Hydraulic and pneumatic systems share many benefits for the machines in which they are installed. These include:
Hydraulic and pneumatic systems are both widely used in stationary (industrial) and off-highway (mobile) equipment. Hydraulic systems are widely used when heavy force or torque is involved, such as lifting loads weighing several tons, crushing or pressing strong materials like rock and solid metal, and digging, lifting, and moving large amounts of earth. And although pneumatics is capable of transmitting high force and torque, it is more widely used for fast-moving, repetitive applications, such as pick-and-place operations, gripping, and repetitive gripping or stamping. In both cases, electronic controls and sensors have been implemented into fluid power systems for the last few decades. These electronics make hydraulic and pneumatic systems faster, more precise and efficient, more reliable, and allow them to be tied into statistical process control and other factory and mobile equipment control networks.
Off-highway equipment is probably the most common
application of hydraulics. Whether it’s construction, mining, agriculture, waste reduction, or utility equipment, hydraulics provides the power and control to tackle the task at hand and often to provide motive power to move equipment from place to place — especially when track drives are involved. Hydraulics is also widely used in heavy industrial equipment in factories, in marine and offshore equipment for lifting, bending, pressing, cutting, forming, and moving heavy work pieces. Following are case histories housed on websites of industry publications describing the use of hydraulics in a variety of applications:
Traction is King on Grape Harvester
Accumulators Beat Boom Bounce
Slipform Paver has all the Smarts
Hydraulics Gives Multi-Articulated Excavator Wide Range of Motions
Electrohydraulics Runs Giant Elephant
Spider-Man Musical Relies on the Power of Hydraulics to Control and Lift Stages and Platforms
Thrills are tops, thanks to hydraulics
Marine & Offshore:
Crab Boat Catches Huge Fuel Savings
Wave Energy Presents New Challenges
Waste & Recycling:
Hydraulics Make Refuse Truck Quick, Quiet, and Efficient
Compact Motors Keep Sweepers Simple
Other industries where hydraulics is advantageous:
Additional Hydraulic Applications
More Hydraulic Case Studies
Principles of Hydraulics Online Training
Factory automation is the largest sector for pneumatics technology, which is widely used for manipulating products in manufacturing, processing, and packaging operations. Pneumatics is also widely used in medical and food processing equipment. Pneumatics is typically thought of as pick-and-place technology, where pneumatic components work in concert to perform the same repetitive operation thousands of times per day. But pneumatics is much more. Because compressed air can have a cushioning effect, it is often called on to provide a gentler
touch than what hydraulics or electromechanical drives can usually provide. In many applications, pneumatics is used more for its ability to provide controlled pressing or squeezing as it is for fast and repetitive motion. Moreover, electronic controls can give pneumatic systems positioning accuracy comparable to that of hydraulic and electromechanical technologies.
Pneumatics is also widely used in chemical plants and refineries to actuate large valves. It’s used on mobile equipment for transmitting power where hydraulics or electromechanical drives are less practical or not as convenient and in on-highway trucking for various vehicle functions. And of course, vacuum is used for lifting and moving work pieces and products. In fact, combining multiple vacuum cups into a single assembly allows lifting large and heavy objects.
Following are case histories housed on websites of industry publications describing the use of pneumatics in a variety of applications:
Food & Beverage:
Pneumatics Ensures Food Processing Reliability
Pneumatics Moves Hard-to-handle Foods
Entertainment & Amusement Parks:
Theme park innovations rely on pneumatics
Terminator 2 3D: Pneumatics Inspires Awe Behind the Scenes
Pneumatic actuators add to E.T. excitement
Pneumatics: The Force Behind Virtual Reality
Bionic Kangaroo Brought to Life by Pneumatics
Other industries where pneumatics is advantageous:
Additional Pneumatic Applications
More Pneumatic Case Studies
Fundamentals of Pneumatics Online Training
Cost Reduction through
Through the use of case studies and illustrations, this guide explains how pneumatics automation could
reduce manufacturing costs with a minimum of investment and complexity.
Fluid power systems consist of multiple components that work together or in sequence to perform some action or work. People well versed in fluid power circuit and system design may purchase individual components and assemble them into a fluid power systems themselves. However, many fluid power systems are designed by distributors, consultants, and other fluid power professionals who may provide the system in whole or in part.
The major components of any fluid power system include:
Electronic sensors and switches are also incorporated into many of today’s fluid power systems to provide a means for electronic controls to monitor operation of components. Diagnostic instruments are also used for measuring pressure, temperature and flow in assessing the condition of the system and for troubleshooting.