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Pneumatics, Pneumatics & More Pneumatics!

The wonderful world of pneumatics is one you’ll want to explore for all of your linear power transmission projects. Although alternatives such as hydraulics and electric work better in certain machine automation applications, pneumatics is often the preferred solution. This is particularly the case when lower upfront costs and reduced long-term maintenance are important, along with simplicity and reliability. That’s the good news.

The not so good news is that pneumatics can be somewhat complex and confusing due to the many options, products and accessories. But not to worry, AutomationDirect is here to help with expert application advice from our team of engineers and specialists delivered via a phone call, by perusing our award-winning web site, or by watching one of our entertaining and informative videos

Once you decide what pneumatic components you need to automate the linear motion in your machine automation application, rest assured you can find all the required parts and pieces on our web site or in our catalog. There’s no need to work with multiple suppliers and risk whether purchased products will work together. Instead, you can come to us for all your pneumatic project needs from design to procurement to support, and all at no charge!

Our Pneumatic eBook is a great place to start for both new and more advanced users. This recently updated eBook (Coming Soon!) provides a comprehensive guide to the use of pneumatics for machine automation and other applications. Twelve chapters encompassing 60 plus pages provide not only a solid introduction to pneumatics, but also the details required for design, selection and application.

From design basics to available products to systems in action—this practical guide helps inform new and experienced users alike. Handy diagrams, images and tables assists users in selecting the best pneumatics products and following preferred design practices, leading to successful installations.

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


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What is a Pneumatic System?

In machine automation a pneumatic system provides a simple and cost-effective means to move, clamp, rotate, grind and screw. A pneumatic system is a collection of interconnected components using compressed air to do work for automated equipment. Examples can be found in industrial manufacturing, a home garage or a dentist office. This work is produced…
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Is Tubing or Hose Best for Your Pneumatics Application?

Chip McDaniel, Technical Marketing at AutomationDirect wrote an article titled Tubing versus Hose in Pneumatic Systems for the February 2018 issue of Fluid Power World. The article looked at some of the differences between tubing and hose, and related fittings—and at best practices for design, selection and implementation of each. Tubing and hose play a…
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Pneumatic Cylinder Design Factors

Pneumatic systems are widely used for many reasons. They’re durable, clean, affordable, and fairly easy to install and maintain. They move loads in a variety of ways: pushing, pulling, lifting, lowering, and rotating. And they can handle widely varying payloads. While not ultra-precise in terms of positioning capabilities, they are accurate enough for countless applications….
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Combining Components in Pneumatic Systems Designs

Pneumatics have been used in industrial machines and manufacturing plants and facilities for decades, so most of the basic components are tried and true, with significant innovations few and far between. But there are many innovative ways to combine these different components to create pneumatic subsystems. The explains four pneumatic subsystems, showing how combining basic…
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Proper Air Preparation for Automated Machines

Available in many combinations, filters and regulators are a must-have on any machine. Other devices to perform functions such as energy isolation, lockout tagout and lubrication should also be considered. Chip McDaniel, technical marketer for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the January 2019 issue of Design World magazine, titled Proper Air Preparation for Automated Machines….
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Pneumatic System Design Considerations

Pneumatic systems as a whole can be simple, but this simplicity can be deceptive when it comes to selecting components. For instance, there are thousands of types, sizes, and variations of cylinders and valves, from off-the-shelf versions to custom designs. The sheer number of choices can be overwhelming, especially when options such as sensors are…
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Pneumatic Energy Efficiency | White Paper

As electricity bills continue to rise due to new government mandates, manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities are making reducing energy consumption a priority. No company can afford to waste money by using machines or processes that consume too much energy. Since pneumatic systems are ubiquitous throughout manufacturing and can consume a large share of a…
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Basic Pneumatic Circuits |White Paper

Pneumatics have been used in automated machines for well over 100 years, with pneumatic technology developing and evolving for over a thousand years in some form or another, for example as boat sails. There have been many innovations over the years, and the basic pneumatic components such as valves, solenoids, cylinders, hoses and fittings are…
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Pick the Right Solenoid Valve

To control pneumatic cylinders and actuators with fluid power, air flow must be reliably controlled, typically with a solenoid valve. Pat Phillips, Product Manager, Fluid Power & Mechanical Products at AutomationDirect, wrote an article titled There’s a Valve for That, which ran in the November-December 2017 issue of IEN magazine. In the article, he discussed…
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The Simplicity of Pneumatics

Just like electricity, natural gas and water, compressed air is often a required utility in manufacturing facilities. Although compressed air is a bit more expensive compared to electricity for industrial machinery applications, it has other advantages and is thus frequently used to drive mechanical motion. Simplicity of Pneumatics Chip McDaniel, Technical Marketing Engineer at AutomationDirect,…

This eBook is for users who wish to advance their pneumatic knowledge. It covers a wide range of topics such as circuit symbols, component capability, integrating pneumatics with controls as well as improving pneumatic efficiency


Calculating Air Consumption

Check out this handy air consumption calculator that will tell you the SCFM that will be consumed. Enter your bore size, stroke length, cycles per minute and inlet pressure to get started.

Understanding Circuit Symbols

Directional air control valves are the building blocks of pneumatic control.

Determining Thread Sizes

Threaded fittings are used extensively to facilitate the connection of components, tubing and hose that make up all pneumatic systems. The different thread types and sizes can be confusing.