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    Solutions in Motion™

    Ask the Engineer: How Do You Determine Moment Load?

    Posted by Chad Randleman on Jun 19 ,2019

    There are always numerous factors that go into choosing the right linear actuator for an application. One consideration that is often overlooked is moment loading. Moment load comes into play when the cylinder is located some distance away from the actual load that it's lifting. That distance may be very short, but you have to account for it along with the weight of the load in order to spec the proper cylinder.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Why Compact Air Cylinders Are Still A Big Deal

    Posted by Troy Branham on May 30 ,2019

    When we hear the familiar phrases “small but mighty” and “oldie but goodie” referring to fluid power, what comes to mind? Compact air cylinders, of course! Although they've been around since the 1950s, compact air cylinders have certainly stood the test of time. They have proven so versatile, they’re still the right solution for a wide range of industrial applications.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    When is a Double-Acting Air Cylinder Right for Your Application?

    Posted by Troy Branham on May 1 ,2019

    Cylinders that convert energy into linear motion can be powered by hydraulic fluid or compressed air. Hydraulic cylinders are usually the go-to option for seriously heavy-duty lifting and moving because hydraulics are very powerful and can provide tremendous holding strength. But for most industrial applications, the more agile air cylinder is often a better choice.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    What is a Linear Actuator?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Apr 24 ,2019

    When you're looking to move a load in a straight line in an industrial application, a linear actuator is probably your answer. Linear actuators, also called cylinders, that movement possible. Without them, automated equipment could not exist. But the type of actuator depends on the situation. Each type of actuator has its own pros and cons, but understanding how each kind of linear actuator works will help you decide.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    When Would I Use a Hydraulic Cable Linear Actuator?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Apr 10 ,2019

    There is a wide variety of pneumatic products on the market that nicely suits almost any industrial purpose. But, in some cases, a hydraulic cable linear actuator may be the better choice.

    All linear actuators convert energy into straight-line motion, forward and/or back. Hydraulic actuators use fluid as a power source rather than compressed air, and they use either a rod or a cable to move the load. Each type has advantages and limitations, so the key to successful performance is matching the cylinder with the task at hand. Let’s look at the differences between these two types of hydraulic actuators.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Electric Linear Actuators: What Do They Do?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Oct 17 ,2018

    Full disclaimer: W.C. Branham Inc. does not currently manufacture electric linear actuators. Instead, we manufacture many different types of pneumatic and low-pressure hydraulic linear actuators for over 35 years. So then, why write about electric linear actuators? Simple: We’d like to give you a few things to think about when you are trying to decide if going electric is right for your next application.

    As the name implies, a linear actuator moves a load of some kind in a straight line. You can use hydraulic or pneumatic power or electricity to operate linear actuators, but we’ll take a closer look at the electric option. How does it work? What can it do? And how does it differ from other options?

    Here's what you need to know about electric linear actuators.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators