Vacuum generator module saves air

Written by: Chris Shaw | Published:

Festo has launched a vacuum generator module equipped with a host of built-in energy-saving and condition monitoring functions.

One of the key features of the new OVEM vacuum generator is an integrated vacuum sensor, which continuously monitors the output. The module will operate until a user-defined vacuum threshold has been reached, and then automatically switch off, resulting in significant energy savings.

A built-in non-return valve ensures that in normal use, vacuum loss is limited to air leakage between the suction cup and the workpiece; the generator will automatically turn on again if the vacuum drops to a second user-defined vacuum threshold.

Festo's OVEM vacuum generators use the venturi principle to create a vacuum, employing a de Laval nozzle to accelerate airflow across the top of the evacuation tube. They are designed for use with standard 40 ┬Ám filtered compressed air supplies, with efficiency-optimised flow characteristics to reduce energy consumption.

The generators are available in high vacuum and high suction rate versions, and offer a choice of 5, 7 and 10 mm de Laval nozzles to accommodate a variety of vacuum flow rate requirements and different porosities of workpiece materials.

As well as helping to save compressed air, the OVEM generator's vacuum sensor provides continuous system monitoring and diagnostic functions. Any gradual or sudden loss of vacuum, or any lengthening of vacuum evacuation time, is detected automatically and an electrical signal fed back to the system's controller. This information can be used for preventive maintenance purposes, to minimise machine downtime and ensure process reliability.

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