Valve Terminals Valve Terminals Reduce Cost in the Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical Industry

Author / Editor: Christopher Haug / Anke Geipel-Kern

Compared to automation systems with pilot valves, valve terminals reduce capital investment costs and also have the edge in Total Cost of Ownership. On-board electronics provide diagnostic functions that help avoid system downtime and improve maintenance efficiency.

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Valve terminals not only save money. They also help avoid system downtime and improve the maintenance process. (Picture: Festo; [M]-Deppe)
Valve terminals not only save money. They also help avoid system downtime and improve the maintenance process. (Picture: Festo; [M]-Deppe)

Providing connectivity between the pneumatic process chain and the control system on complex fermentation lines takes considerable effort, and the same is true for other automated biotech production processes. Process valve control can be implemented using either individual pilot valves or distributed valve terminals. Detailed cost analysis shows that valve systems such as the terminals supplied by Festo which are delivered ready for installation in a control cabinet have distinct advantages.

For one thing, the system approach has the advantage that there is only one single, well-defined, standardized interface between the valve terminal and the field bus (e.g. Profibus). Compared to the individual valve approach, valve terminal technology eliminates the remote I/O binary output used to control the individual valves as well as the associated cabling, installation work and other related activities. On large systems that are not too extensive, it is often possible to eliminate several hundred binary outputs and avoid the engineering work that goes along with them. This saves money during the installation phase and also reduces maintenance effort later on.

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