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Pneumatics Blog

The Pneumatics Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about cylinders and actuators; valve manifolds; compressed air and vacuum systems; sensing & measurement; and air supply. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Energy Storage Solution in the Bag?

Posted September 13, 2014 12:00 AM by IHS GlobalSpec eNewsletter

Can air and water combine to meet the challenge of storing energy from renewable sources? A Canadian start-up company called Hydrostor thinks so. The company's idea is to use renewable energy to produce compressed air that will be stored in large underwater bags, which could be located near offshore wind farms. When the stored energy is needed, the weight of the water forces the air back up to the surface, where it will be used to drive a turbine. A video accompanying this IEEE Spectrum piece explains how the process works.


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7 comments; last comment on 09/16/2014
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Getting a Lift from Vacuum

Posted June 20, 2014 12:00 AM by IHS GlobalSpec eNewsletter

Aging baby boomers who lose mobility can also lose access to the upper floors of their homes. A chair lift can get the elderly and disabled upstairs, but high costs and the difficulties involved in getting in and out of the chair make this a less-than-ideal option, notes the author of this Hydraulics & Pneumatics article. His preferred alternative: a pneumatic elevator featuring a passenger cabin that's lifted by vacuum. The story explains how the technology works, why it beats conventional elevators, and why vacuum was chosen over compressed air to give the disabled a lift.


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8 comments; last comment on 06/23/2014
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Human or Geminoid?

Posted February 17, 2014 1:00 PM by IHS GlobalSpec eNewsletter

You'll be pardoned for getting a little confused while watching a video showing so-called "Geminoids" along with the people they were modeled after. Geminoids are electromechanical devices designed to look and act like specific humans, explains this Design News piece, which includes links to several Geminoid videos. The mechanism behind Geminoid movements includes pneumatic actuators and air-flow control valves.


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2 comments; last comment on 02/17/2014
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How Important is 'Sustainability'?

Posted December 28, 2011 12:38 PM

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers recently published the results of its third annual "sustainability" survey. Some of the respondents dismissed sustainability as a fad embraced by companies solely for its public relations value, while others expressed their support for sustainable design practices. We'd like to know where you come down. In your view, is sustainability a trivial buzzword or an important design consideration?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Pneumatics, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Pneumatics today.

3 comments; last comment on 12/29/2011
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Are Recent Grads More Real-world Ready?

Posted November 30, 2011 9:17 AM

In a recent Design News piece about the top U.S. engineering schools, an engineer affiliated with one university on the list notes that "In the last five to 10 years, engineering curricula have shifted from theory-heavy coursework to a mixture of theory and hands-on experience." Have you noticed this shift in the workplace — i.e., do engineers right out of school seem better prepared to tackle real-world projects today than they did a decade ago?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Pneumatics, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Pneumatics today.

14 comments; last comment on 12/29/2011
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The Value of Older Workers

Posted October 26, 2011 7:29 AM

In engineering offices, older workers are an important source of knowledge and experience. But as the economic slump persists, older workers might not seem so valuable to companies looking to reduce costs and head count. Does your company place a high value on older workers, or are they a high-value target of corporate cost-cutters?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Pneumatics, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Pneumatics today.

24 comments; last comment on 01/01/2012
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