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What are Pneumatic Controls and How are they Used?

Posted by SMC Pneumatics USA- Orange Coast Pneumatics on 4/15/2019 to Pneumatics
What are Pneumatic Controls and How are they Used?

Have you ever been so frustrated with a piece of machinery that you’re convinced it has a mind of its own? You might have been trying to repair a computer or smartphone that continued to behave in an unexpected way. Perhaps you’ve tried to install a relighting kit, only to find that your favored antique lamp only seems to turn on when you want it to.

Imagine a world where everything was like that. It’s probably not a very comfortable thought to have. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about unexpected behavior nearly as much when working with reliable pneumatic equipment. After all, pneumatic controls have your back.

Unlike electronic controls, pneumatic ones use air as a control medium when they want to stop or change the flow. You can find an alternative compressed air-driven control to use in any circumstance where you might have otherwise used an electronic one. Consider all of the following options:

  • Pressure controls either raise or lower the level of pressure in an airline, so operators can respond to changing conditions.
  • Pneumatic thermostats perform much the same function as traditional ones do, albeit with compressed air instead of electrical wiring.
  • Sensing probes can determine air pressure in a system.
  • Pneumatic damper actuators offer proportional control of any dampers they’re connected to in either sequenced operation or independently of one another.
  • Pneumatic switches and valves can turn parts of an air circuit on or off as conditions dictate, much in the same way that electronic switches are used to power devices on or off.

If you already know which of these devices you’re looking for, then SMC Pneumatics more than likely already has what you need in stock. Our experts have compiled a rundown of options currently on the market.

What Types of Pneumatic Controls are Available

In an overwhelming majority of installations, you’ll see the above types of devices. They’re the most common types of pneumatic controls on the market at the moment. Some devices continue to enjoy a small share, however, in spite of the fact that they’ve technically gone obsolete in the light of new engineering developments.

For instance, some types of PDT series valve controller are now no longer manufactured. Those workshops that currently use it can get in touch with SMC for the latest version. Perhaps the best example of a newer device pushing out the old is the ITV2090 series electro-pneumatic regulator.

These devices serve as electronic vacuum regulators that control either air pressure or a lack there of steplessly in proportion to an electric signal that they’re given. They’re relatively lightweight and come complete with a bright and easy-to-read LED screen.

Monitor outputs for these devices are available either as switched systems or traditional analog output. This makes them attractive for any number of different types of installs regardless of use case. Craft technologists have found countless ways to employ them.

Nevertheless, there are some best practices to observe as well as a number of safety standards that you won’t want to exceed.

What’s the Best Way to Use Pneumatic Controls

Assume you were going to use one of these regulators. They aren’t supposed to operate outside of a pressure range of -1.3 to -80 kPa and are only meant to be used with ¼-sized ports. While these numbers are generous enough to meet the needs of most businesses, you will want to carefully observe them so you don’t risk causing any damage to your equipment.

Fortunately, it shouldn’t be difficult to abide by these requirements. Consider the fact that a mounting bracket is an available option, too. This makes it easy to keep the unit more than stable enough to use it in areas where movement is an issue or where things might get jarred loose periodically.

Mounting brackets should normally be more than enough to keep pneumatic controls stable. Best of all, the ITV series of regulator is IP65 equivalent. That means you can safely employ it in situations where NEMA figures are an important consideration. Most people won’t have to worry about this, but it’s important to think about when deploying equipment in any kind of workshop that has to contend with less than ideal conditions.

It’s also important to keep in mind when your business has to comply with specific federal, state or local regulations. Safety is always an important consideration, so pay extra attention to NEMA numbers when selecting pneumatic controls. If you’re unsure of what kind of equipment you might need for a specific situation, then make sure to get in touch with one of our professionals.

There’s no reason that you should have to feel like you need to make these kinds of decisions while staying completely in the dark. This type of consideration is far too important to decide on without getting together all the information you can find.

Ordering the Pneumatic Controls Your Company Needs

While parts come in standard sizes, businesses don’t. The needs of larger enterprise-level firms aren’t the same as those of smaller local companies, yet many hardware vendors treat them as such. SMC Pneumatics makes sure to stock a wide variety of parts so we can always be sure that we have a number of sizes and configurations to suit the needs of your individual business. Contact us online today and speak with one of our experienced experts. They’ll help you find controls that meet your workshop’s budget and requirements.

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