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                                Hydraulics and pneumatics are often grouped together. However, each offers its own distinctive features. When selecting which application to use, it is critical to understand the differences between each system.

                                The main difference between pneumatics and hydraulics is the medium used to produce power. Hydraulics use liquid for power generation. Pneumatics uses air to transmit power. These two systems, while very different, do share some common links.

                                Pneumatics is a type of system that is air-operated, which allows it to function at a low pressure. Pneumatics can be used in industries where hydraulics can’t, such as food manufacturing or pharmaceutical industries. These are “clean systems” that are free of contamination, unlike a hydraulics system which is preferred in engineering industries.

                                A pneumatics system’s initial cost is less expensive and easier to maintain. In general, the upkeep of a pneumatic system is less complicated to maintain than a hydraulics system. Since air is an abundant resource, a pneumatic system can collect air right from the atmosphere.

                                Hydraulic systems tend to be larger and more complicated than pneumatic systems. Hydraulic systems use a higher force since movement is slower due to larger load handling capabilities. The opposite holds true for pneumatics where a lower force is used.

                                Hydraulics systems also contain fewer moving parts, which assists with maintenance. Installation is more complicated, but after the initial investment, the cost is lowered. One of the main differentiating factors around hydraulics is its high precision capabilities.

                                Each of these systems has its advantages and specialties. Hydraulics are more powerful and meticulous then pneumatic systems, but that doesn’t mean hydraulics is always the optimal choice. Pneumatics aren’t as powerful, but they are cleaner and faster. It’s important to understand the processes and limitations of each system when determining which is best suited for an operation.




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