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Digital valve improves gas and liquid control

Camcon, a British start-up company has unveiled a revolutionary binary valve design that is set to revolutionise electro-mechanical products involving the control and flow of gases and liquids.

Based on a fundamentally digital approach, the bi-stable, high-speed characteristic of the Camcon valve makes it ideally suited for high speed, programmable digital control. Camcon estimates that its valve provides a 100-fold improvement in speed and accuracy compared with traditional valve designs.

The fundamental design of a valve has not changed since the Industrial Revolution when Thomas Newcomen used a valve to control steam pressure in the first industrial steam engine, yet within the last two decades there has been a fundamental shift towards digital technology in almost every other area of electro-mechanical design.

Camcon’s digitally controlled valves allow only two states, either open or closed, and switches on the application of a short electrical pulse. The valves can be driven at up to 4,000 kHz or almost 250,000 times per minute, enabling precise and programmable delivery of any gas or fluid.

Camcon has created seven variations of its fundamental binary valve design, each targeted at a specific applications including automotive, aerospace, environment, food processing, instrumentation, medical, transportation and robotics.

“The Binary Valve is an advance in fundamental technology. Its performance has the potential to impact every area where valves are used, in addition to creating opportunities for the application of valves in new areas,” said Wladyslaw Wygnanski, founder and director, Camcon Technology.

Conventional solenoid valves use an electromagnetic coil to overcome the force induced by the return spring as the valve opens. Camcon valves utilise a catapult technology based on high power permanent magnets and a spring-loaded armature.

A very short electrical pulse (0.1 mS) disrupts the magnetic field and causes the sprung armature to switch from one position to another, thereby opening or closing the valve. No power is required to hold the valve in either an open or closed position.

Camcon is aiming its first product at the automotive market for fuel management and suspension control of petrol and diesel engined vehicles. The company is currently developing a version of its valve for a Formula One team and will show its technology at Autosport 2002 (NEC, Birmingham, 10th to 13th January 2002).

Camcon is an intellectual property business, developing and licensing its digital value technology to customers. Camcon customers will either manufacture valves under license or use a Camcon approved manufacturing partner to manufacture valve designs in volume.

Camcon recently received a SMART Award from the Department of Trade and Industry, which recognised the fundamental breakthrough, which the company has made with its digital valve technology.

About Camcon

Camcon is an 8-person start-up based in Cambridge, UK that is developing the digital valve technology for the precise control of liquids and gases. The company was founded in November 2000 by Wladyslaw Wygnanski - inventor of the binary valve and ACUS Managing Partners, an active management venture capitalist that specialises in stage technology companies.

Camcon is initially targeting its digital valve technology at fuel management and suspension control for petrol and diesel engined vehicles, but has developed seven variations of its fundamental design each targeted at a specific vertical applications including automotive, aerospace, environment, food processing, instrumentation, medical and transportation.

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Press contacts:

Zuzanna Pasierbinska / Stephen Waddington
Tel: 020 7494 6570

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