Flow controller

Three in one

Three in one

Applications such as arc welding or preventing the oxidation of circuit boards or foodstuffs depend on comprehensive flow control of different gaseous media. Instead of using several individual devices, which leads to complex piping and wiring, among other things, SMC has developed the PFCA7 series.

The new flow controller integrates a flow sensor, a control valve and a controller in one unit, thus reducing space requirements and installation effort. With a dot matrix LCD color display that can be rotated in 90° increments, it enables easy monitoring of the flow of various gaseous media. In addition, thanks to the choice between IO-Link and analog signals, it realizes comprehensive communication as well as more flexibility and independence during commissioning and maintenance.

Whether it is peripheral devices for nitrogen supply or the control of a metal wire draw: In order to monitor, control and visualize the flow of gaseous media, several individual devices usually have to be connected with hoses and wired. This not only requires a lot of space in an application, but also involves a lot of effort. To avoid both, the automation specialist SMC has developed the PFCA7 series flow controller, which integrates a flow sensor, a control valve and a controller in one unit. The dot matrix LCD color display, which can be rotated in 90° increments, can be used to monitor the flow with a high measuring range ratio of 100:1, various ranges of the nominal flow and a control accuracy of ±3% F.S. Users can also choose between IO-Link or analog communication and thus benefit from more flexibility and independence.

Quickly installed and ready for use

Thanks to the integration of flow sensor, control valve and controller, the effort required for wiring, piping and installation is significantly lower for the PFCA7 series than for conventional solutions with flow control via a PLC. This means that only one cable connection is required as an analog input and output to the PLC and no additional proportional solenoid valve needs to be installed in the piping. After initial commissioning, only a program for the flow command is required before the flow controller can start working. This not only reduces the space required in an application, but also the time required for installation and commissioning.

Everything in view with full control

The 2-part dot matrix LCD color display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels including backlight allows the current flow, the flow setpoint and the accumulated flow to be read at a glance. Since the 1.44 inch display can be rotated in 90° increments, it can be adjusted precisely to the installation position to further improve readability and operability. The PFCA7 series, which is suitable for dry compressed air, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon, has a control accuracy of ±3% F.S. The high measuring range ratio of 100:1 includes nominal flow rates of 0.1 to 10 l/min (PFCA710), 0.2 to 25 l/min (PFCA725), 0.5 to 50 l/min (PFCA750) and 1 to 100 l/min (PFCA711) in the various variants. Because it is grease-free, it is also suitable for applications such as the food industry, where lubricants are not permitted.

The combination of IO-Link and analog communication not only gives users additional flexibility and independence for commissioning and maintenance. It also saves space when storing spare parts, as there is no need to stock a separate analog or IO-Link-capable unit. If communication takes place via IO-Link, input process data (measured values, ON/OFF switches, errors), component data (manufacturer, order number, setpoints, etc.) and event data (status of components) can be transmitted to the PLC. Flow control data can be received from the PLC as an output of process data and parameter settings (setpoints, operating mode, etc.).

Profitable monitoring

With the PFCA7 series, users receive a space-saving and user-friendly solution for flow monitoring that provides a direct flow command with a simple control signal. Thanks to its compatibility with various gaseous media and good control quality, the flow controller covers many applications that do not require very high flows. Finally, the simple serial communication enables the query of all numerical sensor values ​​and the (remote) control of industrial networks. In this way, users achieve better control of applications while at the same time making it easier to set up after a product change and obtain more meaningful information in the shortest possible time.