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New SMC air flow controller combines a flow sensor and pressure regulator in a single unit

New SMC air flow controller combines a flow sensor and pressure regulator in a single unit

SMC is unveiling an innovative air flow controller that combines a flow sensor and electro-pneumatic regulator in a single product. The result for equipment designers and engineers is a space saving of up to 50%, significantly less piping and cables, and reduced installation time. In addition, the new IN502-44/45 allows the precise and reliable control of air flow rate as it is not dependant on piping conditions, pressure differential or temperature. The product benefits any application involving flow control, such as painting, packaging and welding systems across any industry, in particular automotive and food.

Take control

The IN502-44/45 air flow controller offers automatic flow rate compensation. When using separate flow sensor and regulator devices, flow regulation must take place indirectly via a pressure command, where users need to establish the pressure required to achieve the desired flow rate. This demands the creation of a supplementary control program, incurring time and effort on the part of the user. Control by pressure also means that the flow rate will vary due to differences in source pressure, back pressure and piping conditions. 

In contrast, the high-performance IN502-44/45 automatically adjusts flow rate (sending a direct input flow command as an analogue signal), saving time and labour, while ensuring there is no influence on flow control from external factors. The user simply gives a signal to control the flow at a desired level. By monitoring an output, users can check the flow rate is at the intended level.

Save space

To control flow in most applications there is a need to combine more than one product, typically a pressure controller and a flow sensor. This requires extra space that is not conducive to the modern-day demand of compact machines. 

Overcoming this issue, the new IN502-44/45 does not require a separate flow sensor, saving up to 50% of the space required by separate flow sensor/electro-pneumatic regulator solutions. Furthermore, the product only needs a single cable, and avoids the need for piping or fittings between the flow sensor and regulator. The upshot is far simpler and quicker installation, even in narrow spaces like inside the arm of a painting robot.

Reduce cycle times

While most air flow controllers typically have low applicable flow rate ranges, the SMC IN502-44/45 supports large flow rates of up to 1000 l/min. This capacity makes it ideal for large flow rate tasks, allowing users to take advantage of significant cycle time reductions. Two models are available, both with a 10:1 turndown ratio: 50 to 500 l/min and 100 to 1000 l/min. Also supporting short cycle times is the product’s fast response, following a ±5% (full scale) flow command value in 0.5 seconds or less. 

Users of the flexible IN502-44/45 can take choose from three greases to suit a wide range of applications: low dew point grease; white Vaseline for painting applications that do not allow oil; and NSF H1 grade grease for food equipment.

As a final point, SMC’s IN502-44/45 is IO-Link compatible. Easy serial communication allows better application control, instantaneous access to more valuable data, easy set-up after product replacement, on-board product diagnostics and standardised wiring.

Air flow control is an essential part of so many industrial processes, extending from painting and welding, though to food packaging. With the new SMC IN502-44/45, users have access to an air flow controller that saves space, labour, cycle time and cost, providing major benefits for both machine builders and manufacturing/process plants.

Discover more on SMC´s IN502-44/45 in our digital catalogue.

28 лист. 2023