Pneumatic tubes are systems that utilize the power of compressed air using pneumatic technology to transport solid objects. The air blows hard from one end of a pipe to the other. Many people mistake it for a thing of the past, but the use of pneumatic systems is still applicable in the modern world.
Pneumatic tube transportation is used in many areas from banks, hospitals, factories, department stores to move items like medicines, cash packets, and other small items. Apart from being secure, the speed at which the tube transports materials makes it an efficient system.
Since it’s an efficient system for the transportation of small goods and products, pneumatic tube systems remain a go-to solution in most places. Shops and stores use the system to send cash packets to a secure place. In places such as banks and financial institutions, you can use the system to purchase and remove cash as well as valuable documents. Washington Security Products can help explain how pneumatic tubes work and how they can help your operation.
To better understand the systems, here’s a deeper look at pneumatic tube systems, the materials they are made of and how they work.
What are Pneumatic Tube Systems?
Pneumatic tube systems are technical equipment for transporting physical objects. They consist of cylindrical containers also known as carriers, which are propelled through a network of tubes either by compressed air or vacuum. Compared to the use of emails which is considered to be a modern method, the Pneumatic Tube System is often referred to as an old-fashioned system.
But while it might seem redundant, the system is more like an air-powered internet. The system is efficient and effective for the transportation of small physical goods like checks or deposit slips. Remember that even with emails, it’s not possible to send materials or packages using emails. And this where the pneumatic tube remains an alternative solution, not just for now but also for the future.
Pneumatic tube systems allow you to transport goods in a simplified form, making standard operations much easier. For example, if you run a large shop or store with frequent checkouts (cash desks) where you collect money from customers, the system provides a secure way of making the transactions.
Using the system, you can collect the money and move it to a more secure place until you’re ready to deposit it into the bank. The pneumatic tube system can link each checkout with the cashier’s department providing a lasting solution to many stores.
The moment the cashier or the checkout operator collects more than the stated amount of cash, they can send it securely to the cashier’s department using the pneumatic tube. This saves time and prevents robbery since you don’t need to have a cashier walk to all the checkouts.
What are Pneumatic Tube Systems Made Out Of?
The tube comprises Superthane Pneumatic polyurethane tubing that is clear and it comes in eight colors and stock ID sizes of 0.06 and 0.12 in. You can also find it available in custom colors, sizes, heat-formed shapes, and thermally-bonded tubing ribbons.
If you’re looking for a high performance and concurrently save a lot of money you can substitute plastic tubing for reinforced hose in the pneumatics applications. Similar to a hose the tube is great for connecting components like pumps, valves and cylinders. But, always take into consideration factors like size and strength.
Some of the major types of tubing materials used in the making of pneumatics include polyurethane which is a combination of both plastic and rubber. Others include PVC, nylon, polyethylene and polypropylene. In general, a pneumatic tube system consists of the blower, carriers, stations, diverters and controllers.
Blower: The blower is a component that produces pressure or vacuum. The blower is powered by motors that switch on and off to direct the tubes through the system. It allows the movement of the carriers through the pneumatic tubes. This is made possible by creating a difference in air pressure between two ends of the system where afterward, it sucks the carrier through the tubes.
Carriers: These are capsules that move through the tubes carrying the material to be transported from one point to another. They move at a speed of around 25 feet per second and come in varying sizes that can be fixed into different systems and industries. Some are leak-resistant and leak-proof making them an ideal option for hospitals and labs where sensitive liquid materials need to be transported. They also have cushioned skirts on either ends allowing them to move smoothly through tube systems.
Stations: They send and receive carriers. They have docks where carriers are inserted and user interface panels that send the carriers to the desired end-station. Stations come in different types and a pneumatic system might have two stations, or diverging paths that lead to several stations.
Diverters: They are used at the intersection of branching paths to connect all stations in a tube network allowing the transfer of a carrier in the network from station A and on reaching station C, it will be discharged from the tube-network. They are effective for complex systems that require multiple paths to and from a given station. They change the direction of the carriers as they pass through. In addition, there are highly integrated controllers used.
Even with technological advancement like the internet and emails to ease data transportation, physical materials that cannot be transported by these can still be transported via pneumatic tubes.
By transporting a wide range of items like blood samples, coins, sensitive documents, bank notes, medicine, spare parts, X-ray films, milk etc pneumatic tubes are not only convenient and secure but they also reduce daily errands run by your staff. The fast speed of 6 – 8 m/sec provided by the system allows work to be done faster, saving a lot of time and energy.
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