So how does pressure affect the cost of a compressed air system, and what are our strategies to manage pressure so that it doesn’t manage us?
Why is pressure important? Pressure is one of the primary variables for determining how compressed air does work. Force = Area x Pressure, and so in any compressed air application, where force is required, the pressure becomes critical in achieving the correct force, whether it be pushing, pulling, opening, closing, lifting, punching, or stamping. If you change the pressure you change the force. Therefore, we determine the pressure we need in a system so that we allow for the force the job requires given the available type of “area”, being a linear or rotary actuator, for example. If we supply too low of a pressure, then we do not create enough force to do our job.
Many production machines have low pressure alarms that will shut machines down when the pressure falls below the minimum threshold for operation, and many processes suffer from poor repeatability due to fluctuating pressure.