Ten tips to optimize pneumatic performance

Pneumatics is considered extremely simple, convenient, and flexible. With just a few tricks, engineers can save time and optimize system performance. Here are ten practical tips.


Pneumatics is considered extremely simple, convenient, and flexible. With just a few tricks, engineers can save time and optimize system performance. Here are ten practical tips:

1) Use the correct configuration: When planning energy efficiency in pneumatic systems, the right dimensioning plays the decisive role. When selecting the optimal cylinder and tubing diameter as well as suitable compressed air preparation, the online air consumption calculator provides valuable support.

A technician uses specialized sound detection equipment to locate compressed air leaks on a machine. A comprehensive Festo study showed the elimination of leaks at the machine level decreased energy consumption on average by 12%. Courtesy: Festo

2) Get customized pneumatic component packages online: With online tools such as product configurators, engineers can conveniently choose functions and create custom solution packages. They provide immediate access to product data, including CAD models, prices, and delivery times.

3) Use short tubing lengths: Long tubing, tubing connections, and returns cause loss of compressed air. Valves mounted on the cylinder prevent these losses. In addition, this decentralization shortens cylinder response times.

4) Use a needs-based degree of filtration for air preparation: A filter that is too fine decreases compressed airflow and leads to energy loss. On the other hand, a filter that is too coarse causes pneumatic components to wear faster due to larger particles.

5) Reduce installation effort with valve systems: Pneumatic solutions featuring multiple single valves are coupled with a high degree of effort. Combination into valve systems reduces assembly effort.

6) Provide intelligent connection to the control: Valve systems communicate via multipole, standard fieldbus systems, or Ethernet connections to the machine control. Feedback of diagnostic and sensor data expands machine function and reduces servicing requirements.

7) Ensure demand-based pressure: With insufficient pressure, machines are unable to reach optimal performance. On the other hand, excessive pressure wastes more energy than necessary. Manual or electropneumatic pressure regulators ensure optimal pressure.

8) Find the perfect level of cushioning: Individual cushioning adjustments in pneumatic cylinders often reduce system costs while extending service lives. Engineers can select smaller cylinders and shorten cycle times. This also lowers the noise level.

9) Get up-to-date information on machine safety: Pneumatics offers a wide variety of products for safe solutions that are in line with standards, such as in explosive environments and safety-relevant functions. The latest information is always available online.

10) Benefit from specialist knowledge and application expertise: Users who aren't consistently involved in laying out pneumatic systems effectively have to begin the learning process from scratch each time.

Franco Stephan is manager of product management for AVENTICS.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me