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Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems

In pneumatic and hydraulic systems, there are two commonly used kinds of fluid power circuits. This includes using either compressed air or a hydraulic fluid as the operating media. Although both power circuits are used to accomplish relatively similar outcomes, they do have their distinct character differences.

A pneumatic system tends to run quietly when compared to their hydraulic counterpart. In pneumatic systems, the air compressor is installed at a separate area from the machine. Being a standalone unit, the air compressor can be put inside a noise-reducing enclosure.

A pneumatic system is consistently clean. The cleanliness is a result of using atmospheric air for the force transmitter. A hydraulic system is not nearly as clean.

The cost of pneumatics is normally less expensive than hydraulics, but that is only when looking at the initial purchase of a machine/system. Over the course of the machine's life, it will end up costing the user two to six times more money. This is because air motors are very expensive to operate.

Using pneumatic systems is easy compared to using hydraulics. Hydraulic systems tend to be more complex, so employees must have more thorough training. Pneumatic counters and pneumatic valves are easy to read and adjust.