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Pneumatic Systems Using T-Slot

In machine automation, pneumatic systems are a collection of interconnected components which use compressed air to perform work. Compressed air or pressurized gas is generally filtered and dried to protect the actuators, cylinders, tools, etc., that are performing the work. 

Designing a pneumatic system with t-slot aluminum extrusion is common in the automation industry, and most pneumatic components are designed so that they are compatible with t-slotted aluminum. T-slot with the addition of manifolds is durable and built to withstand the repetitive motions of pneumatic systems in automated processes. From pick and place to end-of-arm tooling, pressurized t-slot framing can be found in settings such as automotive, robotics, pharmaceutical, food/beverage, and more. 

Pneumatic System Components

Pneumatic components must be capable of handling the constant vibrations and impact that come with automation. Standard components that make up a pneumatic system are: 

  • Check valves: one-way valves installed at the hose and connect the compressor to the buffer tank.
  • Compressor: increases the pressure of the air by reducing its volume.
  • Regulators and gauges: measuring instruments to help regulate and check the psi of the air inside the compressor.
  • Accumulator or buffer tank: secondary holding tanks for the compressed air
  • Feed lines: hoses that move the air through the pneumatic system
  • Actuators: these are generally are cylinders and plungers. These are the parts that do the work of the system. Air releases into a cylinder and makes a piston move forward.

Parco Profiles and Manifolds 

When utilizing t-slot for a pneumatic solution, compressed air will travel down the center hole of the t-slot (the diameter of the center hole for our 10 series is .20 in). With the addition of manifolds, side and end mount, a profile can be sealed and pressurized up to 150 psi. For more information about our profiles, please see our technical data.

Our manifolds come in both end and side mounts with the addition of a gasket and hardware. Our product line includes some of the following:

Pneumatic Design Considerations

When designing a pneumatic system with t-slot, there are a few things to consider, such as:

  • Compressed air supply
  • Airflow control
  • Cylinder types and sizing
  • Cylinder Accessories
  • Control valve type, sizing, and actuation

With t-slot, your compressed air supply will be most important. Adequate sizing of compressors provides consistent plant air pressure with the proper flow to operate a pneumatic system. Undersized plant air supply and tubing are common culprits if a system is designed incorrectly.

Choosing the correct diameter of piping is based on how much flow rate (CFM) will be needed to travel through the pipe. For example, a t-slot has a .20 in diameter center hole and can withstand 150 psi. If you want to run the length of 10 feet, then your theoretical CFM is about 8.26.  

Common Air Tool Consumption in CFM at 90 psi

Air Drill 10 CFM
Spray Gun 10 CFM
Cut off Tool 12 CFM
Blow Gun 5 CFM
Brad Nailer 1 CFM

Some important facts to remember:

  • Larger size piping increases airflow but also increases the cost of the system
  • Over long distances, compressed air gets restricted
  • The longer the distance, the larger diameter of piping will be needed
  • Flow rate decreases the further it gets from the air compressor

If you are ready to design a pneumatic system, we encourage you to contact us and let us help you. Our design and advice are free, and we offer a design quoter to help you get a 3D CAD model and bill of materials for your solution.


9100 Front St.
Fort Wayne, IN, 46818

Phone Number

Toll Free: (800) 817-0617
Office: (260) 451-0810


Fax: (260) 451-0843



Floating Review Template1
  • This was the first time I tried Parco-inc. for one of my t-slot projects. It was easy to find what I needed and order on the website. I got the parts quickly and the quality was great, so I will be buying here from now on!
  • Really good quality aluminum i can feel the difference between it and other parts i ordered from china also the measurements was on point
  • I use ALOT of these little anchor faster, every month. My regular vendor was out of stock, and so I found Parco and ordered from them. The fasteners arrived quickly, we're high quality, and they even worked with me on a bulk discounted price. 10/10 in all areas!!
  • I am a small business and needed the t slot in a hurry. They processed my order, cut to size and shipped in less then 36 hours and 2 days before Christmas. Wonderful customer service. Thank you
  • Just awesome. Great customer service and response to questions, all cuts and pieces exactly like I ordered, extrusions seem like quality, fast shipping, and well packed to protect the items. I can't say enough about the quality and service. Will order again.