Smart design can substantially reduce the energy consumption and operating costs for a pneumatic system. Last August, the heartland of U.S. manufacturing found itself in the dark as production ground to a halt. Much effort has since been spent on preventing a recurrence of the great 2003 Blackout. For many companies, this brought about a renewed focus on energy and associated costs related to pneumatics in manufacturing. For instance, one of the largest automobile manufacturers -- and thus a company that endures the high energy costs of compressing air -- has expressed an explicit desire to eliminate pneumatics from the vehicle assembly process within five years. The reason is the perceived energy savings from alternative technologies. If only solutions were that simple. In reality, there are too many cases where pneumatics provides the ideal means of motion control in manufacturing processes. These include applications that involve: Pneumatics also offers other advantages over competing motion and control technologies. For instance, pneumatic systems are self-cleaning and offer excellent corrosion resistance, making them reliable in tough environments and easy to maintain. They quickly compensate for changing loads, offer inherent overload protection, and intrinsic safety. Modern pneumatic control provides simple, direct, modular links to all standard fieldbus protocols, offer nonmarking and even noncontact material handling, and can store energy to compensate for lack of electrical power. They even offer multiple-position control via pneumatic servodrives. Given the critical role pneumatic systems play in many industries, the question then becomes: How can manufacturing companies reduce energy costs associated with compressing air? The answer lies in reviewing how different manufacturing processes use compressed air and taking advantage of designs that minimize energy consumption. Let's start with the basics. The pneumatic energy used to perform a task is a function of the pressure and volume. In typical pneumatic systems,
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Pneumatic tools are powered by the flow and pressure of a compressed gas. Typically, these handheld power tools use compressed air or compressed carbon dioxide that is stored in small canisters for portability.
Collision sensors are used to protect robots from colliding with other objects. Noncontact sensors are used to help robots avoid these collisions.
Technical Training Equipment
Technical training equipment is used to instruct technicians on the operation of vacuum, semiconductor fabrication, pneumatic, hydraulic, fluid process, electromechanical, energy power generation, automation, optics, physics, chemistry and thermodynamic systems.
Valve actuators mount on valves and, in response to a signal, move a valve to a desired position using an outside power source.
Electro-pneumatic transducers convert current or voltage input signals to proportional output pressures. They are used as process control elements in valves, pneumatic relays, and flow regulators for applications such as spray and damper control.
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