Fluids are fascinating media. Bürkert's fascination with liquids and gases drives us to develop new devices that can handle them even better. We are one of the few suppliers to cover the complete control loop. Our products range from solenoid valves and pneumatically actuated valves to sensors for conductivity, pressure and temperature.
In the world of hygiene, where compactness, plant footprints, cleaning and sterilisation, dead legs, cross-contamination, and validation are everyday concerns, Bürkert provides process efficiency and higher yields by offering unlimited process modularity.
In pharmaceutical or biotech production excellent hygiene in the process and plant area plays a key role. Companies operating in the competitive global market are, however, forced to make their production processes as economical as possible. As a consequence, there is an increased demand for automation solutions at process level.
In the field of process valves, conventional automation solutions normally require costly hose connections and wiring. With this technology, the valves at field level are connected to the central control unit through a large number of long control air lines and discrete feedback connections. Apart from the high costs for the time-consuming planning and installation of such solutions, they are not entirely without problems with regards to hygiene.
An alternative is the use of intelligent process valves from the fluid technology specialist Bürkert. In contrast to control cabinet-based automation concepts, the only tasks left to the central process control system in Bürkert's decentralised solutions are control and status monitoring. At field level, pneumatically operated process valves are used. These can be equipped with all required automation components such as pilot valves with manual actuation, electrical feedback units and optical status indicators, field bus interfaces, and even positioners and process controllers.
By integrating an AS interface as a field bus interface, processors can take full advantage of the features decentralised automation has to offer. All that is required for power supply, feedback and communication is a two-wire line connecting the PLC with up to 62 valves. Each process valve is individually connected to the main compressed air supply line installed in the field, whereby these connections are kept as short as possible. This reduces the number and length of hose and wire connections as well as the number of required control cabinets to a minimum.
The valve systems themselves are designed according to the EHEDG guidelines for hygienic design and easy cleaning. In addition, they feature the high IP protection required for the actual application and are made exclusively of detergent-proof materials. The IP protection is therefore not affected by long-term use in ambients with high air humidity or frequent cleaning with aggressive chemicals. In comparison to conventional automation solutions, these characteristics mark real progress with regards to improved hygiene.
At entry level, decentralised automation based on intelligent valve systems starts with a process valve featuring integrated electrical feedback, simple optical feedback and an integrated pilot valve. The process valves require only minimum space and can therefore be easily installed in the pipeline system of the plant. As they are made in extremely resistant materials, they are easy to clean and provide maximum availability thanks to excellent functional safety.
The excellent availability is mainly achieved by integration of the control air supply to the actuator chambers, which ensures that the spring chamber of the pneumatic actuator is supplied only with pure and clean control air. Moisture, dust and contaminants in the ambient air can therefore not enter the actuator units. Thus, there is no risk of fungal spores produced in the spring chamber being ejected into the ambient air at each switching process, which is a common problem with conventional actuator design.
Through a combination of control air inlet and release, a constant overpressure is maintained inside the housing, while a certain volume of air is regularly replaced. This ensures that no condensate can build up inside the housing. The modular structure of systems based on intelligent process valves ensures that they can be adapted according to the actual situation and application.
Bürkert process valves, diaphragm valves, sensors and controllers can be found in all corners of the world and are backed up by qualified staff in 35 local offices. In a world where application knowledge, reliability and quality are paramount, Bürkert offers you unlimited modularity to control the invisible.
Bürkert Fluid Control Systems
Tel: +49 7940 100
Fax: +49 7940 10 91 204