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Decentralised automation

Your food or pharmaceutical production processes must be efficient, safe and hygienic. To ensure the processing of valuable raw materials without residues and cross-contamination, to ensure constant product quality and not to risk downtime, digital process monitoring is essential. The easiest way to achieve this is with decentralised automation solutions that can control intelligent components locally and react quickly. To ensure that such a valve technology of short distances fits optimally into your existing machine or system concepts, we advise you objectively and have solution-neutral offers ready for you. In the process, we reduce everything you can do without to a minimum: complexity, risk and engineering effort. We will be more than happy to advise you!

Control your plant decentrally - for more productivity and safety

The same applies to the production of pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs: In order to produce end products of consistently high quality, the production plant must precisely control and regulate all media at all times. Fast-switching, intelligent process valves are essential for this. They are part of an overall concept that we design and implement specifically for you as part of an objective consultation. This results in individually planned decentralised automation solutions that ensure that the infrastructure and valve control of your systems do exactly what they are supposed to and can be continuously monitored using numerous parameters.

More productive thanks to intelligent control heads from Bürkert

Decentralised automation with Bürkert means: Locally controlled process valves ensure your plant functions efficiently. The intelligence is embedded in the control heads – a concept with many advantages. The control head type 8681 can also be used universally, making it easy to automate process valves from different manufacturers with this solution.

When should you go for a decentralised automation solution?

  • When you need clear, flexible pneumatic control.
  • When you value transparent processes and fast commissioning.
  • When you need real-time information on the spot for critical processes.
  • When you want to ensure safe, monitorable production of pharmaceutical products or foodstuffs.


Challenges with traditional concepts

Discrete wiring leads to high expenditure. Using the example of a filling machine for food or pharmaceutical products, the challenges become visible: Different types of devices are needed for this process, e.g. actuators, flowmeters, pressure and temperature sensors. Each device has a cable connection to a discrete port of an IO module in the control cabinet. In this example, customers use devices with 4-20 mA interfaces and binary input and outputs. This means that the number of functions is limited - as is the bandwidth and consequently the amount of diagnostic data.

Power supply
Analogue in
Analogue out
Binary out
Control cabinet
Process valve

Greater safety, less effort through intelligent networking

Huge effort to connect? No, there’s a better way: Our communication engineers have developed an alternative solution. It reduces the number of cables to four, and at the same time only one type of IO-Link master serves all devices. All relevant data are available digitally - and significantly more parameters can be read out than in conventional solutions. This enables permanent diagnostics to ensure system availability at all times. In addition, integrated S2 redundancy increases the availability of the system - pure reliability. As all push-in connectors are replaced by M12 connections, the assembly process of electrical devices is very fast, safe and simple. The conversion from analogue to digital devices also eliminates the need for recalibration after a certain operating time.

Error and maintenance messages
IO-Link master
IO-Link in the field
Sensor / actuators


Installation in 60 minutes instead of seven hours

An example from the bottling sector illustrates the differences in installation effort. A filling machine needs various components, for example actuators, flowmeters, pressure sensors and temperature sensors, which contribute to the desired production result in a coordinated manner.
In the calculation example, we assume that 32 control heads are required. A control head with three position feedbacks, external proximity switch, power supply and three valve outputs has twelve wires on each side of the cable in the discrete design. For start-up and analogue displacement measurement, a qualified electrician must install 768 wire-end ferrules on 32 control heads and also connect all cables to the unit connections and in the control cabinet. This is an all-day task that takes about seven working hours.
If, on the other hand, a Bürkert solution with two M12 connectors per device is used, the installation time is reduced to a single hour - which means a time saving of six hours.

Installation effort in hours
Number of devices
Conventional solution


Decentralised automation in a practical check

Numerous Bürkert customers already rely on individually controlled process valves with intelligent control heads. The following user stories provide ideas on how to produce more productively with decentralised automation.

Duits & Lauret

Duits & Lauret is a Dutch speciality beer brewery near Utrecht.
Find out how Bürkert's experience in automation contributes to product quality and productivity.



Distributed automationDistributed automation

Whether it's the production of pharmaceuticals or food, hygiene, safety and 24/7 monitorability are paramount. You can achieve these goals, for example, by automating your plant or machine in a distributed manner. This works for both new and existing installations and does not have to be complicated. Bürkert supports you with optimally coordinated, compact solutions that fit into existing structures and are flexible - after all, you have to think about tomorrow today and also consider future innovation steps in the context of digitisation. Discover just how easy it is to combine our wide range of components and integrate valve islands, control cabinets and process valves into an automation system. We advise you objectively, solution-neutrally and with a lot of experience.



Do you want to know how much untapped savings potential lies in your plant? Contact us – together we will find out.