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How Are Pneumatic Actuators Used In Automation Applications?

DAS Services Inc.

The pneumatic actuator is used to control main engines. In pneumatic actuators, compressed air at high pressure is used. The compressed air will convert the energy into either rotary motion or linear motion. Pneumatic actuators work when compressed air is injected into the actuators to move the piston installed with them. With pneumatic actuators, achieving force to generate rotary or linear motion is easy.  

Pneumatic actuators can be used in difficult environments with high temperatures. Pneumatic actuators are lightweight and demand little maintenance. While comparing to electrical or hydraulic systems, pneumatic actuators generate less force and a slower speed. However, pneumatic actuators are reasonable than the electrical or hydraulic systems.  

How Do Pneumatic Actuators Work?

The basic components of the pneumatic system are a piston, wiper, cushion sleeve, cylinder barrel, piston rod, end cap, and seal. If it is a simple system, then the pneumatic actuator is operated with a button. You have to push the button to move the air outwards the piston rod. Pneumatic actuators use compressed air on the piston to create the desired motion. Two types of pneumatic actuators are there, which are a single acting pneumatic actuator and double acting pneumatic actuator. 

A single acting pneumatic actuator contains one port, where the air enters and exits the piston in one direction. After the operation, the piston will be returned to its earlier position by a spring. A single acting pneumatic actuator contains limited stroke length, so it remains the best fit for slower operations. 

The operating cost of the single acting pneumatic actuator is low, as it uses less air, which results in optimum effectiveness. A double acting pneumatic actuator contains two ports, where air enters in one port and exists in other port. Both the ports work in the opposite direction to each other. 

How Pneumatic Actuators are used in Automation Applications?

Pneumatic actuators need two to three piston stops, as it contains linear-stroke setups. Air cushions should be used to reduce the stop times of the pneumatic actuators. Pneumatic actuators with damping seals are a good option to use in the automation applications. You should choose the right pneumatic actuator according to the motion you need. Few limitations of the pneumatic actuators are lack of air consumption and total control on pneumatic operations. Even with these limitations, pneumatic actuators deliver moderate to high load. Different types of pneumatic actuators are used in different automation applications. 

Various Applications of Pneumatic Actuators 

The advanced pneumatic actuators contain wireless sensors and valve controls, which results in predictive maintenance functionality. Bladder actuators are another type of pneumatic actuators, which are used in constant-force motion and short stroke applications. The footed bladder pneumatic actuators are used in the application of automatic door seals. 

The inflatable pneumatic actuators are used in material handling applications. Round-line pneumatic actuators are used in lower-force applications. Pneumatic stretch actuators are used in the food and beverage industry. Compact pneumatic actuators are used in the automation machines, where space is a premium consideration. 

Understanding the types of pneumatic actuators and how they are used in automation applications would be easy if you complete reading the article.