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.

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.

Actuators Blog High Force Actuators

Fabco-Air Multi-Power® Cylinders

Fabco-Air Multi-Power® air cylinders feature a novel design in which multiple pistons are attached to a single rod that has integral air slots. The multiple pistons create a larger collective surface area for the shop air pressure to act on, while pistons are pressurized simultaneously. The result: tremendous thrust forces at the cylinder rod. Watch our video to learn more.

Blog High Force Actuators

Controlling Linear Forces for Rivet, Hole Punching and Broaching Applications

Riveting, hole punching and broaching require tools that pack a punch. At lower production volumes, these processes can work on an arbor press. These small, hand-operated presses leverage tons of force through the use of a lever or wheel, achieving small precision jobs by hand. While manual force can work when the job is small, problems arise with larger jobs due to issues with production time.

One of the best alternatives to manual labor is the use of pneumatics, but even that can come with its own issues. The amount of compressed air needed to create the appropriate amounts of force can be cost prohibitive, but that issue is easily fixed with a force-multiplying cylinder. The Fabco-Air Multi-Power® Air Cylinder uses multiple pistons within the same compact cylinder housing to achieve up to two, three or four times the amount of force when compared to a single piston cylinder.

To learn more about how the Multi-Power® Air Cylinder works, how to calculate force requirements and how the calculation can be applied to other devices, download our white paper here.

Download The White Paper

Actuators Blog High Force Actuators

What to Look for When Selecting Your Compact Air Cylinder

The compact air cylinder is a critical component for a wide range of short stroke applications—with many styles, sizes and mounting options to choose from. Because of their popularity, there are many seemingly similar products competing for your attention.

And that can be a problem. When cylinders have similar features, including the same dimensions, how do you choose the best one for your application? The answer is you evaluate potential cylinders in terms of the following key factors:

  • Style and configuration. The first thing you should do when looking for a compact air cylinder is to decide on what style and configuration best suits your application. Compact cylinders are available in a range of shapes, typically square body for metric manufacturers and round for those predominantly inch. They can be double acting, ideal for pushing and pulling tasks, or single acting for when you need force in only one direction or have unloaded return strokes. Single rod configurations are typically standard, but there are also hollow-rod options, for blow off applications, as well as double rod configurations, for when equal displacement is needed on both sides of the piston.
  • Size requirements. Due to their use in tight or limited spaces, there is no room for error when it comes to the size of your compact air cylinder. For most pneumatic applications, there are standard bore sizes for compact actuators between 0.5 inches and 4 inches, typically with a maximum stroke of 4 inches.
  • Materials and internal design features. When evaluating a compact air cylinder, take a look at what is inside. Some manufacturers make design choices focused on lowering costs, but ultimately negatively impact the cylinders performance. For instance, many cylinders integrate stainless steel cylinder walls which are subject to dinging or use mirror-finish bores which makes lubrication difficult. In contrast, compact cylinders that use a composite cylinder barrel result in a smooth, self-lubricating interior surface for long lasting performance.
  • Bearings. The better the bearing, the longer lasting the cylinder. When selecting the right compact air cylinder, look for superior rod-bearing materials. It’s best to avoid bearings that may result in a lower load capacity. For example, many cylinders on the market use oil-impregnated bronze bushings that have a tendency to pull out under side loads. The best bearings are bearings that can increase your load capacity, such as composite bearings that enhance load capacity while also being resistant to high temperatures and corrosion.

While compact air cylinders are ideal for certain applications due to their compact size, you don’t want to make a mistake by choosing the wrong material or style for your project. To learn more about choosing the best compact air cylinder for you, download our white paper here.


Actuators Blog High Force Actuators

The Perfect Air Cylinder

Air cylinders are offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types as well as with a multitude of standard options. At first glance, the number of permutations can be a bit overwhelming. The good news is that each cylinder type and configuration has a place in today’s motion-centric automation environment.

Air cylinders are selected by their ability to do work. To ensure maximum production, proper cylinder selection is vital. Cylinder application lives are often predestined long before the product is ever applied. The most common contributing factor that limits productivity is using an undersized cylinder.

Below are a couple of critical cylinder selection practices that should be considered when selecting the perfect air cylinders for the task at hand.

  • Determine the force
  • Subtract the piston rod area, if applicable
  • Know the true operating pressure
  • Allowance of internal actuator friction, i.e., seals, bushings, wears bands, etc.
  • Know the true load
  • Add speed requirements
  • Be sure to consider the angles
  • Design for slight future productivity requirement additions
  • Consider the kinetic energy
  • Test

These simple steps in the beginning will ensure that your air cylinder will keep your production levels at a pinnacle.