Festo Corp.
Festo VTEP proportional valve terminal provides digital control for pneumatic systems

Improved Pneumatic Control with Festo VTEP Proportional Valve Terminal

July 1, 2024
The Festo VTEP proportional valve terminal uses digital control to increase precision and response times for pneumatic systems.

Festo has developed the VTEP proportional valve terminal to provide closed-loop control of pneumatic systems with moderate air flow rates. 

Key features of the proportional valve terminal include: 

  • digital controls for dynamic response
  • customizable control parameters
  • compact design of less than 5 in. (120 mm) wide
  • control for pressure, vacuum or combination of both. 

Digital Control Improves Pneumatic System Capabilities

The VTEP proportional valve terminal is the latest addition to Festo's Controlled Pneumatics portfolio which are comprised of the following: 

  1. Each valve contains four digitally controlled piezoelectric cartridges for air flow that are arranged in a bridge circuit.   
  2. Integrated pressure-temperature sensors are included within each valve. 
  3. A control algorithm is used to form a control loop for flow control. (Various algorithms are used for different functionalities.)

These integrated technologies provide digital control for higher levels of precision as well as faster and more dynamic response. With these capabilities, it is possible to improve the productivity and quality of machine operations. According to Festo, this enhanced control can  open new application opportunities for pneumatics such as production of semiconductors and batteries. 

The control algorithms integrated into the VTEP terminal eliminate complicated configuration and programming for customers, helping to speed up their installation time as only a few inputs are required at setup. Another benefit offered by the integrated algorithms is a "target reached" feature in which a desired setpoint can be indicated once it's reached and automatically maintained, or the next process step can be initiated. 

Festo says this capability is beneficial for applications such as force-controlled polishing, web tensioning, precision piloting, dispensing, dosing, flexible gripping, and diaphragm pump control.

READ MORE: Intelligent and Efficient Designs Key to Longevity of Pneumatics


Multiple Options for Pressure and Vacuum Control

The VTEP proportional valve terminal is designed for applications with moderate air flow rates of up to 35 lpm. It can be implemented for pressure or vacuum control, or a combination of both with a maximum control range of 6 bar (87 psi). Low pressure options are available as well with a -1 to 1 bar (-15 to 15 psi) pressure range for very sensitive tasks.

Three versions of the terminal are available with 2-, 3- or 5-valve positions and the ability to control up to 10 channels. 

Each valve terminal is compact in size, measuring less than 5 in. (120 mm). This is possible in part due to the use of piezo technology which allows for smaller valves that are low energy, efficient and fast according to Fest. 

In addition, the piezo valves are arranged in a valve bridge format — two independent working channels can be controlled in one valve. This helps creates a compact shape while enabling a high level of control precision. Additional benefits from this design include quieter operation, and elimination of wear, particle abrasion and heat buildup.  

A range of industries can benefit from use of the VTEP proportional valve terminal such as electronics and semiconductors, life sciences and textiles. The lack of copper, zinc and nickel in the valve terminal also makes it well suited for battery production and other applications where the presence of these materials would otherwise be disruptive. 

READ MORE: Festo Pneumatic and Electric Actuators Aid Battery Production

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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