I was confronted with the task to develop a new controller for pneumatic cylinders. The control channels are displacement and force. A load cell is used to measure the force (analog signal). The displacement measurement takes place via a scale on the cylinder. In old applications a proportional flow control valve was used as actuator. However, these are probably poorly available and/or no longer available in sufficient quality.
My question would therefore be whether I can also realize the control with fast-switching directional control valves? I have also found methods where both sides of the cylinder are pressure controlled.
Maybe someone with more experience in pneumatic control can give me a hint which method is the most effective and modern for my problem. For starters, the recommendation of suitable valves would also be enough for me ;)
Update: I started installing the force regulator this week, which is actually working quite well. I'm using an MPYE valve from Festo, which is non-linear (link). Next month I will get the hardware to use a different valve that should work better. Right now it's just a simple p controller with an offset to compensate for the non-linearity of the valve. Unfortunately, I won't be able to test the position controller because I won't get the hardware approved (please don't ask why). However, I am confident that the position controller will work similarly well with an adjusted p-value.