pneumatic valve controllers?

It's just a pneumatic solenoid valve stack. Depending on how large your cylinders are and how much air they take, there are different sizes of valve.

There are also different types of "spools" in the valves depending on what type of actuation you want and what type of cylinder you have (single- or double-acting). Do you want "on" to extend the cylinder and "off" to retract it? Do you want the cylinder to remain in its position if you lose power, or do you want it to retract? Etc., etc...

Take a look here:

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A serial interface is a little trickier if you want to control it with a PC. Most serial valve control is based on industrial protocols like DeviceNet, Profibus, DH-485, etc. Another possibility is to drive the valves discretely with processor outputs through power transistors, or solid-state relays, like with a PIC chip or a Basic Stamp.

Don Kansas City

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Suppose I want to pneumatically control 8 different pneumatic cylinders independently what is the control device that I need to get. This is for a robotic project.

I guess the device that control the 8 cylinders is sort of like a hub of some kind. What I would like is to hook this device to the computer via RS232 or USB. Then from the computer I can send a command (RS232) to the device and it will open the right valve in order to let air into the correct cylinder to actuate it.

What is the name of this device that I need to get? Does it have some fancy engineer name?


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Orc General

Dear Orc General:

Most small PLCs (programmable logic controllers) will fit this bill. Additionally, they will have discrete inputs that can be used for "sensory inputs"... limit switches and the like.

You will in some sense turn a bit on in the PLC, and write code in the PLC to in turn power the output. A PLC is an industrial computer, that treats inputs as your PC does its keyboard, and outputs as your PC does the hard drive. I would recommend something like this for a one-off project.

Be sure your PLC supplier gives you what you need in the way of an API (application program interface), so that you can control the PLCs operations from code you write. Ask for a list of names (if possible) so that you can get advice. The last thing you need is to get imbedded in deciphering a vendor's product.

LabView can be made to interface with DAC/ADC cards. Perhaps it can be twisted to achieve what you need with a drop in PC card. Do you have experience in interfacing a PC to the real world?

David A. Smith

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N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)

"Orc General" wrote in news:2kxBe.11245$

Festo makes an all-in-one package of PLC, input interface and valve bank in one nice neat package.


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