Pneumatic automation of processes, especially in hygienic applications, has led to a number of benefits in terms of productivity, safety and cleanliness.
Now these benefits have been advanced further with the launch of Bürkert’s Type 8647 AirLINE SP valve island, which has been developed to work seamlessly with Siemens operating systems and ET200SP hardware, and boasts market-leading diagnostics and safety features.
The latest product from the Bürkert pneumatic control portfolio sets new benchmarks for speed of installation and ease of use.
Central to the list of improvements is the collaboration with Siemens which allows complete integration within the Siemens Step 7 and TIA Portal software. This ensures the Bürkert modules are available in the project planning software and will make design, installation and testing for new systems much more convenient.
The Type 8647 AirLINE SP can use ring networking topology for a media redundancy protocol (MRP) that ensures continued operation in the event of a communication node failure.
This improves system availability as well as the reliability of the customer’s process. This latest addition to the Bürkert line-up has been designed for complete integration with the Siemens I/O system SIMATIC ET 200SP as well as offering a number of new features.
One of the most obvious new features is an integrated LCD screen that displays pilot valve status, switching status of the process valve, current pressure values, a switching cycle counter as well as a diagnostic report.
This simplifies commissioning and operational maintenance fault diagnosis by providing fast status information for remote components and connections.
The integrated electronic pressure module provides continuous measurement of the supply pressure and shows the current status via an LCD screen. There are four threshold values that can be configured to suit the application and ensure that any anomalies in the supply pressure are highlighted immediately.
Further innovations have been included to improve the operational reliability of the pneumatic valve island as a whole.
In systems where several valves are operating at the same time, uncontrolled back pressure peaks can occur which can carry a risk of unwanted valve switching; this has been eliminated by the integration of check valves into the exhaust duct.
In addition, the process of replacing a control valve has also been simplified. In the unlikely event that a valve needs to be changed, the ‘hot-swap’ function allows this to be accomplished without affecting plant operation.
This has no noticeable effect on the system pressure and the control process can continue without causing any downtime.
Another significant development is the ability to incorporate additional or special contacts that are used in safety circuits.
The Bürkert valve island can implement fail-safe automation tasks with its safety shut down feature which needs only a safety-relay (potential-free and electro-mechanical contacts) to shut down a process channel.
The co-operation between Bürkert and Siemens has delivered a significant step forward in simplifying the entire design, installation and operation of pneumatic valve islands and their associated control systems.
For those looking to update existing systems or introduce new control technology, the Bürkert solution can reduce installation and commissioning times as well minimise operating costs and downtime.