Did you know that there’s pneumatic gear everywhere you look? The world around you is literally covered with compressed air-driven equipment, but there’s a good chance that you might never have even realized it. Inert gases aren’t often seen but exist in plain sight.
When most people think of power tools, they primarily think of ones that run off electricity. While these pieces certainly are powered, there’s a whole world of compressed air-driven alternatives. In fact, there’s probably a pneumatic version of every piece of hydraulic and electrical tool that you can think of.
Consider the following list of ten different examples of pneumatic systems. They’re all things that you’ve either used, seen used or have more than likely benefited from in some way.
In fact, you might have something that resembles a few of these in your own business’ workshop, even if you’ve never taken the time to actually lay out a purpose-built pneumatic system! For that matter, there’s a good chance that you have some simple systems in your own home. For instance, many screen doors open via a small air cylinder that constantly refills itself. This might not seem like much, but it’s the same exact technology that powers much stronger pieces of construction gear.
You may have the first item on the list in or near your home as well.
1) Air Brakes
Perhaps no other symbol of pneumatic air technology is as enduring as the air brake. If you have a truck that includes these in your own garage, then you already have a sophisticated pneumatic system in your possession.
These have attracted a great deal of attention over the years, in part because of their reliability and safety record. On top of this, however, these brakes have a characteristic sound that’s endeared drivers to them.
They were originally designed for use on railroad equipment, where they continue to ensure the safety and security of train operators the world over. Even if you’ve never run a vehicle that uses them before, you can be sure that something you have was delivered by one that did.
Plenty of amusement park rides have been built around pneumatic technology, as have certain types of animatronic attractions. Compressed air-driven technology is uniquely ideal for these kinds of applications since it doesn’t require the use of anything toxic.
The air compressor technology also won’t get anything wet, which is important for any system that’s going to be permanently stored in a static location. If you’ve ever seen some form of a neat moving tourist trap, then you’ve seen an example of a pneumatic system that’s hard at work.
3) Exercise Machines
Quite a few pieces of gym equipment are powered by compressed air or incorporate cylinders in at least some way. That enables them to provide a smoother and more challenging workout, which is perfect for anyone working on fitness goals. Since pneumatic components tend to be very reliable, this is also good news for those who have to maintain the gear since it has a relatively low risk of needing extensive maintenance.
4) Dental Drills
While most people have a rather negative opinion of dental drills, they’re actually much less unpleasant than they otherwise could be. The fact that they’re powered by compressed air makes them relatively gentle in the grand scheme of things. Patients aren’t at any risk of electrical shock as a result, and they won’t be exposed to anything toxic either.
Since these drills run on nothing but forced air, there isn’t a possibility for any leaking liquids, which eliminates the chances of needing any form of cleanup. Even though this kind of gear is relatively uncomfortable for most people, the fact of the matter is that things could be much worse if it weren’t for the advances brought on by compressed air-driven equipment.
5) Pipe Organs
These are perhaps one of the earliest examples of pneumatic systems that were massed produced for something other than a manufacturing or industrial setting. While bellows and some other pieces of equipment predate the invention of the pipe organ, it’s certainly among the earliest things that meet the modern definition of a pneumatic system.
Some researchers contend that you can even see simple types of pneumatic design in the way many wind instruments are constructed. They use pressurized air to create musical notes and sounds.
6) Cable Jetters
Assuming that you’re reading this text on the web right now, there’s a very good chance a cable jetter helped to deliver it to you. When cable companies lay down the underground cord, they use this pneumatic tool that forces lines downpipes by way of strong gusts of compressed air. It does the job much more safely and effectively than an individual human worker ever could.
7) Emergency Brakes
While they might resemble the air brakes used on trains and larger trucks, emergency brakes on many types of vehicles technically operate under a different principle. These devices still rely on compressed air, however, and often include some parts that are interchangeable with more traditional air brakes.
This is another example of a very visible pneumatic system that an overwhelming majority of motorists would have come across eventually. Due to a need for intense power, jackhammers have to receive their motive force from pneumatic fittings that allow it to receive compressed air from an outside source.
9) Road Drillers
Larger road construction jobs require much beefier equipment. Road drillers convert compressed air into rotary motion, which can then be used to break up even the toughest material. This kind of technology has found its way into much smaller gear as well.
10) Automated Production Equipment
As the world moves toward a completely automated workplace, and an increasingly large percentage of companies are relying on pneumatic equipment to power the tools they use to run their assembly lines. Graspers and various other gadgets can be hooked into a pneumatic line to ensure efficiency and safety no matter how complicated a particular workflow is.
Improve Your High Pressure With SMC Pneumatics
SMC Pneumatics wants to help each of your systems run smoothly.
Once you’re ready to streamline your own company’s operations, make sure to contact us online and get in touch with one of our knowledgeable representatives. They’ll help you find the kind of gear that will keep you moving forward.