How to Specify Pneumatic Cylinders

With the range of styles, sizes and shapes of pneumatic cylinders on the market today, it can sometimes be difficult to specify the type of cylinder you need for your application. As the number of standard options available on the market grows, you may feel spoiled for choice due to the sheer amount of products that may fit within your specifications. But how often is “good enough” actually good enough?

Sometimes it’s easier to choose a custom cylinder, but that choice is often costly and quickly becomes cost-prohibitive if you need to work with many cylinders at once. How do you specify a pneumatic cylinder for a specific application without resorting to a custom option? Read our white paper to learn four design aspects that can help you specify the right air cylinder for your needs.

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Pneumatic Cylinders

Blog Webinar

Design Insights: How to Select the Right Pneumatic Actuator for your Application [Webinar]

Designers tend to consider only basic functionality when specifying pneumatic actuators. But your application may require specific design features to optimize these critical components for unique environments or loading constraints.

To explore these topics further, we’ve teamed up with Festo to present a free webinar next week. “Design Insights: How To Select the Right Pneumatic Actuator for Your Application” will take place on Tuesday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. In this live event hosted by Machine Design, our experts will discuss the various standards and form factors to which actuators are designed, as well as some of the technologies that can enhance their functionality or durability in an application.

Our webinar speakers are Troy Sanders, National Sales Manager at Fabco-Air, and Michael Guelker, Product Manager – Pneumatic Actuators at Festo. Both Sanders and Guelker are bringing many years of technical and sales experience at Fabco-Air and Festo to this event.

To register for “Design Insights: How To Select the Right Pneumatic Actuator for Your Application,” please visit our webinar landing page. See you there!

Actuators Air Preparation Blog

Food-Grade Pneumatic Cylinders Served Fast

When it comes to food and beverage production, exposure to moisture and chemicals from washdowns is likely your first concern when specifying an actuator. But, thanks to the ever-challenging throughput demands of the food industry, getting the right actuator quickly is also a top priority. That’s why it pays to work with a vendor that has a lineup of products that stand up to the rigors of food and beverage industry applications and can be tailor-made quickly to satisfy your special requirements.

Many Fabco-Air pneumatic cylinders are available in food-grade variants that offer exceptional moisture and chemical resistance for a wide variety of applications such as meat, poultry and fish processing as well as filling and sealing, packaging, canning and sorting. And, our food-grade cylinders come with corrosion-resistant seals and FDA-approved lubricants. Highlights of our food and beverage pneumatic cylinder offering include:

  • Original Pancake® and Pancake® II. Designers of food and beverage equipment don’t have to sacrifice short strokes, compact size and durable construction. Pancake variants are washdown resistant and are offered in Delrin® and all-stainless steel versions.
  • F-Series interchangeable cylinders. Our light-duty, cost-effective cylinders are available in Delrin or stainless steel versions. The F-Series Delrin variant comes with a Delrin head and cap, and stainless steel piston rods for corrosion resistance. The Stainless Steel F-Series is made from 303 and 304 stainless steel and comes with a food-rated rod wiper.
  • NFPA Series. Both the OEM and standard NFPA from Fabco offer corrosion resistance as standard with an anodized head, cap and barrel with options to include a stainless steel piston rod, tie rods and fasteners. Additional options such as Viton seals and metallic rod scrapers also increase the durability of these cylinders in harsher environments. Fabco can also provide an NFPA with hard anodized head and cap and a composite barrel, and, for the harshest environments, an all-stainless NFPA — both as custom solutions.
  • Air Preparation. Our lineup of air preparation products for food and beverage applications includes FRL and mist separation units.

Custom Food-Grade Cylinders With Quick Turnarounds

In today’s food and beverage industry, having the right parts for your equipment is critical to achieving and maintaining optimum production. Because these Fabco-Air products are variants of standard models, we can deliver them to you quickly so your equipment can get up and running to meet your challenging food and beverage production goals.

For more information about Fabco-Air pneumatic cylinders for food and beverage applications, visit our industry page.

Air Preparation Blog High Force Actuators

The Right Pneumatic Component Partner Can Help You Keep Automotive Manufacturing on Schedule

When you manufacture products for a just-in-time industry like automotive, the windows for machine design and construction typically get smaller with each product. In addition, the machines and equipment you build must stand up to harsh conditions on the factory floor. That’s why when it comes to selecting pneumatic components, it’s important to partner with a supplier who not only can provide tough, durable products, they must also get them to you fast.

Fabco-Air offers durable, pneumatic cylinders, accessories and air preparation products that withstand the rigors of capital equipment used for automotive production. Whether they’re intended for clamping, lifting, positioning or pressing — or keeping your plant’s compressed air tools and systems in optimal shape — our wide and varied lineup of standard pneumatic components come in many sizes, ready for shipping. We can also modify off-the-shelf components and ship custom samples to you in just 72 hours. Here are some examples of Fabco products that are well suited for automotive applications:

  • Pneumatic Cylinders. Heavy-duty construction features include anodized aluminum bodies, stainless steel piston rods and a high-strength composite to give these actuators added durability. Many cylinders also come pre-lubed with Magnalube-G® Teflon™-impregnated grease for a long operating life. ISO models like the FAQ2R and FAE Series with 6431 and 6432 dimensional interchanges, respectively, as well as the Fabco NFPA give designers flexibility and confidence when designing and specifying these components.
  • Multi-Power® Cylinders. This cylinder family is designed with multiple piston heads connected to a single rod, resulting in tremendous thrust forces. Multi-Power cylinders use just a small amount of shop air and don’t need a high-pressure hydraulic system. They have a composite rod bearing for long life and a hard chrome-plated stainless steel piston rod to ensure reliable operation.
  • Air Preparation Products. We’ll help you keep critical parts and tools throughout your plant running at their best and over a long lifetime with a large selection of filters, regulators, lubricators and separators plus FRLs and other combination units.
  • Swing Clamps. Available with single-or double-sided clamp arms, swing clamps provide easy access for loading and unloading workpieces.
  • Rod Locks. These accessories feature high clamping forces and require minimal air for release.
  • Specials. If our standard parts don’t quite meet your application’s requirements, we can modify our cylinders and air products to your exact specifications. In fact, almost half our business comes from specially modified products.

Pneumatic Components When You Need Them

As automotive manufacturers ramp up facilities to meet increasingly stringent production deadlines, component availability and reliability are critical to preventing unacceptable delays. When you need high-quality pneumatic technology for your automotive equipment, durable, reliable and readily available standard and custom components make Fabco an invaluable partner to get you up and running fast and for a long time.

For more information about Fabco-Air pneumatic components for automotive applications, visit our industry page.

Job Positions

Facility Roles – Gainesville, Florida

Fabco-Air is accepting applications for machine operators, maintenance workers and assembly technicians. If you are interested, please submit an application form and include a cover letter and resume.

Blog Grippers Linear Slides

Pneumatic Components Help Packaging Operations Meet Aggressive Production Targets

In the high-speed, high-volume packaging industry, automated systems and robots are used widely to maximize output and efficiency. If you’re building or upgrading packaging machines and systems to keep pace with aggressive production goals, the components you choose must provide precise, reliable, around-the-clock operation and satisfy your load and speed requirements.

Fabco-Air offers a wide range of robust, high-performance pneumatic slides, cylinders and grippers to help manufacturers of palletizers, conveyors and pick-and-place robots keep their high-speed machines running and ensure continuous uptime. They offer exceptional durability for harsh industrial environments, excellent repeatability and they can satisfy a wide range of size, speed and budget requirements. Highlights of the product lineup include:

  • Linear Slides. Whether you have a packaging machine that requires simple positioning or a multi-axis robotic system in an automated environment, you’ll find the right linear slide in our broad lineup. For example, the L Series offers a good load-handling capacity; the S Series is both economical and compact in size; and the SE Series has a compact size and exhibits no play.
  • Pneumatic Cylinders. Fabco-Air is well-known for compact cylinders with short stroke lengths that accommodate space-constrained automated systems. On top of that, Fabco has much more to offer including stainless-steel crimped cylinders, NFPA actuators and more. Many of our cylinders are available in double-acting versions, which are ideal for pushing and pulling tasks like feeding, lifting, lowering and sorting. They’re also built tough with several offering composite cylinder walls and rod bushings, stainless steel piston rods and internally lubricated captive rod and piston seals for long life. Food-grade and wash down cylinders are also available.
  • Parallel Grippers. When it comes to pick-and-place machines, part ejection equipment and end-of-arm tooling for robotic systems, parallel grippers are hard to beat. We offer a variety of jaw styles and size ranges to adapt to any application or load requirement.
  • Custom Products as Specials. If our standard parts don’t quite meet your application’s requirements, we can modify our slides and cylinders to deliver the higher forces, faster speeds and longer strokes you need. In fact, almost half our business comes from specially modified products. And, we can design, prototype and deliver custom samples within 72 hours, which is important for operations like packaging where downtime is not an option.

Maximize Equipment Uptime

Fast, efficient packaging operations depend on machines that run continuously and smoothly. Be sure to partner with a company that provides a wide range of strong, reliable and precise pneumatic components that can handle high loads and meet challenging production goals. Fabco-Air pneumatic components offer high performance, reliability, repeatability and customization options that allow your packaging equipment to maximize your equipment’s uptime and bolster your bottom line.

For more information about Fabco-Air pneumatic components for packaging equipment, visit our industry page.

Actuators Blog High Force Actuators

Powerful Cylinders for High-Force Applications

When it comes to shearing, punching or broaching applications, you’ll need a lot of force to do the job — especially if it involves metal workpieces. But obtaining that muscle adds a lot of headaches to what should be a simple setup. For example, high-pressure hydraulics can give you the force you need, but they can make a mess and add expensive equipment to your system. And, pneumatic cylinders come with the challenge of obtaining enough compressed air to do the job.

Thankfully, there’s a clean option that can deliver the high force you need while still economizing on space and air requirements. Fabco Multi-Power® cylinders provide tremendous thrust using a small amount of compressed air. In fact, just 100 psi of shop air can produce 22 pounds of force. No high-pressure hydraulics and no bulky, large-bore cylinders are needed.

The Multi-Power Principle

The Multi-Power cylinder design incorporates multiple pistons attached to a single rod that has integral air channels integrated through the shaft. Multiple pistons create a larger collective surface area for the shop air pressure to act on, while pistons are pressurized simultaneously. The result: extraordinary thrust forces at the cylinder rod. That means you get maximum power from the smallest footprint possible. Multi-Power cylinders use only one piston to retract, so you can achieve 22 to 37 percent air volume savings. And, mounting savings can range from 44 to 75 percent. Additional features and benefits of Multi-Power cylinders include:

  • A wide range of bore sizes
  • A composite rod bearing for long life
  • Chrome-plated stainless steel piston rods
  • Prelubrication with Magnalube-G® Teflon grease
  • Available in two, three and four stages with many mounting options (including NFPA).

If a standard product doesn’t suit your needs, we can tailor-make a cylinder with a Multi-Power design. You can also choose a Multi-Power version of these popular Fabco-Air actuators:

  • Pancake®
  • Pancake® II
  • Longstroke™
  • Square I®
  • Air presses

High Force Output With No Hassle

There are times when an application requires greater output forces than can be obtained from conventional cylinders even though space is at a premium. With Fabco Air’s Multi-Power line of cylinders, you can avoid the hassles and costs involved with conventional actuators and high-pressure hydraulic systems.

For more information about Fabco Air’s Multi-Power line of high-force actuators, visit the product page.