Sequence control in pneumatics
Associated with pneumatic sequence control, the following terms are used:
Cascade control (Spanish cascada Δ stepped waterfall). Conferred to automated systems, this means that the work process and thus the structure of the control itself consist of several steps. Control blocks with logical AND valve as a set condition for the next step are also available in the market. Here an example of a well-known manufacturer from its online catalog:
This control block aside consists of four stages (5/2-way pulse valve) and an AND gate as a switching condition and an OR gate as a reset condition.
For a process-controlled sequence, an end position detection of the cylinders is always necessary!
Description of the work process by path-step diagram
Since very often purely pneumatic controls use binary way valves as actuators, the path-step diagram is well used to describe the work flow of sequential control. In principle, this diagram shows graphically the cylinder positions over each work steps.
The steps are numbered horizontally. In the last step, the cylinders have the same position as in the first step.
A cylinder is either retracted ('0') or extended ('1'). When a cylinder moves, you can recognize this by its oblique line.
To get to the next step, one or more signals must be present. These signals are marked as narrow lines and have an arrow that indicates the effective direction.
Symbols of signal elements:
The different symbols represent the multiplicity of signal elements. Here you see some of the most important ones:
Often, you get to the next step by several input signals. The basic logical operations hereby are 'AND', 'OR', NOT '.
Time function: Here you can distinguish between turn-on delay and off delay.
Signals and signal lines within the path step diagram:
Example for a path-step diagram with signals – now a bit more complex: