Solutions in Motion™

    Fluid Power 101: Common Uses for DURATRK™

    Posted by Troy Branham on Mar 28 ,2019

    When we talk about fluid power, we often think of hydraulics because hydraulic actuators use a fluid such as oil. But let’s not forget that air is also a fluid, even though it’s not a liquid, because it flows. And air is a powerful option for driving industrial actuators — often the preferred option compared to hydraulic actuators.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Ready for More: Branham Hopes to Back 6 Teams in 2019 Hyperloop Competition

    Posted by Troy Branham on Mar 7 ,2019

    For four years in a row, Elon Musk's SpaceX has invited high school and college students to design and create a pod for the Hyperloop Pod Competition. The pods designed by student engineers are expected to help the development of a new, faster, cheaper form of transportation, The Hyperloop. 

    Last year, we provided caliper brakes to the University of Michigan's team, Michigan Hyperloop. 

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    Topics: Hyperloop

    Gearbox Repair: What To Do If Your Gearbox Breaks Down

    Posted by Troy Branham on Mar 5 ,2019

    Wear and tear is a fact of life for machinery operating in industrial settings that feature high temperatures, high speeds, outdoor dirt, or harsh washdowns. Even the highest quality components eventually break down. Right angle gearboxes are generally low-maintenance, but if something goes wrong, how can you tell if you’re looking at gearbox repair versus replacement?

    The sooner you detect emerging problems, the better your chances of a less costly repair instead of an untimely, expensive gearbox failure. Developing problems can also push gearbox components out of spec, which weakens performance and speeds further damage. Here are some signs to look for and steps you can take to troubleshoot gearbox problems.

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearbox

    [VIDEO] Supporting the Car Wash Industry with a 20-Year Partnership

    Posted by Troy Branham on Feb 27 ,2019

    If there is such a thing as a manufacturing match made in heaven, it may be W.C. Branham and Airlift Doors. Airlift Doors, a Minnesota-based commercial door manufacturer specializing in car care applications like car washes, service bays, car dealerships, and more, first started working with W.C. Branham in 1995.

    Today, that partnership is over 20 years strong and showing no signs of slowing down, thanks to ingenuity and quality products:

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    Topics: Pneumatic Door Operators

    What's the Difference Between a Mechanical, Electric, Hydraulic, and Pneumatic Cylinders?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Feb 20 ,2019

    When choosing the best type of actuator for your design, there are several variables to consider: What you need to move, how you need it to move, and under what conditions. 

    Your four choices are mechanical, electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic. The difference between these cylinders gives each one distinct advantages and disadvantages when used for certain applications.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    When Do You Need Stainless Steel Gearboxes?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jan 30 ,2019

    Nothing looks more professional than stainless steel gearboxes. They’re so shiny and clean-looking. And that might actually matter if your working environment sees visiting guests or official inspectors. Other equipment that needs re-painting or a new powder coating can make the entire facility seem sub-standard.

    But a pretty face isn’t enough, especially in certain industrial applications. You need gearboxes that can perform reliably as spec’d, for a long time, with minimal fuss, so there are serious functional reasons to choose stainless steel gearboxes.

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearbox

    How 3D CAD Design Software Helps us Customize Actuators

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jan 23 ,2019

    Computer-aided design (CAD) software is such a great tool, especially because we can use it to design products in 3D! Our engineers can create, analyze, and modify any potential actuator — in some cases without ever having to manufacture a prototype. This is a huge boon for us and our customers.

    Here at W.C. Branham, we do a lot of custom work. Although we make a tremendous variety of actuators with a wide range of configuration options, every industrial design is different. So, you could say almost every product we sell is customized in some way, even if it wasn’t uniquely designed from scratch.

    Here's how we use 3D CAD design software to customize actuators.

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    Topics: Custom Manufacturing

    How to Decide Between Hydraulic and Pneumatic Actuation for Your Project

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jan 16 ,2019

    Fluid power can be complex. There are a lot of variables to consider when deciding what type fluid will be best to power your project. Should you choose hydraulic actuation that uses an oil-type fluid or pneumatic actuation that uses compressed air?

    Here is a quick guide for picking the right kind of actuation for your project.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    When and Why Would You Need an Air/Oil Intensifier?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Dec 5 ,2018

    Hydraulic caliper disc brakes can be an excellent choice for many industrial applications, especially those that require clamping or similar high-force movements. But what if compressed air is your only power source? An air/oil intensifier can convert low-pressure into high pressure in instances where a hydraulic pressure system is not available or where hydraulic pressure is too low.

    That means you can spec hydraulic caliper disc brakes even for applications where there will be no hydraulic system pressure source. An air/oil intensifier, also known as an air-to-oil booster, can operate using standard shop air, which is typically 80-100 psi.

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    Topics: Caliper Disc Brakes

    Why Pneumatic Rodless Cylinders are Ideal for Passenger Train Doors

    Posted by Troy Branham on Nov 14 ,2018

    Passenger train doors have to work smoothly, quietly, safely, and reliably. Often, they have to function in extreme conditions, where heat and/or humidity are very high, or temperatures are well below zero. They have to endure constant vibration and frequent shocks, no matter how well-maintained the railroad tracks. And passenger train doors are heavy. This is a job for pneumatic rodless cylinders.

    Here's why pneumatic operating systems are the ideal choice for both internal and external passenger train doors.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators