options, MPA-L terminals are available with a number of hard-wired control schemes.
MPA-L valve terminals are easy to assemble. The required number of valve sub-bases are simply clamped together between two aluminium end-plates, and secured by three tie rods of the appropriate length. This arrangement results in a very robust and stable terminal, needs no special tools for assembly, and can be expanded at any time – up to 32 valve modules can be accommodated in a single block. The complete terminal can be mounted on a DIN rail, but this is not mandatory; wall and panel mount options are also available.
The valve terminal sub-base can be connected directly to a CPX terminal, providing access to a wide range of fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet products, as well as analogue and technology modules and powerful controllers such as Festo’s CoDeSys-based CPX-CEC. Alternatively, the valve terminal can be hard-wired; all electrical connections are made via a multi-pin connector on one of the end-plates, which can be ordered in various IP40-rated sub-D type or flat cable configurations, or with a cage clamp for individual wires. An IP65-rated front or side entry cable connector is also available.
Reliable switching of multiple valves
All MPA-L valve terminals feature generously proportioned air ducts to maximise flow and ensure reliable switching of multiple valves. Isolated ducting accommodates different pressure zones, and for high or low pressure applications, a simple selector mechanism enables the valves’ pilot air supply to be derived internally or externally. Exhaust air can either be fed via a high efficiency surface silencer or ducted to an external outlet, allowing the terminal to be located in a clean environment such as a food processing area.
Festo’s new CPX-L low cost digital I/O modules are designed for integration with the CPX electrical terminal – they are fully compatible with all standard CPX modules and fieldbus nodes that have polymer sub-bases – and can also be combined with MPA and VTSA valve terminals to create highly cost-effective electro-pneumatic control. Featuring an IP20 rating, the modules are optimised for cabinet installation. A new type of connection block that uses novel push-in spring connections simplifies system wiring and provides a compact, high channel density interface. CPX-L modules are available with 16 digital inputs, or 8 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs; each channel offers a 3-wire connection scheme for maximum signal integrity.
The modules are likely to prove especially popular with designers of control systems featuring a large number of I/O channels; compared with standard CPX digital I/O modules, they can help lower implementation costs by as much as 30 per cent.
To find out more about Festo’s modular pneumatic valves and digital I/O modules for the CPX automation platform, visit the website at festo.com.