Canadian Packaging

Festo Launches VTEP Valve Terminal: Unmatched Precision and Speed with Cutting-Edge Piezo Technology

By Festo Canada   

MISSISSAUGA, Ont., June 2024 – Festo has introduced a unique advance in pneumatic technology: VTEP, the world’s most compact proportional valve terminal for multi-channel pressure control of small volumes. With piezo valve technology on board, it offers high precision, exceptionally fast response times, and dynamic control.

The diminutive VTEP – it measures just under 120 mm wide – is the latest addition to Festo’s portfolio of controlled pneumatics products.

Controlled pneumatics is the revolutionary compressed-air technology pioneered by Festo that combines proportional valve technology, sensors and control algorithms to form a control loop. That opens up completely new fields of application for pneumatics in terms of pressure, flow rate and motion – and also makes conventional production more efficient.

Thanks to this control-loop approach, the pressure control of VTEP is extremely sensitive, accurate to less than one mbar, which is approximately the air-pressure difference of walking up one flight of stairs. This is perfect for applications such as wafer polishing or patch clamping in life science.

Yet, VTEP delivers excellent performance in high-pressure applications. Since it is free of copper, nickel, and zinc, it is suitable for battery production and other industrial segments in which these materials are disruptive. In process-automation scenarios, paint, adhesives or liquids for testing and analysis also can be dispensed with high precision and according to individual recipes. That is not possible with either electric automation or standard pneumatics.

Piezo valve technology makes pneumatics extremely precise, fast, and economical. The valves are silent, wear-free, have no particle abrasion or heat generation. In addition, piezo valves reduce compressed air consumption by up to 50 per cent, which translates into significant energy savings.

VTEP communicates virtually in real time via high-speed EtherCAT, and the piezo valves react at lightning speed. Perfect timing guarantees significantly improved process reliability in the event of unexpected forces.

VTEP is very adaptable thanks to its customizable control parameters. The terminal supports one-to-five valves and up to 10 working channels. There are three versions, two-, three- and five-way, which can all be easily integrated for multi-channel applications. Pressure and vacuum can be combined in a maximum control range of six bar. Optional parallel connections to channels multiply the flow rate without affecting the pressure control.

Controlled pneumatics brings some of the key benefits of electric automation to pneumatics. For example, the “Motion complete” function, familiar from electric drive technology, is now also available for pneumatic pressure control as “Target reached”. It reports whether the set point has been reached, holds it or initiates the next process step. During operation, VTEP also allows the user to switch back and forth between different customer-specific parameters or presets in real time, in order to generate different functionalities with the same valve.

In addition to VTEP, Festo’s controlled pneumatics portfolio includes the Festo Motion Terminal VTEM; With VTEM, movement, pressure and flow can be individually controlled and activated via motion apps, thereby digitizing pneumatics. The proportional pressure-control valve VEAB, often used in medical devices like ventilators, is silent in operation and requires hardly any energy. With the VPPI proportional pressure control valve, controller pre-sets and pressure curves can be individually adapted.

Festo at a glance

Festo, the world’s leading supplier of automation technology and technical education, is deploying its products and services to meet the challenges of digitization and smart production. Founded in 1925, the family-owned company based in Esslingen, Germany supports a wide range of needs for advanced solutions in factory and process automation. In Canada, Festo has been supporting Canadian industry for almost 50 years, continuously elevating the state of manufacturing in this country with innovative products, optimized motion-control solutions and unrivalled support. Globally, some 300,000 customers put their trust in the company’s pneumatic- and electric-drive products and technology. In addition, Festo Didactic provides state-of-the-art training equipment and educational programs for industrial companies and educational institutions – about 56,000 customers worldwide. The Festo Group registered sales of €3.65 billion in the 2023 financial year and is represented worldwide at 250 locations with about 20,600 employees. About 7.7 per cent of its annual turnover is invested in research and development.

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