EX600 Wireless Solenoid Valve Manifold Featured in Hydraulics and Pneumatics Magazine

Is It Time to Cut the Cable?

Wireless communication in our everyday electronic mobile devices has become so pervasive that it’s difficult to remember when such connectivity didn’t exist. Conversely, this level of connectivity has yet to dominate the factory floor. However, with the increased focus on IIoT, this may soon become a reality.

SMC has released the industry shaping EX600 wireless valve manifold that eliminates communication cables from the factory floor to help reduce cable clutter.  The EX600-W allows a PC and PLC to communicate with a base unit to transmit data via a wireless network to remote valve manifold units that control air pressure to actuators or pilot valves. Although, power cables that are built to be more robust, will still be required.

Benefits for robot arm and end effector applications:

  • Eliminating communication cables will prevent them from being subjected to repeated exposure to roll, bending, torsional, and variable flexing in or outside the robot’s arm, extending the robot’s maintenance period to enhance machine performance and component longevity.

Benefits for automatic tool changer applications:

  • Production equipment has steadily been transitioning from single purpose to multi-purpose, demanding better versatility; adopting wireless manifolds for automatic tool changers (ATC) will eliminate the communications plugs and pins that are vulnerable to bending and breaking as they are repeatedly subject to plugging and unplugging. 

Benefits for rotary indexing and turntable applications:

  • Eliminating communication cables will simplify the rotary table’s slip ring to transfer only electrical power therefore opening space for more pneumatic channels. This will also allow moving the pneumatic valves closer in proximity to the mounted actuators improving response times resulting in better throughput.

Read the full article in Hydraulics & Pneumatics Dec. 2019
Link: https://www.hydraulicspneumatics.com/controls-instrumentation/it-time-cut-cable