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Pneumatic automation company SMC cut the cost of system flexibility

Despite a statistical end to the recession in the UK, businesses across the country are still looking for ways to strip out unnecessary costs from their operations, to help them weather the economic storm. One of many ways in which global pneumatic automation experts SMC can help is with their EX600 centralised fieldbus system.

Machine builders incorporating the EX600 system can benefit from quicker, less complex machine commissioning and modification processes. Vastly reduced wiring eliminates the need for time-consuming, costly preparation of multi-core cabling, freeing up installation engineers’ time and thus dramatically reducing both direct and indirect labour costs.

Series EX600’s modular design offers a high degree of flexibility including a wide range of digital and analogue input and output (I/O) options. As well as a standard valve manifold, a further 9 I/O modules, in any configuration, can be added to the assembly – and each module can be further connected to a wide range of input and output devices such as flow and pressure sensors, flow and pressure switches, valves and auto-switches.

One very satisfied customer of SMC’s fieldbus system is a small but dynamic manufacturer of medical equipment. By incorporating SMC fieldbus units into the machines they produce, this particular company has seen commissioning and installation timescales cut by around a day – cutting hotel accommodation expenditure for installation engineers. Their managing director said, "We are real advocates of fieldbus control – it allows us to reduce wiring and commissioning times considerably and gives us freedom to distribute control equipment around the machines."

Further features of the EX600 system include a self-diagnostic capability that provides short/open circuit detection at each input/output, an on/off counter facility and parameter setting which can all be controlled and monitored from a handheld terminal. With IP67 enclosure rating and SPEEDCON connectors both the installation and wiring time for the EX600 is reduced accordingly.

The EX600 system is the perfect partner for SMC’s series SV, VQC, and S0700 solenoid valves, and is compatible with a wide range of protocols. SMC’s ongoing commitment to product development means that both the compatible protocols and available input and output modules will soon be expanded even further.

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