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Festo has reduced the cost of installing its valve terminals by launching a protective hood that can eliminate the need for a control cabinet in many applications.

Fitting directly over the valve terminal, the new CAFC hood is claimed to occupy minimal space, making it a cost-effective alternative to unnecessarily large and cumbersome cabinets.

Most automation designers currently elect to house the system’s valve terminal and constituent control modules in some form of protective cabinet.

By creating a small, self-contained protective hood for its valve terminals, Festo solves the problem caused by cabinets that take up more space than necessary.

Fabricated from low-cost aluminium and designed for minimal material usage, the hood can help system installers and machine builders save up to 50 per cent of the space and 70 per cent of the cost of a standard control cabinet.

The CAFC hood is suitable for use with any Festo valve terminal, including the company’s CPX multifunctional automation platform.

It protects against the ingress of contaminants such as dust, water droplets and foreign particles, as well as guarding against impact damage and helping to prevent anyone tampering with connections or settings.

Typical applications include assembly and packaging machines, as well as process control systems.

The hood is also suitable for automation designers seeking compliance with European ATEX directives that stipulate some form of protective cabinet must be used for switchgear and controllers located in potentially explosive work environments.

It is suitable for use in ATEX Zone 2 and Zone 22 environments, which are defined as areas where combustible gas, vapours or dust are not normally present in the air, but if they do occur they might, for a short period, form a potentially explosive atmosphere.

The CAFC comprises a hinged aluminium cover, running the full length of the valve terminal, with retaining clips at either end of its bottom edge that accept socket-head securing screws.

In its open state, the hood offers completely unrestricted access to the valve terminal’s electrical and pneumatic connections.

Once closed, it has a visually unobtrusive appearance with all pneumatic and electrical connections exiting neatly from a slot on the lower edge of the unit.

A further advantage of not using a control cabinet is that the valve terminal can be located very close to the process or machine that it is controlling, reducing tubing and cable lengths, improving the response time of pneumatic actuators and helping to minimise compressed air consumption.

The hood is available with a numerous choice of lengths to suit the customer’s particular valve terminal configuration.

When ordered at the same time as a CPX valve terminal, Festo will ensure that the appropriate size of hood is shipped.

Festo can also supply any configuration of CPX valve terminal and its associated hood as a complete ready-to-install package, comprising both units pre-assembled on a backing plate.

About Festo

Festo manufactures pneumatic and electrical components and systems to support customers with factory and process automation. The company has an annual turnover in excess of 1.7 billion Euro, employs 12,800 people around the world and has facilities in 176 countries around the world. Festo operates an aggressive R&D programme investing 7.5% of sales annually, holds over 2,800 worldwide patents, introduces about 100 innovative new products to the market every year and has a product range of over 30,000. For more information about the company’s products and services, please visit our website.  

About Festo Didactic

Festo Didactic, the training and consultancy division of Festo, supports organisations seeking to develop competencies in sales & service, leadership, employee engagement, change management, team-working, coaching, business planning, production processes and automation technology. The division has particular expertise in working with manufacturing and engineering businesses. It has a full time workforce of over 200 and operates in 70 countries worldwide. Each year, it manages more than 230 consultancy projects and runs more than 2,900 open courses in 26 languages, involving some 42,000 participants. For more information about Festo Didactic, please visit the Festo website and follow the link.

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