Types of actuation systems for the oil industry

In the oil industry, having proper working equipment is important in getting the work done. Hydraulic equipment has been used widely in the transmission of power. Achieving environmental sustainability while meeting the increasing demand is a dilemma in the oil industry. Therefore, having equipment that helps achieve these goals is what every driller is trying to achieve.

Hydraulic machines use liquid fluid power. In the oil industry, heavy hydraulic machines are used in drilling and processing of oil. Hydraulic equipment is popular due to their ability to transfer very large amounts of power through tubes, hoses and actuators that make use of the power. Hydraulic systems are based on Pascal’s law; pressure applied to a fluid is transmitted equally throughout and in all directions of the fluid provided that the system is closed. An example of hydraulic drilling equipment that is used in oil is hydraulic rams, drilling rigs.

On the other hand, pneumatic systems utilize gas to obtain movement, unlike the hydraulic systems which use oil. Pneumatic equipment has five components that assist in their function. They have a compressor that makes sir, a reservoir to store air, valves to control the air, a circuit to direct air to other components and a motor also known as an actuator which uses the air to make the movement or perform a task. They include pressure regulators, filters and compressors among others.

Which is best electromechanical, hydraulics or pneumatics?

To begin with, they all achieve their intended purposes for satisfaction. They also can be used in lightweight machines and for small activities. In terms of power, however, hydraulics have high power compared to their counterparts. In terms of accuracy, pneumatic machines are also less accurate due to air unpredictability and compressibility. With regards to control, hydraulic or fluid controlled equipment has a lower momentum than pneumatic equipment and it is, therefore, easy to control them.

When it comes to safety and convenience, pneumatic machines win because they are less likely to explode and they are lighter to carry around compared to hydraulic machines. All in all, hydraulic machines are the best since they operate quietly, they reuse the same fluid over time and they can self-lubricate. Therefore hydraulics win over pneumatics.

Electromechanical machines cannot be compared to hydraulics and pneumatics because they possess a greater advantage over the two. Electromechanical tools give the operator full control over their motion, they can even be programmed such that the engineer can change its working through a remotely controlled software. Electromechanical actuators also offer cleaner operations compared to hydraulic and pneumatic actuators which are at risk of leaking oil. This gives the electromechanical option a higher hand because it is then very safe for medical and food operations.


While all this is true, it does not mean that any of these technologies cannot be used in oil industries. What it means is that, before choosing which to use, it is important to understand what your end result is and which of the three will help you achieve it in its best quality and at the required time.