The principles of pneumatics are the same as the principles for hydraulics, but pneumatics use gas instead of a liquid to transmit power. Compressed air is generally used, but nitrogen or other inert gases are used for special applications. With pneumatics from Festo Pneumatic, the air is usually pumped into a receiver with the help of a compressor. The receiver holds a huge volume of compressed air to be used by the pneumatic system as and when needed.
Atmospheric air contains water vapor, airborne dirt, and other contaminants, so filters and air dryers are used often in pneumatic systems to keep the compressed air clean and dry. Further, it improves the reliability and service life of the components as well as the system. Also, pneumatic systems use a range of valves for controlling direction, pressure, and the speed of actuators.
Even though pneumatic systems generally operate at a much lower pressure than hydraulic systems do, pneumatics holds several advantages that make it more suitable for a lot of applications. Because pneumatic pressures are lower, components can easily be made of thinner and lighter weight materials like aluminum and engineered plastics. On the other hand, hydraulic components are usually made of steel and ductile or cast iron. Hydraulic systems are often considered to be rigid, while pneumatic systems usually offer some cushioning. Pneumatic systems are usually simpler because air can be exhausted to the atmosphere, while the hydraulic fluid is usually routed back to a fluid reservoir.
Pneumatics also holds benefits over electromechanical power transmission techniques. Electric motors are frequently limited by heat generation. Heat generation is not a concern as such with pneumatic motors as the stream of compressed air that runs through them carries heat from them. Further, because pneumatic components do not require electricity, they do not need the heavy, bulky, and expensive explosion-proof enclosures needed by electric motors. In fact, even without having special enclosures, electric motors are considerably larger and heavier than pneumatic motors of equivalent power rating.
Additionally, if overloaded, these motors will stall and not use any power. On the other hand, electric motors can overheat and burn out if overloaded. Moreover, force, torque, and speed control with pneumatics by Festo Dealer in India often requires simple pressure-control or flow-control valves, as opposed to expensive and complicated electrical drive controls. And just like with hydraulics, pneumatic actuators can immediately reverse direction, whereas electromechanical components generally rotate with high momentum, which may delay changes in direction.
Factory automation is the most significant sector for pneumatics technology. It is widely used for handling products in manufacturing, processing, and packaging operations. It is also used in medical and food processing equipment. Pneumatics is usually thought of as pick-and-place technology, where pneumatic components work together to perform the same repetitive operation hundreds or thousands of times per day. However, pneumatics is much more.
Because compressed air may have a cushioning effect, it is called on to offer a more gentle touch than what hydraulics or electromechanical drives can generally provide. In various applications, pneumatics is mainly used for its ability to deliver controlled pressing or squeezing as well as for fast and repetitive motion. Moreover, electronic controls can give these systems positioning precision comparable to that of electromechanical and hydraulic technologies.
Other industries where pneumatics is beneficial:
- Chemical Plants and refineries to actuate very big valves
- Factory Automation
- Mobile Equipment for transmitting power
- Material Handling
- Food and Beverages
- Off- and On-highway Vehicle Systems