Festo introduces new modular approach to automating water/wastewater plants

Festo has launched a new modular approach to automating water/wastewater and other processing plants.

This new approach reduces the time and cost of manufacturing process systems and makes processing plants more adaptable to changing market environments.

'The new Festo initiative not only helps OEMs and integrators deliver a superior solution quickly and at a saving, it also provides the end-user with a system that supplies continuous diagnostic data,' explains Craig Correia, head of process automation at Festo. 'This data helps to ensure high uptime, improve validation/commissioning efficiency, and process quality.

'The biggest opportunity to reduce manufacturing costs for the OEM happens in the design phase, where component selection is made and vendor partnerships are created. We strive to deliver solutions during design that make an impact. We've found that with early involvement we can help reduce skid fabrication assembly costs by almost 20%.'

The traditional design for a water filtration plant includes valves, pumps, tanks, filter modules, sensors, and pipes. The required components for actuating the field devices are installed in a control cabinet, and a valve terminal such as a remote I/O system with integrated pneumatic section is connected to a central controller with visualisation (management system) via a fieldbus. Plants of this type can be easily modularised by breaking down the process into sub processes and defining a module for each sub-process with all the mechanical and automation components required for standalone operation. Key modules systems in a water/waste water plant include pump, filtration, and clean in place.

At the heart of any Festo modular system is the CPX modular controller with the MPA valve terminal. This in-the-cabinet controller, with an IP67 rating, provides serial linkage and consistent communication down to the valve level for comprehensive diagnostics. The compact MPA terminal has up to 64 valve positions/128 solenoid coils. This design saves considerable space in the control cabinet, helping to reduce cabinet size, and provides reliable feedback-free switching of pilot valves/process actuators.

The CPX modular controller features Codesys, a software/hardware independent control solution based on IEC 61131-3. Codesys is cost-effective and helps to lower project costs. Standalone or embedded in the HMI or valve/electrical terminal, it enables communication with leading Ethernet and Fieldbus protocols.

The Festo MPA valve terminal in this application features multipole mounting plates that decrease assembly time because there is no need to produce short runs of pneumatic cable within the cabinet or to make multiple bulkhead connections. Multipole plate gaskets have NEMA and IP ratings so the integrity of the enclosure is maintained against moisture, dust, and gases. By removing all the short pneumatic hoses inside the cabinet, the time to verify connections during the factory acceptance test or when performing field service is greatly reduced. Having all of the pneumatic connections on the outside of the cabinet wall improves the aesthetics and standards compliance for the cabinet.

For applications requiring proportional pressure control, Festo enables embedded I/P directly on the same terminal as the pneumatic valves. This reduces I/O count and supply lines. It simplifies installation and lowers the number of components mounted on the skid. Festo also features valve terminals with integrated flow controls to control process actuation speed. This eliminates installation time at the actuator, ensures longer process valve life, reduces chance of water hammer, and shortens the bill of materials.

The MPA-C clean design valve terminal is installed outside of the control cabinet closer to the point of process actuation. Positioning the MPA-C close to the actuation mounting helps speed up installation and reduces energy consumption. This valve terminal is easy to clean, highly corrosion resistant, sturdy, and extremely functional. This unit offers a modular single sub-base that houses a maximum of 32 valves or solenoid coils. The MPA-C is rated IP69K for maximum protection against water and is constructed of FDA certified materials. The unit is Fieldbus/Ethernet ready via the Festo CTEU module.

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