Pneumatics & Hydraulics

Breathing life into your machines through leading Pneumatic Automation solutions

April 2022 Pneumatics & Hydraulics

Festo South Africa, a pioneering industrial automation company known for providing solutions throughout Africa, recently launched a new three-part campaign, called ‘Absolute Automation 2.0’. This comprehensive campaign focuses on a few of the company’s dedicated business units: Process, Pneumatic and Electric Automation. To simplify the disparate product terms and functions, Festo created an analogy between its products and the human body, with a special focus on the heart, lungs and brain.

The first leg of this campaign, themed ‘Heart of Absolute Automation 2.0’, débuted in the latter part of February 2022. The campaign focused on its comprehensive process automation solutions and detailed how its valves, linear actuators as well as quarter-turn actuators intertwine to control the media flow in manufacturing machines. As a customer success-driven company, Festo continues to raise the benchmark with the second leg of its campaign which emphasises its Pneumatic Automation solutions.

Breathing life into your solutions

Compressed air is an essential medium for numerous modern production companies, however, systems that use this type of air are exposed to a number of failures. One cubic metre of compressed air generated contains millions of dirt particles and considerable amounts of water, oil and even heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury. If these are not filtered out, trouble-free operation of the system components cannot be guaranteed in the long term. In the same breath, this is how a poor respiratory system (unhealthy lung) impacts the functioning of the whole body.

The lung consists of a network of organs and tissues that help humans breathe. This system helps the body absorb oxygen from the air and clean waste gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the human body’s blood. This same phenomenon applies to Festo Pneumatic Automation products, which ensure the quality of compressed air in machines. These products excel in the pharmaceutical, automotive, food and beverage, water treatment and other industries. Thomas Hohls, Technical Support Engineer at Festo South Africa, offered insight into the campaign’s focus products.

MS-Basic series for clean air

The Festo MS-Basic offers attractively priced core components focused on the most important technical functions of compressed air preparation, such as pressure regulation, filtration and manual or electric on/off control. It is fully compatible with the MS standard series, allowing users to create the best possible mix of cost-effective basic functions and any high-end functions they need.

The regulators and filter regulators of the MS-Basic have a high flow rate of up to 5800 l/min, while their polymer materials deliver a weight reduction of up to 30% compared with the MS metal series. “This combination between MS-Basic and the standard series allows for some very innovative solutions, such as safety systems and feedback on functions,” Hohls explained. This can be achieved by using sensors such as the SDBT-MSX.

Proximity sensor with auto-teach function, SDBT-MSX

Adjusting the proximity switches for detecting the end position of a pneumatic cylinder’s piston stroke is often a complex process. The Festo Proximity Switch SDBT-MSX, also known as the first programmable proximity sensor, has simplified this process. This allows for automatic detection and saving of the end position with PNP/NPN and open/closed signals built-in.

“Commissioning a proximity switch has become easier for users in factory automation, the electronics industry and in small parts handling,” added Hohls. The SDBT-MSX fits in all drives with a T-slot. It matches with drives such as the Guided Drive DFM, Round Cylinder DSNU-S and Compact Cylinder ADN-S.

Pneumatic drives for motion tasks in innumerable applications

Compact Cylinder ADN-S

The ADN-S boasts a housing that is made from one piece, as well as a minimal weight and footprint. In addition to features like sensor markings, a lasered data matrix code and various slots, it is designed to fit perfectly in tight spaces. It is also available in copper-free versions.

This double-acting cylinder is ideal for small movements in tight quarters, boasting a piston rod with internal or external thread, magnetic piston for position sensing and clear markings for sensor mounting.

Round Cylinder DSNU-S

Machine designers and fitters will be impressed by the space-saving upgrade of the Round Cylinder DSNU-S when it comes to efficient machine design. Its features include several spanner flats and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The end result is a round cylinder with the shortest and thinnest overall footprint in the Festo round cylinder range.

The Festo self-adjusting cushioning PPS technology puts an end to the back and forth usually required when setting the cushioning of pneumatic cylinders. The cushioning system makes commissioning easier and saves time. This ensures that travel into the end position is dynamic but gentle and doesn’t require any manual intervention.

Guided Drive DFM

This impressive guided drive has the best price-performance ratio in the market and offers optimum guide characteristics such as sturdiness and flexibility. It is reliable, adaptable and resilient, even with high torque loads. With its two different guide variants, the DFM can move, on average, over 100% higher loads than its competitors.

Loads of up to 150 kg are stopped reliably and safely, making the Guided Drive DFM a resilient and sturdy stopper cylinder. It is perfectly suited to clamping components for reliable further processing and effortlessly transports and lifts loads of over 200 kg, powerfully and dynamically.

One-Way Flow Control Valve VFOE

The easy-to-adjust VFOE allows machine and plant manufacturers to regulate the speed of pneumatic cylinders in their applications and plants to suit their specific needs and expectations. This compact one-way flow control valve from the Festo Core Range has proven itself to be a cost-effective solution for standard applications. “This manually adjustable valve comprises a supply and exhaust air variant that enables the retraction and advance speed of a pneumatic cylinder’s piston rod to be freely adjusted. Included are G and R thread variants,” Hohls concluded.

The third and final leg of its three-part campaign, set to launch early next year, will focus on its Electric Automation solutions which provide seamless connectivity from components to the cloud – a function similar to that of the brain.

Together, the three Festo business units will create a well-oiled production process with fewer downtimes. The company’s Pneumatic solutions, in particular, will significantly extend machine service life, and system and product reliability. Festo is constantly re-imagining Pneumatic Automation and breathing life into your machines!

For more information contact Festo South Africa, 08600 FESTO (33786),,


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