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    Solutions in Motion™

    What Types of Cylinders Are Most Effective in the Food Processing Industry?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Oct 19 ,2017

    As an industry, food processing covers a lot of ground. It’s candy bars in wrappers, potato chips in bags, shrink-wrapped meat, and any number of prepared products in cans and boxes. It’s beverages, too, with production and bottling of everything from water to beer or wine in plastic, glass or aluminum containers. And these containers must be flawlessly sanitary.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators, Packaging Machinery

    Pack Expo 101: What to Ask at the Big Packaging Event

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 25 ,2017

    If you're in the packaging industry, you've likely heard of the PACK EXPO, which just wrapped up this past week in Las Vegas. Whether you’re new to the industry or a packaging veteran, the PACK EXPO is a great opportunity to explore manufacturing options or start a conversation with others in the industry.

    Here at W.C. Branham, we are especially proud of the role our company and products have played over the years in helping improve packaging equipment design and functionality. Versatility is critical when it comes to equipment design options, because “packaging” covers a lot of ground. Products come in all sizes, shapes, and weights, all of which present certain design challenges. But all equipment requires actuators to move the process along and stop/hold at certain points.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators, Pneumatic Cylinders, Packaging Machinery

    Pneumatic or Electric Linear Actuator: Key Differences and Applications

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 1 ,2017

    Actuators move or control devices or system components. Linear actuators operate in a straight line. They can be powered with air, fluid, electricity, or even the human hand—although for industrial applications, a hand crank is a bit rustic. Let us clarify for you the differences between pneumatic and electric linear actuators.

    In some ways, both types of actuators are the same. Both electric and pneumatic designs are compact, and they are both cost-efficient, though in somewhat different ways. Electric actuators offer excellent design flexibility when it comes to control options, good for when you need extreme precision. Pneumatic actuators are known for their quick response and defined stroke. They can deliver force anywhere between 4,000 and 2,000 pounds.

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    Topics: Air Cylinders, Pneumatic Actuators, rodless cylinders

    What's the Difference Between a Hydraulic and Pneumatic Linear Actuator?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jul 27 ,2017

    An actuator is a device that converts energy into movement. A linear actuator moves a load in a straight line. The energy source that operates an actuator can be hydraulic (fluid-based), pneumatic (air pressure-based), or even electric.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Pneumatic Cylinder Repair: Should I Fix it or Replace it?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jun 21 ,2017

    At W.C. Branham, we take great pride in the quality of our products, which are built to last. Nonetheless, wear and tear is inevitable. Pneumatic cylinders used in industrial applications or in heavy machinery, for instance, often face extremely demanding working conditions. They are constantly moving, often fast and under tremendous force.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators, Pneumatic Cylinders

    Pneumatic Actuators: Cable, Magnetically Coupled, or Band Type Rodless Cylinders?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Apr 5 ,2017

    Once you have decided that pneumatic actuators are the best choice for your industrial automation project, you still have a critical design decision to make: which type? Should you use cable, magnetically coupled, or band type rodless cylinders?

    Pneumatic actuators are often the most cost-effective solution when you want to create linear motion. Single-acting or double-acting cylinders can be used to accomplish the task:

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    5 Common Mistakes Made When Sizing a Pneumatic Linear Actuator

    Posted by Troy Branham on Dec 22 ,2016

    Pneumatic linear actuators offer numerous advantages across a wide variety of applications. However, they must be spec’d properly. Otherwise, the result could be less-than-desired productivity and greater-than-expected problems, downtime, and costs. There are several factors that affect sizing.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    What to Ask When Applying Pneumatic Rod Cylinders to a Mechanical Design

    Posted by Troy Branham on Oct 19 ,2016

    There is no doubt that when designing a complex piece of specialized equipment pneumatic rod cylinders have a lot of advantages. For one, there is no better way to pack a big punch in a small package when you need it. However, it’s not like one size fits all. You need to find the right fit for your application, so these are a few key questions to ask when applying pneumatic rod cylinders to your mechanical design.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Proper Maintenance for Your Rodless Cable Pneumatic Cylinder

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 28 ,2016

    Rodless cable pneumatic cylinders are very useful for many applications because they save space. With no rod to extend or retract, rodless cable cylinders stroke along their own body length. So they save valuable machine space because they are almost half the overall length of a comparable rod cylinder while producing the same, if not more, punch.

    W.C. Branham manufactures all of our cable pneumatic cylinders using the highest quality of materials and workmanship. From Mil-Spec rated cables which provide millions of continuous cycles to 6063T6 aluminum hard coated I.D. and O.D. tubing to sheaves made from high strength aluminum and superior sealing, you can count on them to provide reliable operation with minimal maintenance for years.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    What is a Linear Actuator?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 7 ,2016

    A linear actuator is any mechanical device that converts energy (power from air, electricity, or liquid) to create motion in a straight line, such as blocking, clamping, ejecting, lifting, descending, pushing, or pulling.

    It’s typically used in industrial automation and machinery, in applications along with motors, valves, pumps, switches, dampers, and in many other places where linear motion is required.

    A linear actuator moves a load, which can be an assembly, components, or a finished product, in a straight line, and is powered by pressurized fluid or air, as well as electricity.

    How Do Linear Actuators Work?

    Hydraulic and pneumatic actuators differ in how they work.

    Hydraulic actuators — also known as hydraulic cylinders — have a hollow cylinder with a piston inserted. An unbalanced pressure applied to the piston generates force that can move an external object.

    Since liquids are nearly incompressible, a hydraulic cylinder can provide controlled, precise linear displacement of the piston, but only along the axis of the piston. A good example is a hydraulic car jack.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators