MechChem Africa October 2017

Standby valves and clean-style valve manifolds SMC Pneumatics continues to release innovations into South Africa through its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Midrand. Latest releases include energy saving standby valves that automatically reduce system pressure during idle times to reduce energy consumption; and new clean style valve manifolds for the food and beverage industry.

S MC Pneumatics has developed a series of standby valve solutions, which can be incorporated into a system to drastically reduce energy consumptionespeciallyduringbrief,recurring equipment stoppages. With safety and energy efficiency inmind, the VEX1500/1700 Power Valves help to reduceequipmentpressurelossduringdown- time, lowering the amount of compressed air lost due to leaks at full operating pressure. Once the equipment is turned back on again, it returns to full operating pressure from standby within a matter of seconds. Brian Abbott, SMC Pneumatics product manager, explains that interruptions in indus- trial processes are the rule, not the exception. “Standby mode pays off most with short, fre- quent breaks. Numerous reasons for standby mode include tool changes, shift changes, planned or unplanned maintenance and, of course equipment malfunctions”. With most industrial processes requir- ing a standby mode, there is no reason not to enquire. SMC’s standby valve solution can be designed to form part of a system to help lower energy costs when machines are stopped for longer periods, such as overnight or over the weekend. “All the loads remain pressurised, albeit at a lower pressure, and maintain their defined

position. This lowers leakage losses and compressed air consumption during equipment start-up. “Overseas, data has been col- lected in customer applications that shows that the VEX solution offers significant cost savings,” explains Abbott. “For example, a trial was run in which a keg filling/washingmachinewas equippedwith a VEX1500 standby valve at a beer brewery. The machine runs for three days a week and cleans itself auto- matically at night. Unfortunately, leaks in the systemconsume around 250 litres of compressed air per minute. We adjusted the VEX valve to automatically reduce system pressure to 2.0 bar and keep it there during breaks. That minimised the pressure loss and, at the same time, the sys- tem started up within seconds when regular operations resumed. Measurements taken on this system have shown potential savings of more than 70%.” Abbott elaborates on the savings experi- enced with another application story from an international car manufacturer. “A car maker operates a machine in its car body construction unit for 24 hours a day and 251-plus days a year. The operating pressure is 6.0 bar but the VEX1700 standby valves reducedthepressureto2.0barduringbreaks. This approach eliminated nearly 90% of the compressed air lost during these breaks

VEX1500/1700 power valves help to reduce

equipment pressure loss during downtime, lowering the amount of compressed air lost due to leaks at full operating pressure. can remain in standby mode anywhere be- tween 0.5 and 9.0 bar, the optimum standby pressure being around 3.5 bar. New clean style valve manifolds In the food and beverage industry, hygiene is the order of the day. Many systems and sys- tem parts need to withstand treatment with steam, high-pressure cleaning and aggressive cleaning agents, whilst also preventing the formation of dirt and bacteria traps. SMC’s new clean style valve manifolds (NewSY5000 series) are designedwith these purposes in mind and comply with the re- quiredprotection class (IP69K),making treat- ment with steam and high pressure possible. One prominent characteristic of these valve manifolds is that they have no grooves and gaps where dirt or food residue could build up. As a result, they can be cleaned quickly and effectively. Additionally, theyarebuilt lightlyandcom- pactly, which pays off in dynamic applications in particular. Installation near the application

(from approximately 1 130 m³ to 130  m³). When averaged over theentireoperating time, the standby valve cut costs by around 25%” TheVEX1500/1700stand- by valves perform three func- tions, namely: vent, shut down and hold. Each line is designed for a different sized connec- tion: the VEX1500-X115 for ½-inch and ¾-inch; and the VEX1700-X115 for 1-inch. The series is engineered for an operating pressure range of 0.05 to 9.0 bar and

SMC’s new clean style valve manifolds

(SY5000 series) comply with the IP69K protection class, which makes cleaning with steam and high pressure possible.

18 ¦ MechChem Africa • October 2017

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