Increasingly, space is a major consideration when designing equipment for industrial applications. Compact air cylinders are becoming more popular than ever, because of their short stroke and low profile which can accommodate tight spaces where traditional cylinders would not fit.
Small but mighty
Compact pneumatic cylinders may be smaller, but they can be just as powerful as their larger cousins. They can be used for linear actuation and control in a wide variety of applications, including:
- Conveyor systems
- Food processing
- Material handling
- Automated assembly or sorting
- Bottling and filling
- Wire machinery
While some larger pneumatic actuators feature a rodless design, all compact air cylinders use a piston rod. Single-action units provide force in one direction only, either to extend or retract the piston rod. The opposite movement can be benign (occurring automatically when air pressure is released) or spring-activated. Single-action compact air cylinders are a good choice for ejecting or clamping parts and for actuating levers or flaps.
Double-acting compact air cylinders use direct pressure to both extend and retract the piston rod. This style is commonly used in applications from bending and clamping to lifting and lowering, feeding, sorting, punching, and shaking.
What can that small size do for you?
Compact pneumatic cylinders offer distinct advantages, thanks to their design versatility. These benefits include:
- Lighter weight
- Adaptable to more applications and environments
- Greater equipment design flexibility
- Multiple mounting options to further support efficient design and ensure top performance
- Numerous standard configurations are possible
- Custom design offers virtually unlimited options
- Powerful, reliable performance
- Multi-piston design can be used to produce greater thrust
- Feedback sensors can be used to accommodate multiple load positions
Choosing compact cylinders from W.C. Branham offers distinct advantages as well. We make both traditional and compact pneumatic cylinders, each of which can be spec’d in multiple lengths and bore sizes in the following product lines:
- DURATRK™ Rodless Band Cylinders
- MAGTEC® Magnetically Coupled Rodless Cylinders
- pneU-SA® Rodless Enclosed Cable Cylinder
Eliminating piston rotation
Piston rotation can be a challenge in many applications. Typically, guides are installed to prevent rotation. However, at W.C. Branham we have an elegant alternative — the OVLPRO™ Low Profile rod cylinder. The piston is oval, not round. That keeps the piston rod from rotating as it extends or retracts and gives the cylinder a lower profile compared to traditional ISO and NFPA round bore products. The OVLPRO™ can be mounted flat or on its side.
This product offers threading and porting options, and it is available in 14 standard stroke lengths, and can be custom-made with any stroke length up to 12 inches. In addition, W.C. Branham will soon be launching a new smaller bore OVLPRO™ Low Profile, compact rodless cylinder this fall.
Despite the fact that compact air cylinders offer seemingly endless standard configurations, sometimes your application requires a product that is truly unique. At W.C. Branham, we specialize in addressing custom design needs, and we’re always here to help. Feel free to contact us!