Compressed air audits are valuable exercises on significant energy users in a plant. Often done on main compressed air systems, these studies are also valuable on secondary systems, like dedicated low pressure circuits that feed production machinery. An audit of such a system turned up some surprising results on a process that was initially thought to be very efficient.
Machine builders aiming to improve the energy efficiency of their machines tend to focus on using energy media other than pneumatics (typically electro-mechanical or hydraulic) since pneumatics, as traditionally applied, is viewed by some as inefficient due to factors like leakage and over-pressurization (i.e.: supplying a higher pressure in an actuator to accomplish a task which is endemic in practice). But they shouldn't, with its low cost of ownership, pneumatics when properly used remains a viable and many times preferable energy source for a given application.