Methods used to automate Systems based on Pneumatic.

Updated: Mar 4

Pneumatic systems can be automated by three methods, they are,

  • Mechanically Automated pneumatic System

  • Electro-Pneumatic System.

  • PLC based Pneumatic Automation system.

We will Discuss Each of them in detail,

Prerequisite  -  Pneumatic System - Overview and Components of Pneumatic System


Mechanically Automated Pneumatic System.


Things are getting simpler now a days by application of electronic sensors and by using digitally programmable circuits. But whenever we need high preciseness we cannot deny that mechanically programmed circuits are more reliable and are more accurate with greater life cycle and   lesser maintenance.

Let's see what a mechanically programmed circuit is and how it helps in pneumatic systems.

A mechanical programmed circuit is a logic which is operated by controlling different mechanical switches on the basis of set of instructions given by sensors.

Let's understand it with a example, we need a system in which hen we press a switch the cylinder moves in forward direction, to reverse it we need to press another switch, in this case we need to press the switches at end of each stroke. Let suppose this system is installed in some industry where we continuously need to punch hole. By automating this system we can increase productivity and an reduce labor charge. 

To automate this system we need two sensors which can control both of the switches which actuates the cylinder in forward and reverse stroke. These sensor are mounted at the end positions of cylinder rod. 

In these sensors there is a switch which is pressed by the piston rod and it activates the flow of air in required direction which now defines the direction of movement of piston rod. 

When the piston is at extended position the sensor at that position is activated and that will reverse the flow of air and rod will move in reverse side and vice-versa. In this way a simple automation can be achieved using a simple circuit diagram. In figure below their is a representation how this system actually works.



Fig.: Representation of mechanically automated system

*above image is just a representation how this system will look like, it is not complete circuit diagram and it may fail.


I hope the above example is understandable how this system will work, if you have any queries you can ask in comments,

This is simple example ho a basic system works, in actual problems we get multiple conditions, for them we need different sensors, valves and approach to solve. 

Let's take a condition in which only if we press to switches then the piston rod moves forward, to solve it we will need 2 pressure valve. Another condition is when we press any of the switch the actuator should move, we will use shuttle valve. We will discuss these components further in upcoming blogs of this series. 

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