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Old Reliable Just Got a Little Smarter

When we think of pneumatics we think of simple, reliable, easy to troubleshoot, easy to fix, and just all-around something that always gets the job done and always works.

It is no wonder why either since in manufacturing facilities, compressed air is so widely used that it is often regarded as the fourth utility after electricity, natural gas, and water. Most facilities have a plant air supply so connecting a machine to a compressed air supply is easier than running an electrical drop,  especially since no electrician is required and oftentimes no permit is needed.

We also tend to think of pneumatics as older technology. Assuming nothing is ever going to change and it’s always going to be the same thing 10, 20, or 50 years from now. Which is a good thing as it is rarely something that will scare off an experienced technician. We view pneumatics as an unintelligent technology that is the workhorse of our facilities.

However, technology never stands still and neither does progress with pneumatics. Some newer technology now available for pneumatic components has added intelligence in the form of EtherNet/IP communication on modular valve banks, as well as electro-pneumatic systems that include modular valve banks and modular electrical I/O in the same unit. These units make design quick and simple. Diagnostics are also improved since a PLC or other high-level device can monitor for equipment faults and machine failures. With these advances, your maintenance staff can be working on upgrades or proactive maintenance instead of taking time to repair failed components that cause downtime.

If you are curious about pneumatic control integrated with newer technology, AutomationDirect is here to help. Our technical support team is reachable via phone and email. You can also learn by perusing our award-winning website, or by watching one of our entertaining and informative videos. AutomationDirect has a large portfolio of pneumatic components, at great prices, and stocked at our local warehouses.

Check out the content below for even more pneumatic technology info, and feel free to give us a call with any questions!

Why Use Pneumatics?

In manufacturing facilities, compressed air is so widely used that it is often regarded as the fourth utility after electricity, natural gas and water. Read More –>

Safety Components on Guard |White Paper

Protecting operators from the safety hazards introduced by automated machines and robotic equipment demands an understanding of both the appropriate safety guarding level and the machine safety components needed to get the job done. Download our free White Paper to learn more!

Rodless Cylinders Provide a Compact Pneumatic Linear Motion Option

Rodless cylinders are an ideal way to apply pneumatic linear motion for equipment. Read More Now –>

Upcycling with Automation

An innovator found a way to upcycle bottle caps into extraordinary products, an activity that also helps support local children’s charities. By applying practical AutomationDirect devices and components, he has efficiently scaled up production. Read More Now –>

Is Tubing or Hose Best for Your Pneumatics Project?

Tubing and hose play a big part in the final connections to pneumatic devices on a machine, and sometimes between machines. Which one is used where affects what type of fittings are needed, and other pneumatic system components. Read More Now –>

How to Replace your Cylinder with an AutomationDirect Air Cylinder

AutomationDirect offers most styles and sizes of air cylinders to easily replace whatever you may have on your equipment. This video will help you to select a pneumatic cylinder. Watch Now –>

Upgrading Pneumatic Machinery with IIoT

OEMs making pneumatic machinery are delivering greater value to their end users by integrating smart solenoid manifolds and cloud-capable PLCs. Read More –>

Solenoid Valve Banks Provide Machine Automation Options

Networked electro-pneumatic solenoid banks can be distributed on machines for better control and more efficient installations. Read More –>

PAL Controller Configurator

Design and choose your PAL system with our PAL controller selectors! Start Now –>

Nitra PAL Integration with DoMore PLC

In this video, we will give an overview of the DoMore example program to integrate a PAL system. Watch Now –>

Pneumatics eBook

Download our Pneumatics ebook for free today! Chapters include circuit symbols, air cylinder basics, system design considerations, and more! Download Now –>

Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Pneumatics are often the best fit for executing mechanical motion in a reliable, simple, and cost-effective manner. Read More –>

Understanding Pneumatic Valve Ports and Ways

Valve Ports and Ways explained so you can find the right valve for your application. Watch Now –>

Pneumatic Fitting Tips

Properly identifying pneumatic fitting and component sizes, especially on older equipment, is easier with these tips. Read More Now –>

Pneumatic Circuit Symbols Explained

Learn all about circuit symbols and their meanings with this article! Read More Now –>