While the internet has allowed the transport of data and information to take place in mere seconds, there are still scenarios where actual items have to be moved around very quickly. In a building, a typical way of bringing documents from one office to the next would be for someone to physically carry it with them. However, this is highly inefficient and takes time and resources away from work getting done.
This is why the pneumatic tube system was created. Developed in the 1800s, the pneumatic tube system was first implemented for transporting mail. Since then, the popularity of this old technology has been on the decline. However, some industries still rely on the pneumatic tube system for their day to day operations.
Parts of the Pneumatic Tube System
Given the age of this type of technology, some people might not be familiar with the pneumatic tube system – especially the younger generations.
Essentially, a pneumatic tube system is an intricate network of tubes that go around a building. It’s not as simple as just putting an item into this system of tubes. The items to be transported have to be placed inside a cylindrical container called a carrier. Carriers are designed to fit perfectly inside these tubes for efficiency. Carriers are taken and received at specialized ports of the system called stations. Once a carrier is inserted into a station, the blowers are activated and send air into the tube system. The air then pushes the carrier to its designated destination with the help of diverters – places where the tubes branch out to other destinations.
Due to the intricacy of pneumatic tube systems, these aren’t things that can be installed DIY. Specialized companies offer pneumatic tube system solutions to interested clients. These companies are equipped with the appropriate tools and knowledge to install these pneumatic tube systems perfectly.
Pneumatic Tube System Benefits To Know
Even with the current technological advancements, some places of business still use the pneumatic tube system to great effect. Here are some benefits to know about the pneumatic tube system.
Although it may not be as fast as the internet, the pneumatic tube system is still pretty fast – especially when you take in account its age. Carriers typically move around a pneumatic tube system at 25 feet per second. At this speed, an item can be delivered from the bottom of the Empire State Building right to the top in less than a minute – that’s significantly faster compared to a person riding the elevator to hand deliver the same parcel.
Speed is especially important to the current industries that still make use of this system. For example, warehouses and distribution centers are among the current places that still use pneumatic tube systems. These facilities operate by moving things around. With a pneumatic tube system, their work and efficiency are greatly improved and streamlined.
If you had to compare, which is a more secure way of transporting a valuable item from point A to point B: a person carrying it or in a hidden tube system integrated into the building? This is why industries that require a certain degree of security still use pneumatic tube systems today.
One example of this in action would be that modern casinos rely on pneumatic tube systems. Especially larger casinos, pneumatic tube systems allow the transport of valuable items such as money and chips across floors without the risk of theft. Aside from security, casinos also take advantage of the speed of pneumatic tube systems because casinos are often fast-paced environments.
Hospitals also use pneumatic tube systems to transport valuable items from one place to another. Unlike casinos that use pneumatic tube systems to transport money, hospitals use pneumatic tube systems to transport specimen samples. Pneumatic tube systems are a great way to safely transport samples. Not only do pneumatic tube systems protect specimen samples, but they also minimize the contact between samples and people. Thus pneumatic tube systems can also help protect people.
Without a pneumatic tube system, the typical way of bringing one item from one place to another is for someone to bring them along. However, this takes time and resources away from a company. Bringing an item personally takes time away from that person – time that could have been used to do productive work.
When used efficiently, pneumatic tube systems can help save a company tons of money just by letting their employees spend their time working instead of moving things around. Especially for large companies that have documents and paperwork moving around all the time, pneumatic tube systems are clear investments that would not only make their employees’ lives better, but also help them become more productive.
Maintenance and Reliability
Even though pneumatic tube systems are relatively rudimentary compared to technology being developed today, they have one advantage of being old tech – maintenance and reliability. The tube system itself may be complex, but the parts of a pneumatic tube system are very simple. This means that they are very reliable and easy to maintain.
As mentioned above, there are very few parts that make up a pneumatic tube system, making it easy to diagnose when a problem does arise. If the air isn’t moving, then there’s a problem with the blower. If the air is moving and a carrier hasn’t arrived at its designated station, then there’s a problem with the tubes. This is the beauty of a system with only a few moving parts.
Furthermore, modern pneumatic tube systems are often installed by companies specializing in them. These companies often have reliable 24/7 customer service features that would make maintenance and repair very easy to do.
Even though pneumatic tube systems are pretty old-school, many industries still use them today. Furthermore, there are still companies around that specialize in developing pneumatic tube systems for interested clients.