Pneumatic systems are loud and break down whenever the slightest amount of air leaks out of a circuit! They are so complicated to operate! The hissing sound may make you think of natural gases seeping into the air and endangering people. What if you cannot fix the leak or replace the parts? These concerns may run through your mind as you start preliminary research.
You hear these kinds of complaints all the time, and there’s a good chance that you have some of these same preconceived notions. However, they’re only based on half-truths. People have preconceived biases due to ignorance about how pneumatics work. We do admit the process can appear complicated.
In fact, pneumatic tools are quite reliable and provide a great deal of power in a relatively compact package. They also rely on renewable energy sources and can last for a long time. You cannot ignore that we need to increase our knowledge about renewable energy. Pneumatics is an established process that helps us do that. We also use more pneumatics than we think.
Nevertheless, this kind of thinking has prevailed and continues to hold technicians back whether they’re doing construction or manufacturing. They cut themselves off from a viable system unless they are dentists and need to use pneumatic devices for healthcare. Whether or not you are attached to using pneumatic devices, you should consider the truths that contract the falsehoods you have heard.
The Joy Of Pneumatic Design
Don’t believe everything you might have heard from people who might not have much experience in the field. There are numerous advantages to pneumatic technology, and there are probably multiple jobs on your worksite that could be better accomplished with compressed air-driven tools.
What’s more, many industries already use pneumatics. Dentistry is one of them; every time you go for your bi-yearly cleaning, tiny machines use air pressure to clean plaque and grime off your teeth. Air conditioners and refrigerators have pneumatic devices in them to keep your spaces cool and preserve food and medicine. Even in trains and buses, these transportation systems have air brakes on hand in case of emergency.
If you can see those drills and relax, then you can adopt similar devices for use in your workplace.
SMC Pneumatics has everything you need to get started. If you’re still a little leery about pneumatic gear, though, then read on. The following eight benefits should be more than enough to blast away the myths you’ve heard with a breath of fresh compressed air!
Some individuals would like to paint pneumatic systems as unsafe and claim that they could blow up in the manner of a pressure cooker. However, the truth is that air hoses attached to these circuits only pose a safety hazard if they suddenly get loose when the nozzle is open. That’s something that shouldn’t ever happen if they’re operated and maintained correctly.
Pneumatic systems are in fact quite safe, and the fact that they use nothing besides compressed air means they won’t expose your crews to anything toxic. Some hydraulic fluids and certain types of lubricants are potentially dangerous, but pneumatic devices never require these compounds.
They also don’t pose any significant risk of electrical shock, since no electricity is moving through anything but the compressor itself. This further serves to make pneumatic equipment safe and efficient for everyday use.
Perhaps most importantly, air isn’t notably flammable and leakages won’t negatively effect the outside environment. Consider how hydraulics often use oil, which is flammable and combustible. One oil leak means that you have a giant fire hazard.
You can use compressed air technology in areas where you’re working with highly combustible materials and it’s also useful in places where conservation issues might be a concern. Use pneumatic devices to clean up oil spills, for example, and pressure-clean without worry.
2) Source Availability
As the name suggests, pneumatic systems merely use regular air to operate in most circumstances. Air is abundant and free, so you won’t have to pay to charge up your tank any more than what it costs you to run your compressor’s motor.
What’s more, you don’t need to do any filtering for the air. The machine will do that for you. You can use any type of air, providing it’s clean enough for yourself and your employees to work. Just make sure that your pneumatic machine is absorbing it and filtering it to reduce tiny particles.
3) Ease of Cleaning
In most circumstances, pneumatic systems require very little cleaning. Pressurized air constantly forces dirt out of the system, so you won’t often experience much in the way of blockages. You still need to check for clogs, but air pressure serves as a viable vacuum.
If you ever do find that a system gets blocked, then you’ll usually be able to clear it fairly easily because pneumatic technology tends to be quite simple from an engineering standpoint. It’s even easy to take apart a pneumatic circuit because they tend to feature a relatively small amount of tubing, especially compared to other more complex technologies.
Even the most durable stainless steel parts don’t cost all that much compared to many other technologies. You generally don’t need to invest in as much physical material to get going with pneumatic gear either, which can reduce the initial startup cost. This is especially good news for smaller companies that can’t afford to invest a large amount of money when they aren’t entirely sure about what kind of income they’ll be seeing in the near future.
Even better, pneumatic parts are relatively inexpensive. They don’t need to be as replaced as often as pieces in hydraulic or electronic systems, due to the reliance on air pressure. You can replace them with ease, provided you know the model number and size. If you have a reliable supplier and have ordered from them on a regular basis, they will provide the parts at reasonable prices and not bankrupt you.
5) Low Maintenance
Besides lubricating a few moving parts and making sure that everything is nice and tight, you won’t have to do much in the way of maintenance as soon as you have all of your new pneumatic gear in place. Air circuits generally only lock up if they get moisture in them, so you probably won’t have to invest much time into troubleshooting either.
You may also need to do occasional filter replacement. Air is filled with various particles that we cannot see due to them being molecule-sized. They can include oil droplets, which would affect the air pressure and cylinder space. Much like how human arteries can suffer blood clots, airways in a pneumatic machine are rarely clogged.
Filter replacement is not a bad thing, because if your filters are catching sediment that would otherwise clog your machine, that means that they are working perfectly. Consider how your air-conditioning at home has filters for debris and grime we otherwise cannot see. Just as you are not breathing filthy air, your machine is not filling up with potentially irritating sediment.
6) Keeps Working through Momentary Power Outages
You may have operations that must run even through hurricane season, heavy monsoons, or blizzards in the winter. In the last case, the snow may even come months ahead of time and knock down the power lines. This can cause potential work and safety hazards, and you may encounter frustration when trying to complete assignments on time.
If you’re in an area where intermittent power failures are a way of life, then you can usually keep working through them if you’re using the pneumatic gear. While air compressors generally run on electricity, they store pressurized gas in a cylinder. Your equipment will keep on functioning as long as you still have at least some compressed air stored in the cylinder. You might not even realize that the power went out.
7) Great Power-to-Weight Ratio
In most cases, pneumatic tools produce more power in a smaller and lighter package compared to other technologies. This is especially true when comparing a pneumatic device against a similarly-sized electrical one. You need all the power that you can get, especially when working on a deadline.
As a result, pneumatic equipment tends to be ideal in situations where weight is at a premium. It shouldn’t be too difficult to carry around a compressor and your tools between job sites. You won’t have the liability of potentially injuring your employees as they transport the necessary equipment. They can complete assignments and not worry about their backs.
Small business owners who use their own truck or van can often fit all of their equipment in a single-vehicle. Most pieces should be light enough for one or two people to lift as well. So if you have a solo operation or a startup, then you won’t need to hire a company to transport the machines to the next location.
8) Quiet Operation
Plenty of people would probably be surprised to hear anyone call pneumatic systems quiet. However, they usually don’t make too many sounds in spite of the stereotypes. Air compressors generate quite a bit of noise when they’re running, but they’re completely silent when they’re off. In dental offices, drills and cleaning devices have a relatively low decibel level when they use pneumatic devices.
Noise pollution is a great concern in manufacturing. Excess sound can lead to damage and hearing failure in operators’ ears. These can lead to increased healthcare costs and a lower quality of life. For people with sensory issues, the sounds can also lead to overloads and isolate them.
Not to mention that the noise can cause disruptions in areas close to people and disturb animals enough to cause environmental hazards. Even plants are sensitive to sound, which means you may inadvertently create a wasteland if you don’t regulate your factory’s decibel level.
Other than the air compressors in pneumatics, there really aren’t many moving parts to irritate your ears. You won’t have to wear headphones or earplugs while operating. Reduced noise pollution also reduces hearing damage. If you’re running off a straight pneumatic cylinder, then you might not hear much of anything at all. Neither will anyone living in the vicinity of your manufacturing center.
With all these benefits, why not invest in a pneumatic machine? Switch from gears to air compressors, and see the wonders take off.
Taking Advantage of Pneumatic System Knowledge From SMC Pneumatics
It’s not difficult to realize these benefits in your company’s own workshops. SMC Pneumatics can hook you up with the kind of tools you need to completely revolutionize your business processes and get work done more efficiently. Our experts know exactly which parts you need and how you can get started with your machine.
Contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with a member of our experienced engineering teams who’ll work with you to find custom-tailored solutions that fit your needs. If you have any special needs that you’re concerned about, then let us know and we’ll get to work putting together unique solutions for your firm.