Cyber-physical valve terminal
Festo’s VTEM Motion Terminal, which began shipping earlier this year, is a cyber-physical system (CPS) that embodies the modularity and reconfiguration capabilities envisioned by Industry 4.0. Ten downloadable apps are immediately available with an additional 40 apps planned. Each unique combination of apps changes the motion functionality, giving original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) a new flexible motion control platform
The VTEM Motion Terminal conforms to the National Science Foundation’s definition of CPS as an engineered system that is built from, and depends upon, the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components.
Easier engineering, standardized platform concepts
With a single intelligent valve slice potentially providing the functionality of up to 50 individual components, a CPS such as the VTEM Motion Terminal opens the door to standardized platform concepts for systems and system modules. Standardization considerably reduces hardware costs all along the supply chain as the number of different components that the machine builder or end user must define and stock as spare parts is lower. For example, valve variety is reduced to one and pressure sensor and flow control valves are integrated. By focusing on a flexible CPS platform right from the start, even the planning stage, the search for suitable products and suppliers can be shortened.
Up and running quickly
Design is one of the biggest costs in machine and system building, accounting for approximately 25% to 30% of total cost. A CPS such as the VTEM Motion Terminal enables significant time gains and savings compared with a conventional valve terminal platform. In some cases, the time saved compared with designing and parameterizing a modular valve terminal and additional individual components is up to 70%.
Designers will find the creation of electrical circuit diagrams, the documentation including spare and wearing parts lists, and the approval process speeded up.
With many fewer components, a CPS minimizes the process steps required for logistics and warehousing and reduces the cost of data management and maintenance. OEMs and end users integrate new functions simply by purchasing the relevant motion app licenses.