The valve islands AirLINE (Type 8652) and AirLINE SP (Type 8647) offer numerous adjustable monitoring and diagnostic functions, which improve system availability and process reliability, while at the same time enabling preventive maintenance. Key information, e.g. the current switching statuses of the pilot and process valves or errors such as cable breaks, is shown to users directly via an integrated display. Valve islands communicate via a range of common field bus protocols, e.g. EtherNet/IP, PROFINET IO and PROFIBUS DP. If a high level of network availability has to be ensured, the Media Redundancy Protocol from PROFINET IO can be used. An increased level of system availability is additionally guaranteed by up to 64 hot-swap capable valves per island which can be replaced during live operation without shutting down the system. As an additional safety function, check valves are used in the exhaust channel. They prevent the unwanted activation of valves by pressure peaks in the exhaust channel. All these functions ensure high process reliability.
Valve island as an electro-pneumatic automation system
Within the context of Industry 4.0, valve islands are increasingly becoming electro-pneumatic automation systems. Type 8647, which is fully integrated in the distributed I/O system SIMATIC ET 200SP from Siemens, is definitely setting the benchmark here. It enables fast and seamless integration both for initial start-up and subsequent monitoring of live operation. The executed switching cycles are, for instance, forwarded to the control system. This offers users the benefits of preventive and wear-optimized maintenance and less downtime.