Motion, force, and positioning accuracy of servovalves has been legendary for decades, and today’s proportional valves provide performance equally as impressive such that the distinction between proportional valves and servovalves cannot be defined by valve construction.
Still, both types of valves must use sensitive feedback systems to achieve their impressive performance. Sensitive usually means fragile, so applications involving impact, heavy shock, and vibration, means valves must be isolated from the hostile environment.
Atos SpA, Sesto Calende, Italy, addresses this challenge with its rugged version of proportional valves and controls. The photo shows Size 06 and 10 proportional valves that have an integral spool-position feedback transducer and electronic driver designed to withstand high vibration levels and mechanical stresses. Both electronics and transducers have metal housings with reinforced screws, military style metal connectors, and SMD (surface-mounting device) electronics. The covers enclosing the electronics are sealed from moisture, and a rubber plate is inserted to cushion the internal components from shock and vibration.
Atos also offers this “ruggedized” feature for variable-displacement pumps and electrohydraulic cylinders. Typical applications include extrusion presses, lumber machinery, steel mills, and military equipment.