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Practical Guide to Pneumatics eBook

Learn the ins and outs of PLCs with a variety of articles from AutomationDirect such as “What is a PLC?” to more complex topics involving ladder logic. There’s something from the beginner to the expert. Don’t forget to download our eBook to dive even deeper into the topic. Click to learn more.

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Energy Efficient Pneumatic Systems

Reducing energy consumption is a priority in almost every manufacturing plant and industrial facility, as no company can afford to throw money away using machines and processes that waste energy. Because pneumatic systems are abundant throughout manufacturing and account for a large share of a plant’s power costs, it is extremely important that they run…
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Pneumatic Circuit Symbols Explained

Directional air control valves are the building blocks of pneumatic control. Pneumatic circuit symbols representing these valves provide detailed information about the valve they represent. Symbols show the methods of actuation, the number of positions, the flow paths and the number of ports. Here is a brief breakdown of how to read a symbol.
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Valves for Pneumatic Cylinders | Actuators

In the pneumatic world, valves are the equivalent of relays controlling the flow of electricity in automation systems. Instead of distributing electric power to motors, drives and other devices, pneumatic valves distribute air to cylinders, actuators and nozzles. Valve Activation Pneumatic valves, also called directional control valves, are activated in a variety of ways including…
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Pneumatic Application Stories

Want some examples of what people are doing with pneumatics? You’re in luck, we have a full collection of Application Stories here. For your convenience we took the time to list some of our favorites. You can see a preview below and then pick the ones that look the most interesting to you. Just remember that…
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Pneumatic Actuator (Air Cylinder) Basics

There are thousands of industrial applications that require a linear motion during their operation sequence. One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to accomplish this is with a pneumatic actuator. Pneumatic actuators are also very clean operating because the operating fluid is a gas, which prevents leakage from dripping and contaminating the surroundings.
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Electro-pneumatic Systems in Action

In order to perform a task using pneumatics, there needs to be some way to initiate, monitor, and stop the process. This is where a simple pneumatic system becomes electro-pneumatic. Electro-pneumatic systems integrate pneumatic and electrical technologies into one system where the signal/control medium is electrical and the working medium is compressed air. In this…
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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. But compared to electricity, compressed air is more expensive, so why is it so widely used to drive factory automation systems?
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How to Specify Pneumatic Tubing & Fittings

In today’s modern pneumatic systems, there are a variety of choices available to get the air preparation systems, valves and cylinders connected. Most designers use flexible pneumatic tubing or hose rather than rigid tubing, and many different types of both are available. Fittings offer many choices as well to meet the needs of a wide…
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Are Pneumatic Components Compatible?

The industrial pneumatics market is fairly mature. While there continues to be new developments and technologies, many of the tried and true core products have been around for years. One advantage that this can offer to both system designers and end users is often having several brands of pneumatic components that are interchangeable with each…
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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 Actuator vs. Electromechanical

In materials handling and assembly there are many ways to move an item from one location to another. Conveyors are one way and are widely used, but they can only move objects in a fixed path, limiting their use in more precise manufacturing applications. When more accuracy is required than a conveyor can deliver, such…
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Understanding Pneumatic Air Preparation

A steady supply of clean and dry air is required to protect all the pneumatic components in machines, equipment and processes and to ensure their proper operation. While controlling mechanical motion with pneumatics—such as clamping, positioning, pushing and lifting—is often the focus, clean and dry air with enough flow to provide the required pressure must…