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SMC's ZKJ vacuum manifold offers fieldbus compatibility for remote industrial equipment communication

SMC's ZKJ vacuum manifold offers fieldbus compatibility for remote industrial equipment communication

General industrial equipment designers, manufacturers and maintainers can now benefit from the new SMC ZKJ vacuum manifold with PROFINET-enabled communication for remotely controlling and monitoring manufacturing processes. The ZKJ also offers impressive suction flow rate taking its low air consumption and low power consumption specifications into account. Other features include valve protection functionality, IP65 rating and the ability to control up to 16 ejectors with a single manifold.

PROFINET communication allows remote vacuum pressure operation, including monitoring the pressure values of individual ejectors and setting suction verification and the energy-saving function. This enhanced functionality leads to better control of the application, makes set-up easy and provides access to more valuable data and on-board product diagnostics. PROFINET's fast start-up function also makes it possible for an IO device to go from power on to cyclic data exchange in 0.5 seconds or less. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is also boosted as disconnections and recovery times are minimised.

Up to 90% less air consumption
SMC's ZKJ series vacuum manifold with ejector system reduces air consumption by up to 90% thanks to its energy-saving function. For the adsorption of work pieces with minimal vacuum leakage, the built-in check valve maintains vacuum pressure, significantly reducing the use of compressed air. Here, the integral pressure sensor monitors vacuum pressure and automatically turns off the supply valve upon reaching the set value. If there are leaks, when vacuum pressure falls to the set value, the supply valve re-activates to increase vacuum pressure and maintain the adsorption state. For porous work pieces or other applications where leakage is significant, the valve that controls the ejector from burn-out/breakage is protected by a special valve protection function that switches off the energy-saving control after a pre-set number of activations.

As a high-performance vacuum source, ZKJ is a complete product that offers all necessary functions to fulfil the requirements of virtually every customer application, including vacuum transfer systems, automatic assembly machines, packing/unpacking systems, panel conveyors and palletising equipment. Alongside fieldbus communications and energy efficiency, SMC's latest vacuum manifold is highly versatile and saves space with its ability to control up to 16 ejectors from a single device. In addition, the wiring and pipes are integrated on the same side and the use of M12 wiring connectors means that the ZKJ is rated with IP65 protection against dust and water splashes, making it suitable for applications in which environmental operating conditions are a concern.

Good vacuum pressure; low noise
Available in various nozzle diameters and suction flow rates for use in sectors such as automotive, machine tool, food, beverage, medical, pharmaceutical and packaging, the ZKJ offers good maximum vacuum pressure (-89 kPa) and low noise levels (down to 52 dB) thanks to its high-performance silencer. Importantly, the normally-open supply valve ensures the work piece remains in vacuum in the event of an emergency stop or power failure (assuming air pressure continues), avoiding damage to equipment or employees if it were to drop.

Quick and easy maintenance is another advantage, as the position of the ZKJ's vacuum port above the exhaust port makes it easy to replace the filter element, thereby saving on labour costs.