National Pneumatics Day 2022

Posted April 27, 2022 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Pneumatics, SMC

Today is National Pneumatics Day, because SMC says it is.
SMC is one of our product lines and the world’s largest supplier of pneumatic components for industrial automation, and it suggests you "celebrate" the day by:
* Minimizing air leaks
* Changing the element in pneumatic air filters
* Reducing the supply pressure from air compressors
OK, ready, set, go.


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Hello Chicagoland: Showcase Educates Customers on Newest Factory Pnuematic Technologies

Posted April 26, 2022 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Pneumatics, SMC

The Chicago branches of Innovative-IDM and SMC Pnuematics teamed Friday to host an Pneumatic Innovation Day. More than 40 of our customers and future customers saw a hands-on look at the latest factory pneumatic technologies and enjoyed a tasty McAlister's Deli sandwich and fixin's at the Schaumburg Hampton Inn. We plan to take this show to the southern suburbs later this year. Stay tuned, or ask for details at

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Soft Start Pnuematic Valves Can Avoid Machine Wear – White Paper

Posted December 17, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Pneumatics, Product Application, SMC

A machine is subject to premature wear when it's pressurized with compressed air after a scheduled shut-down. The surge in air pressure will create rapid movements in the actuators. That can cause premature wear or escalate into a hazardous situation.

Download our white paper on how simply using SMC soft start valves can help your pneumatic application.

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Pneumatic Air Dryer Saved $10,000, Downtime

Posted August 22, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Pneumatics

Tags: ,

This SMC air dryer solution extracted nearly five gallons of moisture and oil from the facilities pneumatic system. The same moisture and oil that previously was passed through to the machine tool.

In just six hours, this SMC air dryer solution extracted nearly five gallons of moisture and oil from the facility's pneumatic system. This moisture and oil previously was passed through to the machine tool, resulting in replacement parts and downtime.

One of my customers had a challenge with his pneumatic air dryer. The pass-through contaminants were costing him parts, time and money.

His facility had in place Ingersoll Rand air dryers. But the dryers were not properly sized for the application. The result was the dryer was allowing inordinate amounts of water and compressor oil pass through to their machines.

This contamination caused by the mismatched pneumatic air dryer meant the customer had to keep replacing his pneumatic valves and cylinders (approximately $10,000 per year). Not to mention the downtime and labor time required to install the replacement parts. If you're not sure about how expensive downtime can be, check this out.

My solution was the SMC pneumatic IDU series air dryer (high inlet temperature dryer) and the AFF series filter. What you see in the photo is the amount of water that the new air drying solution removed from the system in a six-hour period, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a hot summer day.

The customer has been running the new SMC pneumatic air dryer set up for a couple of months and his system is running more efficiently. He is now recommending the purchase of another SMC pneumatic dryer set up for an identical compressor on the other end of his facility. This photo is a great example of how a properly matched air drying solution from SMC can solve problems -- and money and downtime --  in an industrial pneumatic system. --



Alberto Aguilar helps customers out of the Houston branch of Innovative-IDM. You can contact him at


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How to Choose the Right Pneumatic Cylinder

Posted January 14, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Pneumatics

Specifying a pneumatic cylinder isn’t as hard as it might seem to be. There are a lot of tidbits of information that goes into each and every cylinder, such as mounting. Is it a clevis, a double clevis, is it a tie rod, is it an aluminum body, etc. There are a lot of different variations and there are specials. There are customized cylinders and many of our customers run into this all the time. The OEM of the machine will specialize a cylinder, and it might be something as simple as a different type of metal in the rod. It might be food grade oil in grease inside the cylinder. So, often you are able to get a functional replacement without having to go through the pains of developing every single last piece of information that might be about that cylinder. So, I’m going to give you a couple of quick ways to gather some information that you can hand over to your local IDM representative and we can go from there.

The cylinder: Is it double acting, meaning does it have two ports where air goes in one and out the other ? Or is it single acting, meaning it’s going to have a spring in the back end which is actually going to push it back in.

Operating Environment: Is it harsh conditions - such as is this out in a concrete plant, inside in the AC, washed down, or is it around food? There are a lot of different changes in a cylinder that can happen based on that.

Operating Pressure: What are you regulating your pressure down to the cylinder through the valve, etc. That gets right here to the cylinder. This is also going to have an effect on how much force is required. This is very important. Let us know what type of operating pressure you’re using.

Force: How heavy is the object you are pushing? How difficult is it? How long does it take to actually reach the full stroke? Etc. All of that is very important to us.

Operating Speed: How quickly or often within a time period do you need to cycle through the cylinder? All of this information is great and helps us give you a very quick quote and solution to your problem.

Tubing Size and Port Size

That’s it, that’s a cylinder. If you would like more information on cylinders or other pneumatic equipment please go to Remember Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

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How To Detect an Air Leak in Your Pneumatic System

Posted January 10, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Pneumatics

Hello, my name is Chad Kauffman and I’ve been in the pneumatics industry for nearly 20 years. Over those years I’ve literally been in thousands of different plants and a common problem that we see in almost every plant, some people recognize it but most don’t, are leaks in your air system.

The reason that is important is there’s substantial cost associated with those air leaks. Rising costs globally for energy has really put pressure on maintenance staffs and production facilities to reduce their energy costs. One way to do that is to get a really good handle on your air leaks and your air system. There are factories out there with literally thousands and thousands of feet of tubing and for you to identify where those air leaks are at and get them corrected is not only vitally important to your bottom line, it’s something that we need to help you find a solution for.

There have been several studies done by the leading pneumatic manufacturers in the industry, and what those have shown us is that on average about 20% of a compressor’s output air is lost due to air leaks in an average factory. So you can imagine how much that adds up to each year. As an example, a 200 horsepower compressor that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year can cost in excess of 14 thousand dollars per year in energy costs. So, it’s a very substantial problem that everyone needs to be aware of and we’ve got some solutions to help you resolve that issue.

There are many factors that contribute to leaks. They can be small pinhole leaks which are tough to identify, again when you’ve got a hundred thousand square foot facility with thousands of feet of tubing. There are mis-sized components, loose fitting, poor seals, various reasons for leaks. Not all are easily identified. If it’s a major leak you’ll hear a hissing sound, but if it’s a small leak, which most of them are, they are very tough to identify. So we have an interesting product called an ALDS made by SMC.

ALDS stands for Automatic Leak Detection System and it is a box we can mount on an OEM piece of equipment. We can mount it inline on your air system and it measures the airflow going through tubing; the pressure drops and rises and it gives you a signal back that tells you if you have an air leak problem. On certain systems when it’s applied on a piece of OEM equipment with a software package, it can actually not only tell you that you have a leak, but identify where that leak is. This can become very valuable and save a substantial amount of dollars.

It’s a great solution for OEMs as an upsellto the customers and end users for a huge cost savings on your energy costs each and every year. For more information on the ALDS you can visit touch the knowledge tab and we would be happy to help you out. After all we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

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