SMC valves make a splash with control and precision

SMC Pneumatics (UK) Ltdvisit website


A famous Madrid fountain, which takes centre stage at the Fernán Gómez Theatre, was transformed thanks to a unique fountain concept and a partnership involving SMC.

Smeraldo3000 was commissioned to restore the traditional fountain in Plaza Colon. However, rather than just carry out a simple upgrade, the company proposed making the most of technological advances to create something more spectacular, with improved running costs and environmental benefits. The result was a 75m-long digital water sheet, using Smeraldo3000’s patented interactive digital water sheet technology.

The water sheet works just like an inkjet printer; it is a computer-controlled ‘water plotter’ that displays graphics, patterns and text by switching fast-acting solenoid valves on and off. By producing and controlling water segments, similar to pixels, the outcome is a visual feast of moving graphics, supported by LED illumination. The choice for the high-speed response solenoids was SMC’s VDW series.

Smeraldo3000 General Manager, Mario Martin, says: “We have worked with SMC before on creative water-based projects and knew we could trust the quality and reliability of the company’s products. The valve plays an important role in this particular project as we have to open and close the water flow quickly and seamlessly in order to create the graphics. The VDW not only delivers on this front but it also uses small amounts of energy and generates very little noise, supporting the project’s objective to provide environmental efficiencies.”

For the SMC team, working with Smeraldo3000 was an inspirational experience which took a basic element, water, and through sheer hard work, innovation and creativity, produced a stunning creation. It has been extraordinary for SMC to see how their standard fluid control system has been used to create such a dazzling water installation.

SMC was recently voted for the second consecutive year as one of the world’s most innovative by business magazine, Forbes. The company has developed a full range of fluid control systems, and for further information visit the new product section of

23 January 2013

SMC Pneumatics (UK) Ltdvisit website
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