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    Solutions in Motion™

    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

    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] 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, Videos