Advantages of Electropneumatic Control Systems

Design of Electropneumatic Control Systems

In electropneumatic control systems, the control system cannot be depicted in one overall circuit diagram as in a purely pneumatic control system, but rather using two separate circuit diagrams, one for the pneumatic section and one for the electrical components. The following rough description applies for the operation of an electropneumatic control system:

The electrical signal control unit controls the electrically actuated control valves.
Depending on the valve setting, the control valves direct the path of the compressed air and thus effect the extension and retraction of the cylinder's piston rods.
A signal indicating the position of the piston rods is fed back to the electrical signal control unit by proximity switches (limit switches).

Compared to pneumatic controls, electropneumatic controls essentially demonstrate the following advantages:

Higher reliability due to the lower number of mechanical parts that are required to move or are subject to wear and tear
Less effort and expense for planning and commissioning (particularly for complex controls)
Less time required for installation, particularly when using more modern, more compact assemblies like valve terminals
Simple and rapid modification of open- and closed-loop control strategies using programmable logic controls
Easy exchange of information between several control systems


For these reasons electropneumatic controls have prevailed in industrial use on a wide front of industrial applications. Today, there are only a few areas where purely pneumatic controls can be found.

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