How to Make Your Pneumatics ‘Smart’

Emerson’s Avantics Smart Pneumatics Analyzer digitizes the analog pneumatic environment and monitors and analyzes key operating data.


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The watchword today is “smart systems.” The “smart factories” envisioned by proponents of Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) are composed of assemblages or networks of smart systems. What makes them smart? There may be many possible definitions, but one of them surely is the ability to communicate data about the state and performance of the system.

An easy assumption is that smart systems must be digital. But efforts are underway to make analog systems smart too—at least to some degree. For example, at NPE2018, Bosch Rexroth showed off its new IO-Link for digitalization of analog interfaces for hydraulic valves, sensors and actuators (details here).

Now, Emerson Electric Co. has introduced the Aventics Smart Pneumatics Analyzer. By connecting the device to the compressed-air supply on an existing machine, users will have instant access to data for analyzing key machine characteristics such as compressed-air consumption and possible leakages. The monitor detects the pneumatic system’s operating state, analyzes data, and provides this processed information to the user. “Digitizing the pneumatic environment,” Emerson says, can be useful for optimizing energy efficiency of a pneumatic system and for predictive maintenance to prevent unscheduled downtime. The Aventics analyzer is available for sale and is also used by Emerson service personnel.