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The majority of pneumatic systems using compressed air as
the working medium. The compressor compresses the atmospheric air
into the compressed air and supplies the necessary quantity of air
with required pressure. Before the compressed air is being supplied to
other circuit components, it should be conditioned so as to achieve
better and safe operations. For this purpose, fluid conditioners such as
filters, regulators, lubricators, mufflers and air dryers are used.
Components of pneumatic system:
1. Compressor 5. Actuators
2. Air tank 6. Fluid conditioners
3. Prime mover 7. Piping
4. Control valves
Air Compressor:
It is a device used to compress air from a low inlet pressure to
higher desired pressure. The pressure of the air is increased by
decreasing the volume as per law of perfect gas.
Types of Compressor:
1. Positive displacement type
a. Reciprocating Compressor
1. Piston type Compressor
2. Diaphragm type Compressor
3. Labyrinth Compressor
b. Rotary Type Compressor
1. Screw Compressor
2. Vane Compressor
3. Lobe Compressor
4. Liquid ring Compressor
5. Gear Compressor
2. Dynamic Type
a. Radial Flow Compressor
b. Axial Flow Compressor
Piston Type Reciprocating Compressor:
Piston compressors are the most commonly used compressors
in the fluid power industry. The construction and working of a piston-
type reciprocating compressor is very much similar to that of an
internal combustion (IC) engine. It consists of a cylinder, cylinder
head, piston with piston rings, inlet and outlet valves, connecting rod,
crank, crankshaft, bearings, etc. The arrangement of a basic single
cylinder compressor is illustrated in Figure.
First a prime mover, mostly an electric motor, is used to drive the
compressor unit. The electric motor supplies the rotary motion to the
crank shaft, which in turn converted into reciprocating motion of
piston through the crank and connecting rod arrangement.
Inlet stroke: During the downward motion of the piston the pressure
inside the cylinder falls below the atmospheric pressure and the inlet
valve is opened due to the pressure difference. The air is drawn into
the cylinder until the piston reaches the bottom of the stroke.
Outlet stroke: As the piston starts moving upwards the inlet valve is
close, and the pressure starts increasing continuously until the
pressure inside the cylinder is above the pressure of the delivery side
which is connected to the receiver. Then the outlet valve opens and
air is delivered during the remaining upward motion of the piston to
the receiver.
1. Piston type compressors are available in wide range of
capacity and pressure.
2. The overall efficiency of piston compressors is high when
compared to other compressors.
3. Very high air pressure and air volume flow rate can be
obtained by using the multistage compressors.
4. Better mechanical balance can be achieved with multi-stage
Screw Compressor:
Screw compressors are used in many applications where medium
pressures < 10 bar and medium volumes of air (up to 5000 m 3/hr) are
required. The construction and operation of a screw compressor is
very similar to a hydraulic screw pump. A typical screw lobe
compressor having unsymmetrical profile of screw rotors is show in
Figure. It consists of two screws--one with convex and the other with
concave contour, generally called male and female rotor respectively.
Also a minimal clearance is maintained between the two
intermeshing rotating screws.

As the screws rotate, air is sucked into the housing through the inlet
port. The sucked air is trapped between the screws and carried along
to the outlet port.
1. Simplicity.
2. Fewer moving parts rotating at a constant speed.
3. Steady delivery of air without pressure pulses.

Rotary Vane Compressor:

The rotary vane type compressors are used in applications
where low-pressure and low volume is needed. For example, they are
used for instrument and other laboratory-type air needs.

The construction and operation of a rotary vane compressor is very

much similar to a hydraulic vane pump. A typical sliding-vane-type
rotary compressor is shown Figure. It consists of a rotor located
eccentrically in a cylindrical outer casing. The rotor carries a set of
spring-loaded vanes in the slots of the rotor. The air at atmospheric
pressure is entrapped between two vanes. As the rotor rotates, the
entrapped air is compressed between the vanes and then discharged
through a port to the receiver.
1. Rotary vane compressors are pulse free and therefore can be
used without a receiver if needed.
2. They are smaller in size and lighter in weight.
3. They can work at high speed.
Graphical Symbols of Compressor:

Fluid Conditioners:
The atmospheric air that is compressed in the compressor is
obviously not clean because the atmospheric air contains many
contaminants such as smoke, dirt, water vapor, etc. This
contaminated air may lead to excessive wear and failure of pneumatic
components. The system performance and accuracy depend mainly
on the supply of clean, dry and contamination-free compressed air.
Therefore fluid conditioners are used to condition the compressed air
before leaving into various pneumatic components.
Elements of Fluid Conditioners:
1. Filters, 2. Regulators 3. Lubricators
4. Mufflers 5. Air dryers.
In these, the first three units together are called FRL (Filter-
Regulator-Lubricator) unit or service unit

Air Filter:
The function of air filters is to remove all foreign matter and
allow dry, clean air to flow without restriction to the regulator and
then on to the lubricator. Filters are available in wide ranges starting
from a fine mesh wire cloth (which only strains out heavier foreign
particles) to elements made of synthetic materials (which are
designed to remove very small particles), Usually in-line filter
elements can remove contaminants in the 5 to 50 µm range.

It consists of the filter cartridge, deflector, plastic bowl, baffle, water

drain valves etc. The air to be filtered is allowed downward with a
swirling motion that forces the moisture and the heavier particles to
fall down. The deflector used in the filter mechanically separates the
contaminants before they pass through the cartridge filter. The filter
cartridge provides a random zigzag passage for the air flow. This type
of air flow arrests the solid particles in the cartridge passage. The
water vapor gets condensed inside the filter and is collected at the
bottom of the filter bowl. Also heavier foreign particles that are
separated from the air are collected at the bottom of the bowl. Then
the accumulated water and other solid particles at the bottom of the
filter bowl are drained off with the use of an on-off drain valve
located at the bottom of the filter bowl.

Air pressure Regulator:

The function of the air pressure regulator is to regulate the
pressure of the incoming compressed air so as to achieve the desired
air pressure at a steady condition. The compressed air leaving the
compressor should be properly prepared before it goes into the
circuit. The air should have the proper operating pressure for the
circuit. Improper fluctuating pressure level in the piping system can
adversely affect the operating characteristics of the system
components such as valves, cylinders, etc. Therefore, air pressure
regulators are fitted to ensure the constant supply pressure
irrespective of the pressure fluctuations in the compressor unit. For
example, the line from the compressor may carry a pressure of l0 bar,
the air pressure regulator can reduce this pressure to 0 bar to any
point between the full line pressure and zero pressure. Thus the air
pressure regulators act as pressure guards by preventing pressure
surges or drops from entering the air circuits .
1. Diaphragm-type regulator
2. Piston-type regulator.
The construction and operation of a typical diaphragm-type air
pressure regulator is illustrated in Figure.

It consists of diaphragm, valve, main and dampening springs. Usually

the diaphragm is made of oil resistance synthetic rubber with a nylon
cloth reinforcements. The diaphragm allows the proper amount of
movement for opening and closing at the valve seat. When the
adjusting screw is in the fully retracted position, the valve is closed.
When the adjusting screw is turned to compress the adjusting and
dampening springs, the valve is opened. Thus the air is allowed from
inlet port to the outlet port. The pressure of the outlet air depends
upon the size of the valve opening that is maintained. This is
determined by the compression of the adjustable spring. Higher the
spring compression, more will be the amount of opening and hence
more the pressure and vice versa. The vent-holes are provided to let
out the undesirable excessive outlet pressure, if any, into the
atmosphere. The dampening spring is provided to act as a dampening
device needed to stabilize the pressure.

Air Lubricator:
The function of an air lubricator is to add a controlled amount
of oil with air to ensure proper lubrication of internal moving parts of
pneumatic components. The lubricator adds the lubrication oil in the
form of a fine mist to reduce the friction and wear of the moving
parts of pneumatic components such as valves, packing used in air
cylinders, etc. At the same time excessive lubrication is also
undesirable. Excessive lubrication may result (i) malfunction
components, (ii) increased environmental problems, and (iii) seizing
of components after prolonged downtime. Generally a good-quality,
light-grade spindle oil is used in pneumatic systems. Sometimes, a
mixture of 50% kerosene and 50% SAE 30 oil is also used as

The construction and operation of a typical force-feed type air

lubricator is illustrated in Figure. Its operation is similar to the
principle of simple carburetor used in the petrol engines to obtain air-
fuel mixture. As the air to be lubricated enters into the inlet pipe, the
venturi ring located in the pipe increases its velocity of low. It causes
a local reduction in the upper chamber. This pressure differential
between upper and lower chambers causes suction of lubrication oil
from the oil reservoir to the upper chamber. Now the oil in the form
of mist is sprayed in the air stream and the air-oil mixture is obtained.
This air-oil mixture is forced to swirl as it leaves the central cylinder
causing more oil particles to be spread out of the air stream. The
amount of oil dropping into the upper chamber can be controlled by a
needle valve.
FRL Unit:
In most pneumatic systems, the compressed air is first filtered
and then regulated to the specific pressure and made to pass through a
lubricator for lubricating the oil. Thus usually a filter, regulator, and
lubricator are placed in the inlet line to each air circuit. These may be
installed as separate units, but more often they are used in the form of
a combined unit. The combination of filter, regular, and lubricator is
often labeled as FRL unit or service unit.

Mufflers or Silencers: The function of muffler (also known as

pneumatic exhaust silencer) is to control the noise caused by a rapidly
exhausting air-stream flowing into the atmosphere. Noise created by
air exhausting from an air system not only cause nervous tension and
dissatisfaction among the operators, but also results in mental fatigue,
lack of concentration, and inefficiency. This exhaust noises can be
greatly reduced by installing a muffler at each pneumatic exhaust
As shown in Figure the exhaust air stream enters one end, and passes
out another end after passing through a series of baffles. The baffle
tubes are perforated with a large number of small holes. The outer
shell acts as a barrier and helps guide the stream toward the exit to
the atmosphere.
Air Dryers: The function of air dryers is to remove all water vapor
moisture from the air leaving the compressor. As we know, the
atmospheric air contains moisture to a varying amount depending on
the prevailing atmospheric conditions. Even after compression in the
compressor, the air contains the same amount of moisture. This
moisture should be removed before the air is fed into any pneumatic
system components. Thus air dryers are placed at suitable points in
the pressure air line to safeguard the pneumatic components from the
corrosive effects of moisture. The construction and operation of a
typical deliquescent-type dryer is illustrated in Figure.

It uses a chemical agent called a desiccant. The moisture air enters at

one end, passes through the chemical agent, and passes out at the
other end. The chemical agent absorbs water vapor moisture and
slowly dissolves it as a liquid. The liquid is collected at the bottom of
the unit where it can be drained.
Quick Exhaust Valve:
A quick exhaust valve is a typical shuttle valve. The quick (or
fast) exhaust valve is used to exhaust the cylinder air to the
atmosphere quickly. It is basically used with spring return single-
acting pneumatic cylinders to increase the piston speed of cylinders.
The higher speed of piston in a cylinder is possible by reducing the
resistance to flow of the exhausting air during motion of the cylinder.
The resistance can be reduced by expelling the exhausting air to the
atmosphere quickly by using a special valve. That's why this valve is
known as a quick exhaust valve.

The construction and operation of a typical quick exhaust valve is

shown in Figure. It consists of a movable disc and three ports-an inlet
port (P), and exhaust port (R), and a cylinder port (A). Its working
principle is very much similar to that of a shuttle valve. When the air
flowing to the cylinder from the DC valve is applied at port P, then
the flexible ring covers the exhaust port R, whereby the compressed
air passes from port P to the cylinder through port A. But the return
air from the cylinder pushes the flexible ring to cover the inlet port P,
Where by the exhaust air immediately expelled to the atmosphere.
Thus the resistance to piston movement is reduced considerably and
the speed of the piston in the cylinder is accelerated proportionately.
Time Delay Valve:
The time delay valve consists of an in built air reservoir, an in
built non return flow control valve and a pilot controlled spring return
3/2 DC valve. This valve is used in the pneumatic system to initiate a
delayed signal. When the compressed air is supplied to port ‘P’ of the
valve, it prevents the air from flowing to port ‘A’ from ‘P’, as this is
blocked by the spring actuated spool.
Air is accumulated in the in built reservoir of the valve from
the pilot control port ‘Z’, the control passage of the same being
controlled by the needle of the in built throttle valve. Pressure starts
building up here. When the pressure needed to push the spool in built
up in the reservoir, the pilot spool of the 3/2 direction control valve
shifts, thus opening port ‘P’ of the main valve to A and closing ‘R’.
The time required to build up pressure in the reservoir is the amount
of delay time offered by the time delay valve and with further
increase of pressure, the in built check valve opens. The air from the
reservoir gets exhausted and the spool returns to its original position.

1. Single 2. Double 3. Cushion end 4. Tandem

acting acting cylinder
5. Dual 6. Double 7. Telescoping 8. Turn
cylinder Rod cylinder


In the fluid power systems, especially in hydraulic systems,
fluid power designers and engineers are continuously trying to
provide accurate positioning of the load with improved control on
speed, force, and other parameters. In this regard, there has been
tremendous development in the field of control technology. Among
them, servo and proportional controls are being increasingly used in
various fluid power applications. These servo and proportional
controls can be found in various fields like production, material
handling, aviation, shipping, robotics, etc. Also in the automatic
control of many machine functions, there are requirements such as
the exceptionally high degree of accuracy in acceleration, velocity,
and positioning. These requirements can be met by servo control
Servo System:
A system in which a small input force is capable to control a
larger output force is called as a servo system. A servo control
systems is one in which a comparatively large amount of power is
controlled by small impulses or command signals and any errors are
corrected by feedback signals. As stated in the above definition, a
servo system should provide both signal amplification and automatic
correction of any deviation that may take place between the output
quantity and quantity set by the command signal. Basically most of
the servo systems are closed-loop systems.

Mechanical Hydraulic Servo Valve:

In this design, a small input force shifts the spool of the servo
valve to the right by the specified amount. The oil flows through the
port P, retracting the hydraulic cylinder to the right. The feedback
link is connected to the rod of the piston. So the action of the
feedback link shifts the sliding sleeve to the right until it blocks the
hydraulic cylinder. Thus, a given input motion produces a specific
and a controlled amount of output motion. This type of valve is used
in hydraulic power steering system of automobiles and
other transportation type vehicles.
Electro Hydraulic Servo Valve:
The electro hydraulic servo valve operates due to an electrical
signal given to its torque motor which positions the spool of the
directional control valve. A torque motor is a low displacement
electric motor. Movement of the armature is proportional to the direct
current applied to the windings of the motor. The signal to the torque
motor comes from an electrical device such as a potentiometer. The
signal from the potentiometer is electrically amplified to drive the
torque motor. The torque motor actuates the servo valve. The
hydraulic flow output of the servo valve powers an actuator. The
actuator in turn drives the load. The velocity or position of the load is
fed back in electrical form to the input of the servo valve by a
feedback device.
The feedback signal IS compared to the command input signal
and the difference between the two signals is sent to the torque motor
as an error signal. This produces the correction in the velocity or
position of the torque motor until it matches with the desired value.
At this point, the error signal to the torque motor becomes zero.
Electro hydraulic systems use low power electrical signals (I W) for
controlling the movements of large power hydraulic pistons (7640 W
or more). The typical applications are aircraft controls and numerical
control machines.

Single Stage Servo Valve:

In a single stage servo valve, the armature of the motor is
connected directly to one end of the valve spool. With equal currents
flowing through the two coils, the armature remains centered.
Increasing the current in one coil and reducing it in another causes
the armature to move proportional to the change in current. Thus, the
spool also shifts by a distance proportional to change in current.

Two Stage Servo Valve:

The most commonly used servo valves are the two stage units.
It can handle large flow at high pressure with a high sensitivity to
control changes. This valve has sliding spools in both pilot and main
stages. A command signal from the servo amplifier is directed to the
two coils of the permanent magnet torque motor. A differential
current is established in the coil which deflects the armature by an
amount proportional to the command. The deflection of the armature
is mechanically transmitted to the pilot spool by means of a stiff
connecting wire. Thus, mechanical displacement of the pilot valve
spool is directly proportional to the command received by the torque
motor. The direction of movement is determined by the torque motor
coil having the larger current. When the pilot spool moves to the left,
a flow of oil is metered to the end N of the main spool. The control
pressure acting continuously on area (M) is acting now at both the
ends. Since the effective area of the left hand end of the spool is twice
that of the right hand end (due to the presence of a rod on the right
hand end of the spool), the main spool shifts towards the right. The
supply pressure is to be directed to port (A) to actuate the hydraulic
cylinder in a direction, proportional to the electrical signal.

A signal from the servo amplifier, resulting in a pilot spool

movement to the right, Will permit the control pressure acting on area
(M) to move only the main spool to the left because area N is now
connected to the drain. The main supply pressure will be directed into
port (B) and will move the hydraulic cylinder in the opposite
direction. Again the amount of movement is proportional to the
electrical command. The valve feedback linkage mechanically links
the main spool and the pilot spool sleeve. So any movement of the
main spool is feedback through the linkage to act on the pilot spool
sleeve. The sleeve follows the pilot spool to the new position until the
control pressure is closed off. Thus, the servo valve provides an
extremely accurate flow modulation for fast and precise control of
position, velocity and acceleration of an actuator.

Flapper Type Servo Valve:

In this type of valve, the sliding spool is actuated by a pressure
difference at the two ends. Normally, control pressure is equal at both
ends of the spool. A controlled amount of fluid continuously flows
through the orifice passages to the nozzles against a 'flapper' valve
which is attached to the armature. When a signal to the
electromagnetic coil moves the armature, the flapper moves towards
one of the nozzles. The balance of flow is changed throughout the
orifices and it causes the pressure to increase at one end of the spool
and decrease at the other, The spool then moves until the pressure
difference is balanced by the tension of the spool springs, Internal
feedback is provided by means of a mechanical linkage from the
spool to the flapper.

The spool moves in proportion to the movement of the flapper valve,

which in turn is proportional to the input current. Therefore, the
volume of fluid passing through the valve IS also proportional to the
input current. Electro hydraulic servos of this type require fluids
which are continuously filtered to a high standard of cleanliness,
usually 10 microns absolute.

Jet Pipe Servo Valve:

A jet pipe servo valve is similar to flapper type valve. It
consists of a jet pipe, a tube with an orifice end. Fluid from the jet is
directed to two pipes connected to the ends of the spool. When the jet
pipe is in center position, the flow in both the pipes is equal. So the
pressures at both ends of the spool are equal and the spool is held in
center by springs. The torque motor can deflect the jet pipe in either
direction, an amount proportional to the signal It receives, When the
jet is deflected, the flow in the pipes are unequal. This causes a
pressure differential at the spool and the spool shifts against one of its
centering springs. The movement of the spool ceases, when it exactly
balances the electrical signal. Now, the Jet pipe is again centrally
located because the spool is linked mechanically to the jet pipe.

Proportional Valves:
Conventional solenoid operated direction control valve has
digital control systems, i.e, either fully open or, when the solenoid is
energized, fully closed. This 'bang-bang' operation gives rise to flow
and pressure surges in the hydraulic circuit with all the resultant
problems. If the valve can be gradually closed or opened as a
manually operated gate valve, it results in a gradual transition
between fully opened and fully closed conditions. For this,
proportional valves are used. The proportional valve has a DC
solenoid. The force exerted by the armature of the solenoid is
proportional to the current flowing through it and independent of the
armature movement over the working range of the solenoid.

Control of Proportional Valves

Force control: The electrical control of the proportional valve
normally uses a variable current rather than a variable voltage. If a
voltage control system is adopted any variation in coil resistance
caused by a temperature change will result in a change of current,
although the voltage remains fixed. This causes a change in force.
This problem is eliminated by using a current control system. The
spool in the proportional valve is acted upon by a spring at one end
and a proportional solenoid at the other end. Thus, it is possible to
control the force on the spool electrically and the orifice size can be
varied in accordance to the control current. The flow from the valve
is proportional to the current flowing through the solenoid.
Using notched spool or overlap spool in the proportional valve gives
better control of the flow rate as the orifice is progressively opened.
Due to difficulties in manufacturing zero lap spool, i.e. one in which
the land on the spool is exactly the same length as the port in the
valve body, overlapped spools are used in proportional spool valves.
This means that the spool has to move a distance equal to the overlap
before any flow occurs through the valve. This gives rise to a 'dead
zone' in the valve characteristic.

Propositional Pressure Relief Valves:

In conventional pressure relief valves, a compression spring is
used to control the pressure at which the valve operates. This spring
is replaced by a DC solenoid in the case of a proportional valve. In
this, the proportional solenoid exerts a force on the poppet keeping
the valve closed until the hydraulic pressure at port P overcomes this
force and opens the valve. The force exerted by the proportional
solenoid has an upper limit owing to the physical size limitations. So
to increase the operating pressure of the valve the size of the orifice
in the valve is decreased and vice versa.

The operating pressures of the valve will depend on the

current in the solenoid and the quantity of fluid flowing through the
Proportional Pressure Reducing Valve:
This operates in a manner similar to a conventional pressure
regulating valve, the control spring being replaced by a proportional
solenoid. However, when the solenoid is not energized, the
proportional valve is closed unlike the conventional pressure
reducing valve which is normally open. When the solenoid is
energized, it will move the spool to the right. The control orifice A
will open and allow fluid to flow to the Output port X. As the
aperture of orifice A increases, the aperture of orifice B will decrease.

The pressure at the control output X is dependent upon the

openings of control orifices A and B. Let the supply pressure be P1
The pressure drops across the control orifices A and B are PA and PB
respectively and the output pressure is Px. If the control orifice B is
fully closed, then Px will be equal to the supply pressure P1 The
output pressure is applied to the right end of the spool and if this is
greater than the equivalent pressure exerted by the proportional
solenoid, the spool will improve to the left. This increases the
opening of orifice B and reduces the opening of orifice A, thereby
reducing the output pressure. For equilibrium P x a = F. The output
pressure is proportional to the current flowing in the proportional
solenoid. There will always be a flow to the tank from this type of
valve if the output pressure Px is less than the supply pressure P1 It, is
essential that there is no back pressure in the tank line if the valve is
to function correctly.
Proportional Direction Control Valve:
The pressure output from proportional pressure reducing
valves are directed to move the spool of the main valve against the
control spring. Energizing solenoid 1 causes pressure to be applied to
pilot port X, moving the spool to the right against the control spring.

The movement of the spool will be proportional to the pressure

applied to the pilot port X and hence to the current in solenoid 1. As
the main spool lands are notched, a movement to the right will
progressively open the flow paths from P to B and A to T. De-
energizing solenoid 1 will depressurize spring chamber C and the
control spring will centralize the spool. Similarly solenoid 2 controls
the flow paths P to A and B to T.

Comparison of Proportional and Servo Valve:

Proportional Valve Servo Valve
Proportional valves use relatively Servo valves use low power
high power electronics to drive current driven torque motor
proportional solenoids
It typically respond to a control It typically require a control
signal in the range of ±10V signal in the range of ±100mA
Do not have any position feed It use an internal mechanical feed
back within the valve back system
Better dirt tolerance economical Used where fast response and
and satisfactory alternative for accurate controls are required
servo valves
In the early sixties, a new type of pneumatic control elements
called Fluidic Element or Fluid Logic Element was developed. The
biggest advantage of these elements over all the other forms of
control elements is that they have a minimum number of mechanical
moving parts. Because of this, these elements are also known as ‘non-
moving logic controllers.
The various advantages of fluidic elements
1. No wear and tear of elements
2. No actuating force needed
3. Very little space needed for mounting
4. Quite insensitive to temperature, vibration, shock, electric
noise and radiation
The entire development of fluidic technology is based on the wall
attachment phenomenon, which was first discovered by the
Rumanian engineer Henri Coanda in 1932. This phenomenon is
frequently called ‘Coanda effect’.

A free jet of air is emitted into a confined region or orifice at a

velocity high enough to produce turbulent flow. The free jet of air
will continue in a given direction, pulling in with it then available air
from its surroundings as it leaves the orifice. If there is greater
availability of this entraining air from one side, a small vortex area is
created near the nozzle exit. This low pressure area then tend to
attract the free jet, distorting it and pulling it towards the wall,
because the atmospheric pressure on the other side forces the jet to
cling to the surface. This free jet attachment continues until a small
air supply is fed to the low pressure area, thus relieving the attraction
of the jet to the wall. When this signal is injected, the free jet then
detaches itself from the wall and resumes its normal uninterrupted
flow path.
The various fluidic elements are briefly explained here.

Bi-stable Flip-flop:
In this air flow is going from the input Ps down through the
O1 channel or the O2 channel depending upon the signal from either
C1 or C2.

A truth table tells how a particular device behaves. Number 0

means OFF and number 1 means ON for all the devices. Therefore
when control signal C1 is ON and control signal C2 is OFF the output
is at O1. If C1 is then turned OFF the device stays in its first stable and
the output is at O1. If C2 is ON and control signal C1 is OFF the
output is at O2. Removing signal C2 leaves the device in its second
stable state with the output at O2. Thus the flip-flop has two stable
states when control signals are OFF. Initially the basic flip-flop has
its power supply pressure Ps turned ON and neither control signal has
been turned ON. Otherwise both the control signals C1 and C2 should
be ON simultaneously. Under these conditions, the output flow
would split because no low pressure bubble can be sustained on either
wall. Thus with C1 and C2 ON the flip-flop does not produce any
useful signal.

Preference Flip-Flop:
In some applications, specific output is necessary when the
power supply is turned ON and all the control signals are OFF. For
these applications, a flip flop with a start up preference is used. When
control signals are OFF, the output is ON at O1 and OFF at O2.

OR / NOR Gate Device:

This element has outputs corresponding with two conditions
OR - Pressure at one or any combinations of the control port
NOR - Pressure at none of the control ports

The OR/NOR gate is designed in such a manner that flow will always
be in the NOR signal when no control signal is present of course Ps is
present. The O2 port represents the NOR output and the O1 port
represents the OR output. Either C1 or C3 signal must be present to
get an output at the C1 port. But neither C1 nor C3 should be present to
get an output at the O2 port.

AND / NAND Gate Device:

Another element is the AND/NAND gate, which is similar to
the NOR gate, except that the NOR gate is used to determine when
none of the control signal is present, whereas the AND gate is used to
determine when all the control signals are present.

Both the C1 and C3 control signals are present to get an output at the
O1 port. The absence of either or both signals will result in the stable
output at the O2 port.


In a typical industrial environment there are a number of
applications where a partial sequence of operations repeats itself.
Automation of these operations can be effectively carried out using
low-cost automation techniques which employs fluid power system.
Until recently, the sequence control of fluid power has been
performed by electro mechanical means. They employ relays,
counters, switches etc. This hardwired systems tend to be expensive
and pose serious limitation if found necessary to change the machine
sequence. Moreover majority of applications demand precise control
of speed, force and Position. This is achieved using electrically
modulated valves (proportional valves and servos) which adjust the
flow of pressure in response to a continuously varying input voltage
or input current. Here a conventional analog closed loop electronic
control is used. But where there is a complex interaction of two
variables or where a non-linear operation is to be performed, this
complicates the electronics.
There is now an increase in the use of Programmable Logic
Controller (PLC) and Microprocessor (µP), to overcome the,
above mentioned limitations. A programmable logic controller uses a
program to link together a number of input and output devices to
produce a desired sequence of operations. Moreover the program can
easily be changed for the new jobs. A microprocessor as a closed
loop controller appears to have many attractions as complex linear or
non-linear functions can easily be introduced into the control loop.
Microprocessor is also involved in sequential operations. It is felt that
the combination of microelectronics to supply the 'brain' and fluid
power to supply the 'brawn' is the most effective way of exploiting
the benefits of the fluid power system. There is enormous potential
for controlling fluid power elements in sophisticated applications
such as CNC machines and Robotics as well as in applications like
vehicles, heavy equipments, aerospace etc. This gives some
indication of the range of application for the combination of
microelectronics with fluid power.

A PLC can be defined as a digital electronic device that uses a
programmable memory to store instructions such as logic,
sequencing, timing, counting and arithmetic to control machines or
processes. It is a software based instrument and hence it can be
programmed using an easy-to-learn programming language.
The three basic elements of PLC are
1. Central processing unit (CPU) with an associated memory
2. Input modules
3. Output module

Central Processing Unit:

The CPU receives input signals from the various input
modules and based on the programs stored in the memory, decides on
the appropriate signals, which it transmits to the respective output
In choosing a PLC, the available memory capacity plays an
important role. The different memory types used in PLC of both
volatile and non-volatile type are given below.
1. RAM (Random access memory) - Volatile to - program
2. Read/Write memory-Non-volatile
3. ROM (Read only Memory ) – Non-volatile to store execution
4. PROM (Programmable read only memory)
5. EPROM (Erasable PROM )
6. EEPROM (Electrically erasable PROM)
I / O Module:
The input and output modules provide the necessary
interfacing between the PLC and the system. The input modules
translate the incoming signals to 5V DC, on which the PLC can work.
The output modules on the other hand translate the low current 5V
DC signals coming from the PLC to high voltage current signals,
required to actuate the various devices of the fluid power circuit. The
I/O modules are available for different voltages such as 115V AC,
230V AC, 24V AC, 24V DC and 5V DC etc. They are usually
packaged in units of 4.8 or even more.



Installation of Hydraulic Systems:

The location where the machine is to be installed must be
clean and all the construction work, painting etc, should be finished
before installation commences. The order in which the installation is
undertaken depends upon the machine and the site. Each section of
the machine must be sealed to prevent ingression of dirt before
starting on another section.
Installation of Pumps:
• The installation of pumps with respect to its reservoir is very
important because it affects the performance of the pump. The
higher the pump is mounted above the fluid level, the greater
is the resistance faced by the pump while drawing fluid into it.
So generally the height of the pump inlet above the reservoir
should be as minimum as possible.
• The pump should be mounted on a strong foundation so that
the alignment is maintained. They should be located such that
they can be easily removed for repairs or replacement
• Entry of air into the pump should be prevented because this
will reduce the life of the pump and may lead to airlocks in
the system. Hence the pipe connections should be airtight.
• For the ranges of operating pressures, temperatures and
speeds manufacture’s recommendations should be always
followed. The maximum temperature of the fluid in the
system should normally be not more than 60°C
• The lubrication of the internal moving parts is very important.
Since the lubrication of the bearings and other internal parts is
done by the fluid present in the pump, initial start up of the
pump should not be attempted unless the pump case has been
filled with the fluid.
Installation of Cylinders:
• The hydraulic cylinder should be installed using proper
mountings. Improper mounting is likely to damage the
packing very soon.
• During installation particular attention must be paid to
• The cylinders must be installed free of tension and in
particular free of radial forces, to prevent functional faults and
premature wear
• Eccentric loading should be minimized because it is not only
harmful to the piston rod and rod bearing but can also cause
problems with cushioning, piston rod, piston and cylinder
• Piston rod seal protection is important wherever process heat
may be encountered. High temperature seals are commercially
available. Use of heat shields will protect the fluid in the
cylinder as well as the seals.
Common faults in Hydraulic Systems:
• Reduced speed of travel of machine tool elements
• Slow response to control
• Excessive loss of system pressure
• Excessive leakage in the system
• Rise in the oil temperature
• Non uniform movement of tables, carriage especially at low
feed rates
• Increased noise in the system
• No supply or less supply from pump
• Cavitations of seal failure
• High rate of seal failure
• Poor oil life
• High degree of contamination level of system medium

Various faults, Causes and Remedies in Fluid Power System:

Trouble Causes Remedies
Pump 1. Wrong direction of 1. Must be reversed
delivering shaft immediately to prevent
insufficient or 2. Pump shaft turning too seizure and breakage of
no oil slowly to prime itself parts due to lack of oil
3. Clogged strainer or 2. Check minimum speed
suction pipe line recommendation and
4. Strainer capacity momentarily increase rpm,
insufficient to rectify
3. Clean strainer or
suction pipe line.

Pump 1. Pump not delivering oil 1. Apply the above

developing for any of the above remedies
unstable or reasons 2. Correct valve setting by
zero pressure 2. Relief valve setting not using pressure gauge
enough 3. Overhaul and clean
3. Clogged orifice of the relief valve
relief valve
Pump making 1.Misalignment of pump 1.Check and rectify
noise and prime mover 2. Replace with a strainer
2. Strainer capacity whose capacity is more
insufficient than twice the maximum
3. Air leak at pump's flow rate
suction pipe joints or from 3. Pour oil on suspected
shaft packing of the pump joints while listening for
4. Air remains in pump change in sound. If sound
casing stops, tighten the joint
4. Eliminate air through
the air breather
Faulty or 1. Worn out control 1. Check and repair
incomplete linkage, shift pin, etc. 2. Check and rectify
shifting of 2. Insufficient pilot 3. Check and replace
DCV pressure 4. Check and replace
3. Burned out solenoid
4. Worn spring centering

Motors Incorrect piping between Check circuits to

Turning in control valve and fluid determine correct piping
wrong motor
Absence of 1. System overload, relief 1. Check required system
proper speed valve adjustment not set pressure and reset relief
and torque high enough valve
2. Relief valve sticking 2. Inspect and overhaul
open relief valve set correctly
3. Free recirculation of oil 3. Identify the exact point
to reservoir of fault and rectify
4. Driven mechanism 4. Remove fluid motor
binding because of mis- and check the torque
alignment required for drive shaft