How smart pneumatics bring greater efficiency and productivity
In the current fourth industrial revolution, data is powering next-level productivity gains. In the second of our deep-dive articles on the future of pneumatics, API UK explores how smart pneumatics can bring about greater efficiency and output for manufacturers across the country. Read on to find out more about the benefits of smart pneumatic systems.
NEW ERA OF PNEUMATIC PERFORMANCE
Pneumatics already offer myriad benefits to manufacturers. For instance, pneumatic cylinders offer a durable, reliable, clean, repeatable and cost-effective method of generating high force and fast speeds of movement in linear motion control applications. No other technology comes close to providing such a dependable, “fit and forget” solution. Pneumatics keep on performing even in the most extreme temperatures and pressures.
For all their obvious benefits, the advantages of pneumatic systems have often been countered by claims that the cost of compressed air simply isn’t sustainable. The pneumatics industry has addressed such claims with increasingly efficient technology, with the latest development – smart pneumatics – set to provide a quantum leap forward in terms of productivity and efficiency. So what exactly is “smart pneumatics”?
THE IIOT AND SMART PNEUMATICS
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to a vast ecosystem of industrial devices fitted with low-cost sensors and connected to wireless networks to both gather and share data. This means that there is no shortage of devices that can now be connected, including pneumatic systems, to provide a huge amount of data that can effectively streamline manufacturing processes. This is where smart pneumatics comes in.
Smart pneumatics transforms comparatively low-tech components into smart pneumatic systems. Data is sent to PLCs and distributed across local networks to optimise processes in real-time – often without any human intervention whatsoever. For example, smart pneumatics modules can automatically shut off a compressed air supply when it becomes idle or switches to standby mode. These can quickly add up to major savings.
Real-time data insights about everything from leaks to flow, pressure and usage can also be gathered. When this data is harnessed effectively, manufacturers can enjoy greater productivity, less unscheduled downtime and lower energy costs. Even just a handful of data points can provide priceless insights, with actionable live alerts that enable manufacturers to analyse and address issues swiftly, saving time, money and energy.
MAXIMISING YOUR PNEUMATIC PERFORMANCE
These are certainly fascinating developments for the pneumatics industry. We believe that smart pneumatics can elevate what we already consider a superior form of automation technology to even greater levels of efficiency and productivity. We look forward to seeing where smart pneumatics takes us and rest assured that API UK will be here to support your business to squeeze every fraction of performance from your pneumatic cylinders and other pneumatic equipment.
To discuss your pneumatic requirements, speak with one of our technical experts here at API UK today. As trusted manufacturers of pneumatic equipment, we can help you to understand the full range of options available to you and guide you towards the best pneumatic system for your application. Call us today on 01782 206 995, email [email protected], or complete our contact form.