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What is pneumatic?

Pneumatic

The dictionary tells us that it is the part of physics that studies the behavior of gases. We are going to explain how it is applied to the industry.

For what do you use it?

Pneumatics is used to make circuits under air pressure (most of the time), which can be used both to automate circuits, machines, or simply use air to inflate wheels.

We can get compressed air through air compressors, or if we need another specific gas, we can find it bottled by specialized companies.

How is it used in the industry?

His greatest demand is for automating manufacturing processes, such as the machining of a workpiece in various processes. With automation we can take a piece from one area to another where it can be drilled, engraved with a pneumatic press or simply ejected with a pneumatic cylinder without having to do it by hand.

It can also be used to complement other processes, such as plasma cutters, which need compressed air to operate. Compressed air is also used in nebulizers cool tool coolants. These are just a few examples as it can be used in multiple solutions.

Accessories

To get compressed air, the main thing is to have a compressor. There are many different sizes depending on the pressure and air flow we need.

At the compressor outlet, it is normal to have a filter for compressed air that removes the water that the compressor collects from the humidity in the environment.

Depending on our needs, we may also need an oiler that applies oil, since if we use compressed air in a machine, we may need to grease it so that it cannot seize up.

To determine when air should and should not pass, we have pneumatic valves. There are many models with different drives according to our needs, manual drives, pneumatic limit switches or with electric drives, among others.

To provide movement to the automation, there are pneumatic cylinders, which are activated by the valves when ordered. With the cylinders we can do an infinity of things, from riveting machines, automated clamps, etc.

Usage examples

There are many examples that we can give, from pneumatic feeders for cutting lines with press and its subsequent expulsion, packaging lines for food products, riveting machines, air rotaflex, pneumatic drills, and endless more possibilities.

When should we use it and when not?

Pneumatics has great advantages and several disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Advantages:

The operating cost of pneumatics is very low, since getting compressed air with a compressor, we only have to count the electricity consumed by its electric motor, and in general its consumption is not high since they do not work continuously.

The simplicity of its installation. With few accessories, many things can be done, and the connection between them is highly standardized and they connect and disconnect with a simple gesture.

Disadvantages:

It does not serve to generate great pressures, since it is designed to create faster than strong movements.

It can produce quite a bit of noise through its exhausts.

It is complex to use it in very large circuits since the pressure is lost.

Another options:

The other most common option to replace pneumatic circuits are hydraulic circuits. Much higher forces can be generated but against it, it is much slower.

According to the automation, it can also be done with electrical systems, such as with stepper motors.

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