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Expert Live Q&A: Pneumatic Assembly Tools

Welcome to the Pneumatics question and answer session. 

Taking viewer questions today is Matt Crowley, our Pneumatic Assembly Tool product expert. In this question and answer session, we’re exploring Atlas Copco’s pneumatic assembly tool options and benefits. The Q&A begins with Matt explaining pneumatics in general; these assembly tools are driven by compressed air. Benefits of pneumatic assembly tools, according to Matt, are that they are low cost compared to DC electric tools, they’re safe and have powerful ergonomic features, they are easy to transfer and move around, and simple to use. Atlas Copco offers a large range of pneumatic assembly tooling options, including impact wrenches, nutrunners, pulse tools, ratchet wrenches, and screwdrivers. 

A viewer then asks a question about how our tools stand out against our competitors’ tools. Matt explains that our pneumatic assembly tools are quite unmatched in the market. In general, against the competition, our tools last longer without having to be serviced, they have higher uptimes because of that, and when they do need to be serviced, it’s an easy process. They also have the strongest ergonomic features, like low noise levels, lightweight tool models, and less vibration exposure. When asked why Atlas Copco is trimming their pneumatic assembly tool product portfolio, Matt says there are two reasons. We discovered that we have a lot of overlap and felt it best to condense options. The manufacturing industry is also trending towards DC tools, and we are following that trend as well.

Matt is then asked whether pneumatic tools have software capabilities. Matt says that they don’t and that this is both a blessing and a curse. Without software, there is no programming. Improvements for pneumatic tools lie in ergonomic improvements and increasing uptime. There are no torque read-outs or OK signals reported, but Matt explains that we do have a RE Qualifier II, which verifies “ok tightening” and counts bolts without measuring torque. This device works with all Atlas Copco shut-off tools with RE signal ports, all PTI models, the LTV RE and LTD RE nutrunners, and the LUM screwdriver RE. Following this question, a viewer asks whether Atlas Copco offers low-torque pneumatic assembly tooling options. Matt says that we do, and that the EBL clutch screwdriver has a range of inch-pounds to 500 Nm. 

In the final part of the Q&A, Matt goes into Atlas Copco's pulse tools. We have three available versions: the PTS, PTX, and PTI. The ErgoPulse PTI pulse tool combines both the PTS and the PTX, and we will soon be phasing out those two options and will only have the PTI available. Pulse tools are discontinuous drive tools that apply torque in small increments. They are easier to operate and have less reaction force. A viewer asks about the applications best suited for pneumatic assembly tools. Matt explains that they are best for medium-hard joints and for plant floors with plenty of room to move around. When asked about our BCP/BCV-RE tools, Matt explains that they are battery clutch nutrunners that aren’t air powered, but they are inexpensive and have a wide torque range. They are sort of a hybrid of pneumatic assembly tools and DC electric tools.