Is Pneumatics Technology Right For Your Process?
Pneumatics are not a very well understood field. Many people do not know what pneumatics are, or how and why they are used. Most of the time the first thought anyone has in regard to pneumatics is the air tools you can buy for your home compressor. Sometimes the easiest way to explain what pneumatics do is to compare the technology to hydraulics. Generally there is a better understanding of what hydraulics are and where you might have seen them used. If you know what hydraulics do, it is easier to explain what pneumatics do. But don’t fret if you don't know either one. We will be glad to help you get a basic understanding and maybe shed some light on the pneumatics world.
How Pneumatics Are Used
Pneumatics use compressed air or gases as their source of energy, whereas hydraulics use fluids that are under high pressure to do the work. The most common use for pneumatics technology is operating a cylinder to do some sort of job. That job could be something as simple as pushing a box, grabbing an object, lifting and lowering an object, or as complicated as your mind and the technology will allow. Pneumatics are used in an incredibly diverse array of industries; Medical, Food and Beverage, Equipment Manufacturers, Oil and Gas, Aggregate, Semiconductor, and the list goes on and on.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Pneumatics
The main advantage for utilizing pneumatics versus hydraulics is that pneumatics are less expensive to operate, less expensive to purchase, and safer to use due to the lower operating pressures. They can be used in environments that require cleanliness and can be more easily used near food processes. Pneumatics can be less complicated to design into systems, smaller, lighter, more compact and easier to maintain. So why would anyone use hydraulics if pneumatics are so great? That’s a great question, and there are disadvantages with using pneumatics compared to hydraulics. Hydraulics have a much higher workforce capability then pneumatics. A hydraulic actuator, of equivalent size to a pneumatic actuator, can generate more force.
Pneumatic technology has come a long way and engineers have developed unique ways of getting more from a pneumatic actuator than anyone previously thought possible. The future for pneumatics is very bright and we look forward to the advances they will continue to make.
- Gene, Fluid Power Specialist