How pneumatic cylinders can improve your efficiencies

Pneumatic cylinders are the simple, unflashy workhorses of modern manufacturing. But don’t let their relative simplicity fool you, these integral components provide huge bang for your buck if you need an efficient, affordable and clean source of linear or rotary motion. In this article, API Pneumatic UK gives you the ins and outs of all the efficiencies pneumatic cylinders have to offer – both in terms of process efficiencies and cost efficiencies.

What is a pneumatic cylinder?

Pneumatic cylinders, or pneumatic actuators, convert the potential energy of compressed air into mechanical energy. They provide linear or rotary motion and force to machines and automated systems across a range of industrial applications. Lightweight and low-maintenance, pneumatic cylinders may not generate as much force and speed as their hydraulic or electric counterparts, but they certainly offer a cost-efficient alternative.

How does a pneumatic cylinder work?

Pneumatic cylinders force a piston to move in a specific direction. This piston is typically a smaller cylinder attached to a rod, which transfers the force of the compressed air to an object that needs to be moved. Since this process is relatively straightforward from an engineering perspective, pneumatic cylinders offer a “fit and forget” solution and an extended service life compared to comparable pieces of equipment.

What are the main types of pneumatic cylinders?

There are two main types of pneumatic cylinders: single-acting cylinders and double-acting cylinders. A single-acting cylinder uses the force of a single pressure to move the piston in one direction (usually away from the cylinder), whereas double-acting cylinders have two ports to control each stroke. This means that the air pressure is used in the extension and the retraction strokes, providing high force in both directions.

What are the benefits of a pneumatic cylinder?

Pneumatic cylinders offer a number of benefits. Perhaps one of the most important is their quick rate of cycling. Pneumatic cylinders provide quick acceleration and rapid velocity, especially if backpressure is low. Pneumatic cylinders also offer high precision and repeatability. The very fact that these actuators use air means that they’re not only efficient, but also meet explosion protection and machine safety requirements.

Pneumatic cylinders are also cost-efficient in terms of their relative affordability, low maintenance requirements and durability – they routinely run for years with very few issues. They’re also simple to commission, install and troubleshoot. Plus, they operate cleanly, using a readily available power source: air. This is a major advantage for sanitary applications, like food and beverage production.

Make API UK your pneumatic cylinder supplier of choice

As you can see, pneumatic cylinders offer a whole range of benefits and efficiencies for the modern manufacturer. At API UK, we are leading pneumatic cylinder suppliers and provide the highest quality single and double-acting pneumatic cylinders on the market. We provide a same-day build service for bespoke ISO 15552 pneumatic cylinders and are one of the few manufacturers to offer our own range of stainless steel cylinders.

For more information about our pneumatic cylinders, please contact API Pneumatic UK today on 01782 206 995 or email us at [email protected].