This research paper aims at addressing solutions that reduce air consumption in generic pneumatic systems used for pickand- place operations. The investigation considers different system architectures both with a single control valve and two control valves arranged according to an independent metering configuration. Suitable control strategies are then proposed exploiting multiple timings to shut off the non-proportional switching valve(s). The resulting scenarios are experimentally evaluated on a dedicated test-bed. The main conclusion is that reduction of air consumption up to 73% is possible in comparison to the state-of-the-art layout for the reference application. Numerical simulations obtained by means of specific dynamic models suggest these air savings are consistent for actuators with different strokes.