Modular automation from Festo makes bulk handling more efficient

Machine builders and operators for bulk handling know all too well that bulk handling processes are anything but trivial – excellent bulk handling requires professionalism. Professional systems can be designed more efficiently and with higher quality using intelligent automation solutions from Festo.

OEMs and end users increasingly rely on modular production systems, which offer a flexible, individual and maintenancefriendly alternative to conventional systems. Incorporating conventional systems into monolithic automation solutions is often a time-consuming task.

However, a high degree of system modularity also requires new automation solutions – here Festo uses the principle of modular automation.

More flexibility through scalable systems
Automation solutions from Festo are particularly suitable for bulk handling systems in which a large number of different raw materials are stored and therefore a large number of filling stations have to be controlled.

While the entire system is usually controlled centrally by one process control system, modular systems can be scaled, expanded and adapted almost infinitely by simply integrating autonomous modules into the existing production system. This is where solutions from Festo can help.

Autonomous modules with their own intelligence
When it comes to modular automation, the electrical terminal CPX with integrated controller CEC and valve terminal MPA play a central role in the automation of production modules. This makes it possible to provide each system module with a decentralised controller, giving it its own intelligence.

The modules are thus autonomous and can easily be added to or removed from the overall system as required. There are already concrete applications for handling bulk materials, including filling systems with up to 60 filling stations.

Each filling station is equipped with its own decentralised controller and can thus be integrated more quickly into the overall system; this significantly reduces the risk of errors in the actual production process.

The process control system becomes leaner because only the initial commands for the modules are needed, and then all detailed processes are run directly via the decentralised CPX CECs. As a result, it is possible to create modules individually from stock and test them in advance; this improves the supply capability of the OEMs, accelerates commissioning and reduces the software complexity of the system.

The bottom line: thanks to modular automation from Festo, manufacturers and operators of bulk handling systems will not just be able to achieve massive cost savings, but they can also improve the productivity of their systems by using autonomous modules. The strict consideration and implementation of the NAMUR recommendation “NE 148” offers you additional peace of mind.

Tel: 0800 626 422

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 51

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