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    Solutions in Motion™

    Advice for Enhancing Your Engineering Design Process

    Posted by Chad Randleman on Aug 24 ,2016

    The engineering design process is a basic progression of several steps that mimic the process used in almost any problem-solving scenario.  The difference between a basic analytical problem and an engineered design problem is that an analytical problem has only one solution whereas a design problem can have many potential solutions. The job of an engineer or designer is to determine which solution is the best based upon what the most desirable outcome is.

    1. Identification

    The process begins by identifying a problem that requires an engineered solution. The first step is to identify and define what the problem is. Next, it is important to gather information, define any constraints that would impact the design and begin to imagine possible solutions to solve the problem.

    2. Planning 

    Once you have generated a few solutions you can begin planning what you will need.

    • What materials will be required?
    • What manufactured products exist that can be implemented into the design?  
    • What are the most important criteria of the design?
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    Topics: Insider

    How Does a Magnetic Coupling Work?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Aug 17 ,2016

    Magnetic couplers convey force without any actual physical contact. Because magnetic forces attract and repel, they can perform this action in a linear or rotary fashion. But how does magnetic coupling work, and why is it so useful? 

    The Magic of Magnets

    Magnetic couplers convey force without any actual physical contact. Because magnetic forces attract and repel, they can perform this action in a linear or rotary fashion.

    Magnetically coupled cylinders have a carrier that moves from end to end in both directions on a tube.

    End caps with pneumatic fittings allow the user to shuttle the carrier from one position to another using air as power in conjunction with a pneumatic control box. It could shuttle a few inches on an industrial machine or move 10 feet on a car wash door (like the DoorTec pictured here on a car wash door).

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    [VIDEO] Fixed Brakes vs. Floating Brakes

    Posted by Chad Randleman on Aug 10 ,2016

    What are the differences between double live sided fixed mount caliper disc brakes and single live sided floating mount caliper disc brakes? Those are the two options available when specifying and designing in the caliper disc brake for an application.

    Many models are available in both options and you can choose between the two depending on your mounting preference. Chad Ranldleman, W.C. Branham's VP Engineering and General Manager, discusses your options in this edition of Solutions in Motion.

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    Topics: Caliper Disc Brakes

    Tips for Choosing the Right Overhead Pneumatic Door Operator

    Posted by Troy Branham on Aug 3 ,2016

    The biggest question you might ask when choosing an overhead pneumatic door operator is, “Why pay more for pneumatic when an electrical operator will do?” The answer is that the added expense more than pays for itself in applications that require the smooth performance, higher speed, and increased dependability that pneumatic door operators offer. Here are some tips that will help you make the right choice.

    The greatest advantage of pneumatic door operators over electrical is dependability. Pneumatic door operators are, by design, air cylinders. A basic pneumatic operator looks like two rod cylinders connected by a chain and sprocket. Lower-cost electrical operators can require costly maintenance – meaning potentially lost customers who can’t enter, or equipment damaged to the elements when the door won’t properly shut.

    Dependability revolves around two important qualities in the right pneumatic door operator: speed and power.

    Speedy Operation

    Speed becomes important when you’re trying to keep out elements that can damage equipment, like cold weather. Saving seconds in opening and closing times can make a big difference in working equipment when temperatures dip below freezing. Also, in an application like a car wash, continuous door cycling paces customers through the service, adding up throughout the year.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Door Operators

    7 Signs You May Need an Air Cylinder Repair

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jul 28 ,2016

    Troubleshooting problems with air cylinders can be complicated when you’re faced with numerous situations that can lead to downtime and equipment damage or failure. With a rigorous preventive maintenance program and awareness of where problems can come from, air cylinders can be kept running at optimum performance levels while maintaining maximum functionality. So what are the seven signs you may need an air cylinder repair?

    Your air cylinder may need repair if you notice any of these warning signs:

    1. Failure to move (or actuate)
      Lack of movement is a clear sign that something is wrong. Monitoring actuating pressure can help avoid system breakdown.

    2. Actuating too slowly

    3. Requiring higher than normal pressure to actuate
      If pilot control pressure is too low, the control line may be too small or the metering choke valve could be malfunctioning. Also, there may be mechanical binding between the working load and the air cylinder, so check to make sure that the parallelism is maintained.

    4. Visual corrosion or excessive wear

    5. Hissing noises

    6. Load pulsing
      Air cylinders are known for their smooth, almost silent movement. If you notice a change, it’s probably not running right.
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    Topics: Air Cylinders

    [VIDEO] Introduction to DURATRK™ Rodless Cylinders

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jul 26 ,2016

     

    W.C. Branham President and CEO Troy Branham introduces our pneumatic actuator line, specifically our new DURATRK™ slot tube style rodless band cylinders in this edition of Solutions in Motion. 

    We make the  DURATRK™ product in six bore sizes, ranging from 18mm bore diameter up to 63mm. We cut our tube profiles in very small increments all the way up to 21 feet, depending upon a specific customer need. Our standard DTS model has an integrated piston yoke assembly, ideally for those applications where there's a light to moderate cylinder load requirement that the cylinder must move. 

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Mechanical, Pneumatic or Hydraulic Brakes: What is Best for My Application?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jul 14 ,2016

     When you’re trying to decide which type of brake is best for your particular application (such as mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic brakes), it’s important to understand both the reasons for braking and the differences in the types of brakes available for industrial equipment and on- and off-road braking applications.

    Understanding the Reasons for Braking

    1. Dynamic Braking

    The primary reason for braking is, of course, to get something to stop — also known as “dynamic braking.” A disc is moving and your goal is to get it to come to a complete stop. Any on- or off-road vehicle, aircraft service vehicles, golf carts, construction machinery or even wind turbines refer to this as “active braking.”

    2. Holding Position

    A second reason involves a “holding position,” which is common with industrial machinery with rotating parts. A winch is a good example of holding position braking. When payout or reeling is complete, a holding position can be of critical value.

    3. Controlling Speed

    Lastly, there’s “tensioning,” which falls between dynamic braking and holding, and is used for controlling speed. Anything that comes on a roll, such as newspaper, foil, or tape, is manufactured by a web handling system and involves tensioning. Tensioning brakes are applied often, so their pads have high wear rates, but are easily replaceable.

    However deciding on which type of brake to use will depend on what’s best for your application, so let’s “brake it down” further…

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    Topics: Caliper Disc Brakes

    [VIDEO] Brake Pads and the Coefficient of Friction

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jul 7 ,2016

    What are the options available to you with friction materials when selecting your caliper disc brake? The main three attributes to consider when selecting that material are the material's wear rate, the coefficient of friction, and its energy capacity.

    W.C. Branham VP of Engineering and General Manager Chad Randleman explains the coefficient of friction in this edition of Solutions in Motion.

     

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    Topics: Brake Pads

    Which Right Angle Gearbox Will Work Best for Your Mechanical Design

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jul 7 ,2016

    Within the world of gearboxes, there are so many configurations that choosing the right product for your particular mechanical design can be challenging. Nowadays, custom gearboxes are more and more common, chiefly because manufacturing to specification is easier than ever, with newer machine tools as well as design and automation software. So, when determining the right angle gearbox that will work best for your mechanical design, it’s important to identify the key aspects of your design and application.

    A Checklist for Selecting Your Right Angle Gearbox

    Gearing that mounts properly and performs to specification is easier after reviewing the following and answering as many of these questions as possible:

    • How will the gearbox be used?
      Is it used to adjust something by hand, or a high-speed motor? What is the expected duty cycle of the gearbox? Continuous? Intermittent?


    • What right angle drive is typically used in the application?
      What mounting features and locations does your configuration require?

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearboxes