Drive Systems

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Drive Systems

Drive Systems

Table of Contents


4Critical Analysis of the Two Alternative Power Systems



A hydraulic drive system is a combination of more than one technology of drive systems to enhance applicability, efficiency, and cost effectiveness, speed and load application. The attempts to enhance industrial operations have brought about more improvements within the hybrid systems. One classic example of a hydraulic drive system is that used on vehicles that integrate an electronic system with a conventional system that uses a gearing system and a battery (Beater, 2007). The advantage of having an alternative drive like in cars is the fact that it brings together the strength of each system utilized to create highly robust, effective, economical and efficient drive system. In addition, it reduces the weaknesses of every system that is used in creating the power source of the hybrid. For Example, hydraulic drive system that are a combination of electric and conventional systems reduces noise, reduces the amount of pollutants emitted by the IC engine, enhances versatility and the economy and is more cost effective when it comes to fueling. However, for alternative drive systems the initial and running cost is much higher.

The pneumatic drive system commonly known as Pneumatics, operate on compressed gasses. The crucial parts of pneumatic drive system are a reservoir tank, control valves, an air compressor and a pneumatic actuator. Regardless of the fact that pneumatic drive systems within industrial operations begun during the industrial era, their use dates much earlier during the first century when people used wind powered systems. One basic pneumatic system is the vacuum which was invented in the 1600s (Beater, 2007). Pneumatic drives systems have gained more attention since their invention and more improvements for application in industries ids being made especially for use in automated control like in automated doors.

Alterative drive systems are greatly applicable in plants especially since they use compressed air that is available in most assembly systems. Moreover, pneumatics systems provide a number of advantages compared to other drive system. One of these advantages is that they are economical considering that they run on compressed air which is a resource that is readily available. In addition, air is a cheap source of energy which means that pneumatics systems are more easier to use and much cheaper compared to other conventional drive systems Pneumatic power system operate at very high speeds since they are greatly responsive, making their maintain ace and operations much more easier. In addition, air is not explosive making it much safer to use this systems in industries that are at high risks of explosions (Bennett, 2016). However, gases have a load limitation since they are highly compressible making the system limits the amount of load they can handle. These systems are used in operations that are much lighter like small robotics. In addition since they are highly compressible due to air, these systems are precise in positioning making it hard to control. Another challenge of these systems is the fact that they provide dry clean air, they are noisy due to vibrations air cylinders and motors (Beatr, 2007).

Comparison between the two Systems and the Conventional power Train

The system of a conventional power train includes an internal combustion engine, driveline, and meshing gear drive train. The final drives are alternative drive systems hybrid and pneumatic drive systems. The conventional power train has some benefits and limitations over the other two systems. Comparing the pneumatics drive system and the conventional drive system shows that the pneumatic system is much cleaner than the conventional system since the IC engine emits smoke, carbon dioxide among other disadvantages.

Pneumatic drive systems are usually compressed and hence smaller in size than conventional systems, which are usually too bulky. In particular, conventional drive systems designed to carry huge loads may be large because of large engines, and complicated gearing systems. Nevertheless, conventional systems will carry larger loads than pneumatic drive systems because there is no gas being used. Conventional drive systems use gears and similar power transfer mechanisms that do not undergo compression, which is not the case with pneumatic drive systems. Conventional drive systems are also slower than pneumatic drive systems although again this disadvantage is compensated by higher load capacity.

Hybrid systems offer numerous advantages over conventional drive systems. The first advantage is that they may be cheaper to operate especially because they are usually designed to substitute diesel or petrol with a cheaper alternative such as electric energy. However, the complexity may increase. In addition, they may be associated with higher cost of installation. Another advantage is that depending on the alternative energy source used, hybrid systems are usually faster compared to conventional systems (Bennett, 2016).

Critical Analysis of the Two Alternative Power Systems

Although pneumatic drive systems generate considerable amount of noise, high speed of operation, low cost, availability of air, and wide applicability/versatility outweigh the limitation of noise. In addition, although they have load limitation, it is worth noting that they are highly applicable in applications with low load requirements. Since these applications are numerous, it is worth addressing weaknesses of this system to improve application. The concern of noise generation can be addressed by placing motors, pumps, and compressors that generate noise within enclosed housings with adequate insulation to prevent noise escaping (Beater, 2007).

Hybrid drive systems offer a wide range of benefits compared to conventional drive systems especially on reduction of emissions and reduced operation costs. These benefits may outweigh the costs if improvements to cut initial costs and system complexity are made. Indeed, it is expected that hybrid systems will undergo major improvements considering that they are still new. On this note, areas of improvement could be on initial cost. Optimization techniques will help come up with most optimal systems that balance between costs of each subsystem to come up with the most economical system.


  • Pneumatic systems have load limitations

  • However, their versatility and low cost of operation make them highly applicable

  • In addition, they are fast compared to conventional ones although accuracy is a major concern

  • Hybrid systems are increasingly becoming prominent because they combine strengths of different drive systems to achieve highly effective, performing, and efficient systems.


Beater, P. (2007). Pneumatic drives: system design, modelling and control. Springer.

Bennett, S. (2016). Heavy duty truck systems (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.