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Flow sensor valves are normally open valves that snap closed when the factory preset flow rate is exceeded. Our flow sensor valves are insensitive to acceleration forces and may be used in any physical orientation. System vacuum level has no effect on set point, however, high system vacuum levels will cause greater flow rates through a porous workpiece.
 
Flow sensor valves eliminate the problem of vacuum loss through non-working standard vacuum cups or through vacuum cups with valves overhanging the edge of the workpiece. These are especially useful where workpiece size and orientation may vary. For maximum effectiveness, each vacuum cup in the system should be equipped with a flow sensor valve.
 
Available Styles
  • FSV-10 – 10-32 UNF (M5) – For use with 4 – 35 mm vacuum cups.
  • FSV-18 – G 1/8” NPSF – For use with 10 – 50 mm vacuum cups.
  • FSVM-18 – Same as FSV-18 with a female M5 monitor port included.
  • FSV-12 – 1/2” NPT – For use with larger vacuum cups.
  • FSV-10 and FSV-18 can be ordered with or without vacuum cup fittings attached.
 

Flow sensor valves may be used in a manifold or located in-line rather than at the vacuum cup. Piping integrity is important since the flow sensor valve will sense a fitting leak as easily as leakage at the vacuum cup. Wherever installed, a suitable filter must be used upstream. When used with EDCO USA vacuum cup fittings, a filter screen nests inside the vacuum cup fitting bore.
 
The optimum flow rate set point is best determined by testing the porosity of a sample workpiece with a flow meter using the same vacuum cup size and style as will be used in the actual system. Porosity of items such as corrugated board can vary greatly from lot to lot so it is important to find the most porous part to be handled by the system.

A factory of safety must be added to the highest porosity test value to allow for variations in workpiece porosity, system vacuum level, increased leakage due to wear, and other factors. For porous workpieces such as paper and corrugated cases, the factor of safety should be in the 50% range. For non-porous workpieces such as plastic or metal, the factor of safety may be reduced.

It is necessary to size the vacuum pump to have enough capacity to close all flow sensor valves where vacuum cups are not sealed against a workpiece plus the total porosity flow through the sealed vacuum cups. Our air-powered multi-stage vacuum pumps are ideally suited since they produce large vacuum flow rates at low vacuum levels (0 – 10 inHg) and can provide the flow necessary to close many flow sensor valves.

When used with large, bellows style vacuum cups, the vacuum cup should be pressed against the workpiece to collapse the bellows before turning on the vacuum source. This prevents accidentally activating the flow sensor valve by the high, instantaneous flow rate caused by the bellows collapsing under the vacuum.
 
The flow sensor valve will automatically reset when the vacuum is turned off for a short period of time. If desired, a pressure pulse can be used to back flow the flow sensor valve to clean off the inlet filter. This blow-off pulse will resent the flow sensor valve and quickly release the workpiece.
 
NOTE: Flow sensor valves are calibrated using a flow meter. Field adjustment is not practical or suggested.

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