Building on the success of the first-ever “Future of Pneumatics” exhibit at the PACK EXPO East Trade Show in February 2015, NFPA, along with its exhibit partners Vanderbilt University and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), is poised to make another dramatic impression on the advanced processing and packaging machine builders and buyers walking the Las Vegas Convention show floor of PACK EXPO Las Vegas during the week of September 28-30, 2015. The Future of Pneumatics exhibit will give end-users a glimpse of the future of pneumatic technology. Several innovations relevant to packaging and process technologies will be on display. Staffed by the students who helped develop these innovations and by the industry representatives who are working to bring them to market, the exhibit will feature the following:
Capable of being attached to the exhaust of any pneumatic actuator, this system saves and reuses exhausted air with a unique low-cost elastomeric accumulator. The recycled air can be reused in the same cylinder or any nearby cylinder. It reduces air consumption by up to 25%.
This technology can improve efficiency and save money by converting waste heat into work. It can be used at the pre-compression stage feeding an industrial compressor, at the hydraulic pump stage, or as an electrical generator, all while reducing cooling requirements. The unit is completely silent and fully controlled for on-the-fly optimized efficiency or power.
Position sensors are critical components of smart fluid power systems. To gain more widespread market acceptance, position sensors must be fast, accurate, reliable, and cost effective. This new sensor can measure the position of a moving cylinder piston by monitoring magnetic field changes without having to make contact with the piston/rod assembly.
Adding exhaust gas recovery and proportional control (as exhibited in the “Future of Pneumatics” booth) can add new value to the traditional benefits of pneumatic systems: high power density, reliability, and cost competitiveness. Those who might have dismissed fluid power are now thinking about how to incorporate the technology again, and that’s exactly what this event is trying to help them do.
NFPA will continue to bring these types of exhibits to other shows in the future, each showcasing the future potential of fluid power technology to a core customer audience.