The Electric Vs Pneumatic Debate

The electric vs. pneumatic debate

Nov. 15, 2023
Engineers are increasingly turning to electric systems in the quest for dependable accuracy

Electric multi-axis motion control systems by Norgren, a supplier of industrial pneumatic and electric motion control technologies, can handle distances ranging from 20 millimeters to 60 meters, offering flexibility for various applications.

In a recent episode of Automation World’s "Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered" podcast series, Anthony Leo from Norgren discussed the nuances between electric and pneumatic multi-axis motion control, offering insights crucial for controls engineers involved in building machinery for factories or plants.

Leo emphasized that multi-axis motion control, essential for tasks in a 3D plane like robotic pick and place or 3D printing, can be achieved through electric or pneumatic systems. Electric systems, akin to an etch-a-sketch, provide precision control, are easier to set up due to the absence of compressed air infrastructure, and demand less maintenance compared to pneumatic solutions. Weight and distance considerations are critical, with Leo stressing the need to appropriately size actuators based on calculations involving moment of inertia, especially when dealing with offset loads or pushing/pulling applications.

To learn more about the differences between electric and pneumatic motion control, read this article from Automation World.