Pneumatic Systems - Overview

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Pneumatic is defined as compressed air or air under high pressure, so pneumatic system can be defined as system which are operated under high air pressure.


Fig: Components of a Pneumatic System

The industry which are using pneumatic system uses compressed air or compressed inert gases according to uses. The air is compressed using electrical compressor which can be of rotary or reciprocating type. 

To perform a task or to automate a system we need actuators, actuators are devices which cause a machine or other device to operate. These actuators are controlled by manual, automatic solenoid valves or with a PLC. 


Fig: Actuator (Double acting Cylinder)


Fig: A Pneumatic Switch

Industrial Automation

Now a days every industry is automatizing their processes to minimize human work and to increase efficiency by increasing production. By application of pneumatic in industry the processes which are performed by human can be digitized by controlling the pneumatic system with electronic controller.

Majorly food processing industries use these systems, as air will not harm or react with food items.

Why we use Pneumatic 

There are many reasons to use pneumatic system for automation purpose or to perform certain task in limited time, some are as follows,

These systems are cost efficient(we all know air is free),Air or ideal gas does not react with other components,It is safe,Simplicity of design and control.

Pneumatic Vs. Hydraulic System

The basic difference between these two is the fluid which are used to control the actuators, in pneumatic we use compressed air while in hydraulic we use in-compressible fluid(liquid). In pneumatic system compressors are used to compress the air and then the compressed air is transferred via channels to required points while in hydraulic pumps are used for transmission of the fluid. When more power is required to operate or to perform a task hydraulic system is preferred.

Advantages of Pneumatic

This system is dry(moisture free),It avoids corrosion action,Less setup cost,Longer life.

Disadvantages of Pneumatic

This system is loud and noisy(due to compressor)Lack precision control.


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