Safe and smart positioning

Safe and smart positioning

Pneumatic drives such as cylinders are used in all branches of industry. Under certain circumstances, they cannot be controlled directly at the actuator - whether due to a lack of space, particularly high or low temperatures, or vibrations. For such cases, SMC has developed the IP8101-X419 series intelligent positioner, which uses an electrical position signal to control a cylinder from a safe distance. Users also benefit from easy and time-saving installation without the need for a special power supply, high environmental resistance thanks to IP65 protection, and a housing with an integrated LCD screen that displays the control status.

Across the industry, the focus is on space-saving and thus cost-effective machines and systems. However, it may not be possible or desirable to control cylinders directly at the drive due to lack of space - this also applies in cases where there are strong vibrations, large temperature differences or contamination. SMC has therefore developed the IP8101-X419 series: An intelligent positioner that allows cylinders to be positioned remotely. The positioner is also quick and easy to install without the need for a special power supply, is itself IP65 rated, and has an LCD screen from which the control status can be read directly. Designers thus benefit in a variety of ways in terms of plant control and development.

Remote, but not far-fetched

Instead of a mechanical signal, the IP8101-X419 series positioner processes an external electrical position signal, allowing separation between the positioner and actuator. Here, the input current is in the range of 4 to 20 mA (2-wire, does not require a separate voltage source). The feedback signal at the input is in the range between 4 ±1 to 20 ±1 mA DC - the minimum operating current is 3.85 mA. Also for the monitoring function, the power supply at the analog output is in the range 4 to 20 mA DC with two points for the output function of the alarm point. For the supply pressure, 0.3 to 0.7 MPa is required. While the sensitivity is ±0.2% FSO, the repeatability is ±0.5% FSO.

With a cable length of max. 10 m (outer Ø of 8 mm, inner Ø of 5 mm), users can remotely control positioning in a control loop that includes actuators such as valves, drives and distributed control systems. On the one hand, this realizes the control of difficult-to-access installation locations and enables the design of more compact machines and systems. On the other hand, it can ensure safe positioning under extreme environmental conditions such as particularly high or low temperatures, vibrations or dirt.

Quick and easy installation

The intelligent positioner of the IP8101-X419 series can be installed with little effort using 1/4 female thread (Rc, NPT, G) for the compressed air connection and 1/2 female thread (G, NPT) or M20 x 1.5 female thread for the electrical connection. Since there is no mechanical coupling to the pneumatic actuator, neither a swivel lever nor a shaft are required here, which saves further space. There is also less susceptibility to contamination on levers or feedback functions. Overall, this reduces the risk of accidents due to fewer components on the actuator, which at the same time simplifies and speeds up assembly in the field. Additional process reliability is provided by the IP65 degree of protection, which protects the positioner against dust ingress and water jets.

Equipped with two pressure gauges for checking the compressed air and weighing a total of around 2.6 kg, the aluminum injection-molded housing also features an LCD display that allows users to read the control status directly. Suitable for an ambient temperature of -20 to 80 °C, the IP8101-X419 series intelligent positioner is the ideal partner for safe positioning of cylinders remotely. Optionally, users can also obtain a cylinder with a built-in external sensor for position sensing from SMC. This additionally supports the positioner in the version with external input signal (remote sensing).