Winners of the 2020 LEAP Awards (Leadership in Engineering Achievement Program) were announced yesterday in a digital ceremony, with products across 12 categories. More than 100 entrants were received for the annual competition which celebrates the most innovative and forward-thinking products serving the design engineering space. This year’s winners were chosen by an independent judging panel of 14 engineering and academic professionals.
In the Pneumatics category, Festo took the Gold for its Intelligent Energy Savings Module MSE6-C2M, monitors compressed air consumption and supply, automatically detecting leaks as well as the speed of return.
When it comes to condition monitoring in compressed air systems, the energy efficiency module not only enables measurement data to be gathered and analyzed, but it can also automatically reduce consumption by actively intervening in the supply. Thanks to patented technology from Festo, users can save up to 3.2 metric tons of CO2 and hundreds of dollars in operating costs per year, as revealed by calculations and tests.
The energy efficiency module MSE6-C2M combines pressure regulator, on/off valve, sensors, and fieldbus communication in one intelligent unit. It monitors the compressed air consumption, shuts off the compressed air after production has stopped for a certain amount of time, and simultaneously prevents the system pressure from falling below a specific stand-by pressure level. This works in a similar way to the automatic stop/start system in a modern car so that no more energy is wasted.
The judges commented, “Great energy saving product! Leveraging historical data, or data mining gives the customer situational awareness.”
Clippard took Silver for its Eclipse Proportional Isolation Valve, which uses the industry’s most robust and powerful miniature linear actuator, for critical applications for liquid and gas delivery, medical, analytical and industrial automation requiring ultra fine resolution and excellent repeatability. In addition, the unique design allows for custom flow profiles. It is leak-free to <0.05 sccm, offers excellent linearity (<4% of full-scale), a fast response (<2 ms reaction time) and is rated for cycle life of typically greater than 1 million. Finally, it offers repeatability <0.5% of full travel.
Finally, Emerson took Bronze for its ASCO Series 273 Pneumatic Pinch Valve, which doesn’t damage the tubing walls internally or externally over repeated use. Unlike the competitor’s product, the pinching/placement cavity in series 273 holds the tube firmly in place so that when the valve is actuated there is virtually no disturbance passed on to the media in the tube. With a manual override feature, it is easy to manage unplanned maintenances or batch switches without interrupting the entire process. Unlike the competition, the series 273 has a better design with a significantly reduced retention area reducing any risk of cross-contamination between batch changes.