SMC Releases Latest Control Components Including Air Grippers and Solenoid Valves

December 14, 2021 by Shawn Dietrich

SMC, known for its pneumatic and motion control components, recently released four new devices to their library of control components.

Learn about SMC’s latest grippers and valves and how they could help motion control capabilities on the factory floor. 


Low Profile Air Gripper

One of SMC’s new components includes an air gripper. Pneumatic grippers are a common device installed on robots or tooling for gripping parts. The gripper needs to physically control the part accurately and securely while being moved by a robot or other motion devices. 

SMC’s latest control components. Image used courtesy of SMC 


The MHF2 series has a unique feature of roughly ⅓ the size of a comparable gripper (MHZ2 series). This space-saving feature allows for reduced weight and can be used with low-profile end effectors. The MHF2 has a height of only 25mm. A comparable model is 72.8mm in height. 

The gripper comes in three stroke lengths; 8-20mm, 16-40mm, 32-80mm, and four bore sizes; 8mm, 12mm, 16mm, 20mm. With the shorter stroke models, a special actuator position sensor is offered, which reports an analog signal for gripper position. The position sensor also uses IO-link technology to reduce the need for special analog cards in your control system. 


Pulse Valve

A pulse valve is a diaphragm-based valve primarily used with dust collection systems to aid in cleaning the filter medium. The valve is used to pulse compressed air into the filter bag system causing shock waves through the filter and knocking the loose dust off the filter bags. 


Examples of applications for SMC’s new pulse valve. Image used courtesy of SMC


Typically these valves will use a spring to help the diaphragm move between the open and closed positions. The JSXFA series doesn’t contain a spring and is tested for 10 million cycles. The valve is easier to maintain with the springless design and has a 45% increase in the OFF response time. 

The new immersion-style valve allows the valve to be installed directly on the vessel, virtually eliminating the need to weld to tank piping. This series valve comes in three different styles; compression fitting, direct piping, and immersion. 


Compact 5-Port Solenoid Valve

A solenoid valve is a method to control compressed gasses using an electrical signal from a control system. The five-port feature allows the user to supply air on one side and return on the other. 


A diagram showing the different sizes in the Compact 5-Port Solenoid Valve. Image used courtesy of SMC 


Typically, a 5-port valve would be used to control a pneumatic cylinder. When supplying air to the extended side of the cylinder, the retract side can be vented and vice versa for retracting. 

The JSY series valve has been reduced in size; a 6.4mm width valve can drive a cylinder bore size of 32mm. This can reduce the overall footprint of robot grippers and machine tooling used in automation machinery.


3-Port Solenoid Valve

Solenoid valves are used widely in automation. They allow control system designers the ability to move parts or grip parts securely and accurately. A common problem with solenoid valves is where to place them within the machine. Valves work best when placed as close to the working device as possible, but the space constraints do not always allow a valve to be placed close to the cylinder. 


The 3-Port Solenoid Valve. Image used courtesy of SMC


The V100 3-port valve from SMC is a micro-sized solenoid valve with low power consumption and low-temperature rise from the coil. The U-type is the newest addition to the series and has a Sonic Conductance C-value of 0.16 at 0.35W. 

By comparison, the standard type has a C-value of 0.037 and 0.35W power consumption. The 3-port and spring return design works great when a pneumatic device requires one supply and one vent all on one port. 

SMC is hopeful that these new components can help engineers with their everyday manufacturing and control operations.