You’ve just picked up your first pneumatic device and are eager to put it to use. Though it can be as simple as snapping a fitting into your hose and filling the compressor, your pneumatic device may take some precaution before tackling the job.
Pneumatic systems and Gast motors are some of the safest and reliable power sources for almost any job, but there are some things that cannot be overlooked.
Keep reading to discover some of the decisions you will need to make before purchasing your pneumatic device and what you will need to do in order to operate efficiently and safely.
Old Air New Tricks
It is likely you have used or even owned some type of air powered tool. As simple a principal as the common battery, pneumatics use compressed air as potential energy.
The principal is simple: air is compressed and likely stored by way of an electric motor and properly rated tank.
When put to use, this air is forced through lines and hoses, connected by fittings, and directed into turbine wheels, valves, spools, or pistons in order to produce a linear or rotary motion. This creates continuous working of the pneumatic device.
The harnessing of air has set in motion trains, torpedos, and cars. However, the most useful has proven to be the application of Gast motors in hand-held power tools.
To name a few, drills, saws, sanders, along with other one-off, job-specific tools have all proven to increase efficiency, drastically saving you time and energy. This ultimately means higher profit yields as jobs can be accomplished quickly using fewer resources.
Pneumatic systems use high-quality materials in their construction. Most are completely ready to use out of the box and require only some oiling to keep functions smooth. A good pneumatic device can seem a little pricey, however, investing in pneumatic systems pays for itself ten-fold. Your body, (and wallet) will thank you!
As with everything in the world, technology in the field of pneumatics has grown significantly. From ergonomics and user-friendliness to optimization of air and increases in power, pneumatics has solidified itself in just about every industry and household.
Your Job-Specific Pneumatic Device
Whether you are planning to incorporate pneumatic systems into your shop, or you just need an air powered drill for your project, you need the right set up that will handle the tasks you throw at it and work as it should.
The best pneumatic drill in your arsenal is only as good the compressor, tank, lines, and fittings behind it. If you are choosing to invest in air power, take some to think about the projects you may be taking on in the future.
It all starts with your tanks capacity. As you might guess, a bigger tank means more air to be used to operate your tools. It also means that you can run more lines, longer lines, more places, and operate more tools, bigger tools, for longer amounts of time.
Larger compressor motors often run on a 220-volt wall plug. Meaning, you must have 220 volts ran to the location you plan on putting your compressor. Many garages have a 220 outlet installed for this reason, or for welders or a washer/drier.
If you are going to be using a more mobile 110-volt compressor, you will be able to use a common 110-volt plug found in all standard homes. Just make sure you comply with your local laws and regulation to keep you and yours safe.
Mobile VS Stationary
A professional body shop and weekend warrior may use the same tool, but the power backing that tool may be very different. Compressors and tanks come both mobile and stationary. For a mobile tank, you will want to have a hose long enough for your application but feasible to carry along with your mobile compressor.
Now a stationary tank will require you to be a little more thoughtful in your shop layout. First, you will need to decide where you want your tank to be placed. Compressor motors can be noisy and will require the proper measures to be taken when placing your stationary tank in accordance with its installation requirements.
Another factor to be considered when placing a fixed unit is where you will be connecting lines and reels. often times, you will need to route lines to an accessible location where a quick-connect fitting can be installed, or a reel can be mounted.
A reel is one of the most effective ways to provide air anywhere you need it without tangles and hassles.
Depending on your tanks size and specifications, you can mount multiple reels that feed on the same tank. Multiple operations can then be performed seamlessly. Do note that the number of reels, hoses, and tools used must comply with the limitations of your compressor.
Using your Air
Now that you’ve got all the air you need right where you need it, its time to connect and get to work. With a compressor full of air, using your air tools can be as easy as pulling down a reel and plugging in.
Pneumatic devices can be some of the strongest work-horses in the box and can take on almost any environment. After all, it’s just compressed air pushing things around! Though a pneumatic device is a tough piece of equipment, you should take care of maintaining it so that it runs its best.
Oils are often applied to the moving parts and pistons of some pneumatic tools. Doing this on a regular basis in accordance with the manufacturers servicing guide will reduce wear and let you run your tool for its entire expected life.
Another factor to consider when operating your tools is condensation. Now, this can happen from temperature changes in the tank itself and trace water through the lines and into your tool.
Though water isn’t immediately destructive, its presence in a machine can cause corrosion and rust and holds on to potential toxins that clog airways.
Pneumatics Work for you
Harnessing air itself to be put to work has proven to be one of the best ways we can work more efficiently. With so many option and variations, pneumatics can give you leverage in various places.
There is no shortage of power behind pneumatic systems. Keep work flowing and tackle any project, just ensure safety is observed at all times. Hearing protection and eye protection is almost always mandatory. Use proper protection against potential mistakes to keep you running your pneumatic devices forever.
For more great tips and resources about tools, compressors, and hydraulic systems, check out our blog!