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Category 4 safety valve for pneumatically-operated automation

02 June 2009

Festo has launched an electrically-operated pneumatic soft-start and exhaust valve that provides safer start-up and quick and reliable venting of compressed air supplies in the event of an emergency. Known as the MS6-SV, the valve provides a compact, all-in-one solution for maximising the safety of automation systems. It is fully compliant with the EN ISO 13849-1 standard on machinery safety and is certified to categories 3 & 4.

Category 4 safety valve for pneumatically-operated automation
Category 4 safety valve for pneumatically-operated automation

The valve provides a 3/2-way function and features exceptionally fast venting - it has an exhaust flow rate of 6,000 litres per minute, which is 1.5 times its standard maximum operational flow rate - making it ideal for implementing 'emergency stop' functions in safety-critical system areas.

The MS6-SV is a high reliability, self-testing mechatronic component, with built-in safety redundancy; the design incorporates parallel valves to ensure fail-safe exhaust of the system, even in the event of one of the valves developing a fault. Fully integrated sensors continuously monitor the physical position of the valve components to confirm the valve's condition and status, and built-in self-test facilities automatically check the safety functions at system power-up and every hour thereafter. Overall system safety is further enhanced by the soft-start function whereby the gradual - and adjustable - pressurisation ensures that pre-exhausted actuators move steadily to their start positions without shocks or impacts.

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