How are Pneumatics Used in the Food Industry?

Food industry manufacturers are faced with more challenges than most. Perishable goods need to be processed and packaged quickly. Consumables need to be processed and handled in sanitary conditions. While processing plants need to be fully equipped to turn out products quickly and at scale. The emergence of stainless steel pneumatics in the food industry has made many of these day-to-day tasks that much easier, as API UK explains.

The pneumatics in food industry applications are the unsung heroes of countless automated processes. From cutting to mixing, dispensing and processing, pneumatic components make many repetitive processes function smoothly, with minimal human intervention. Let’s take a detailed look at why pneumatic systems in the food industry have become indispensable across various areas of the production process.  


Food and beverage manufacturers have numerous requirements that they need to juggle when bringing products to market. Of course, processing equipment needs to be efficient, reliable and cost-effective, as per normal. But it also needs to be hygienic and capable of handling challenging processing applications without contaminating or spoiling end products destined for human consumption. And that’s not all, either.

Many food and beverage applications are subject to regular washdowns. Not only do CIP/SIP processes routinely involve the use of abrasive chemicals, but they also require high temperatures to achieve the desired effect. Allied with the extremely low temperatures needed for safe food storage and production environments and processing components that must be optimised to handle temperature extremes.

Given these demanding parameters and the need for durable, safe, flexible and proven technology, pneumatic equipment is the obvious choice. Pneumatics, and pneumatic cylinders, in particular, deliver a superior power-to-cost ratio compared to electric drives. They excel at delivering linear, rotary and even 3D motion for fast, precise, repetitive tasks and dependable pneumatic conveying of products.


Given the versatility of pneumatic equipment, countless food and beverage applications harness its power. The following are just some of the areas you will see pneumatics in the food industry:


If you thought your favourite foods were chopped by hand, think again! Compressed air-driven tools, such as knives and rotary blades, undertake all sorts of cutting, slicing, dicing and grating tasks quickly and efficiently.


Food processing requires a whole range of powders, liquids and grains to be moved through pipework. This is achieved using a combination of vacuum pressure and finely calibrated valves for dispensing ingredients.


Again, rather than relying on humans to mix products, food manufacturers rely on pneumatics. Pneumatic mixers utilise air bubbles created by high-velocity compressed air to agitate, aerate and mix materials.


Pneumatic presses are essential pieces of equipment for the food industry. They typically rely on a pneumatic actuator to carry out various actions, such as mincing, pulping and shaping products like bread and cheese.


Compressed air is ideal for manufacturing, cleaning, filling and sealing packaging. It also plays a vital role in conveying and packing products using vacuum cups, grippers and conveyors.


The gold standard for pneumatics in the food industry continues to be stainless steel equipment. API UK has long since understood the specific sanitary requirements of the industry, and we are proud to be one of the few manufacturers to offer AISI 316 stainless steel pneumatic cylindersvalves and airline equipment. As such, we provide a one-stop shop for all the key components of pneumatic systems in food industry applications.

Stainless steel pneumatics in the food industry offer the following benefits:

  • Hygiene – Stainless steel resists the growth of bacteria and is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Corrosion Resistance – Excellent corrosion resistance to most acids and alkaline solutions. 
  • Temperature Resistance – Exceptional resistance at cryogenic and high temperatures.
  • Strength – Thinner and lighter products offer as much tensile strength as other metals.
  • Industry Lifecycle – More cost-effective in a lifecycle cost comparison with other materials.

API UK provides a wide range of durable and hygienic products for pneumatic systems in the food industry. We provide high-quality stainless steel cylinders, valves and airline equipment that deliver a reliable, hygienic and durable solution for food and beverage manufacturers. 

Our range of corrosion-resistant pneumatic components eliminates the contamination of consumable products, cleans easily, withstands aggressive CIP/SIP chemical washdowns, and performs optimally over an extended service life – even in extreme temperatures.  

To discuss your requirements for pneumatics in the food industry or to arrange a free on-site visit, speak with our technical team today. As expert manufacturers of high-performance, food-grade pneumatic components, we can help you understand the full range of options available and guide you towards the best system solution. So call us today on 01782 206 995, email [email protected], or complete our contact form.