Ordering a Pneumatic or Hydraulic Cylinder: Basics to Know

Apr 22, 2013 4:00:32 AM LEAVE A COMMENT

ID-10048284 copy copy“Sir, what can I get for you tonight?”

You say, “I’ll have a steak dinner”.

As the waiter walks away your mouth starts to water thinking about that big juicy steak you just ordered. Hmmmm, a steak dinner, that’s a pretty broad choice… Are you getting a New York strip? Or maybe a round steak? And what is coming with it? Who knows? You just told him a steak dinner. Mashed potatoes and gravy? Or the stuff that’s good for you like steamed veggies? (You hope it is the mashed potatoes.)

Drink? You completely forgot about the drink!

“Waiter!!!!” you scream across the restaurant and startle the newborn baby in the next booth which starts crying and the parents, through their bloodshot eyes, give you that look. You slide back down in your booth hoping they don’t notice you anymore this evening. Ever had that feeling? You just want to crawl under the table…

That's a nice story, but what on Earth are you talking about?

Ordering things in life does require research and choices. In the case of the steak dinner you have a menu with all the information you need to order a nice dinner with all the fixin’s.

Ordering a cylinder is actually very similar. The menu is the catalog which has all the choices that you can “order” from… But, in some restaurants and with any high end restaurant, you can also order a special dinner besides what’s on the menu. The same goes for high end cylinder manufacturers, you can order a cylinder that meets the special requirements you need, but first you need to figure out what your needs are.

As with the waiter, the cylinder supplier representative assisting you with your order needs to know what you want in order to provide you with what you need. Remember the steak dinner -- you hope and pray for the fillet but he may come back with the round steak and those dreaded steamed veggies. Just like you know what you want at a restaurant before ordering, you want to know what you want for a cylinder before ordering it as well. Or better yet, what you need.

Important Basics You Should Know Before Ordering a Cylinder:

1. Size and Pressure

The first thing you need to decide is the size and pressure at which the cylinder needs to operate in order to perform the task you need the cylinder to do.

2. Force

Now you will need to know if an air cylinder or hydraulic cylinder will provide the forces you need and the rod size to give you the strength required.

3. Mount

Once that is decided you will need to know the mount; how you are going to mount it and make it do what it is supposed to do? Are you automatically pushing parts off a conveyor or are you crushing cars into cubes? Does it have to swivel? Or can it just sit there? Does it have to cushion? (No, not a couch cushion, though that sounds good right now.) By cushion we mean does it have to slow down the last little bit to prevent slamming? Do you need air bleeds? What about the ports…?

Okay, but I really just want to talk to a person

In a catalog you may find exactly what you need, but let’s say you don’t. Well there is this thing called a phone, and even high end manufacturers (or at least the ones you’ll want to talk to) still use them for things other than sending text messages, looking at football scores and reading emails. Call and ask questions. Communicate your needs with a real person who should be more than willing to give you a hand in deciding on what you need. The best cylinder manufacturers want to be apart of the process with you from the beginning.

Whew, you peek over the booth and the newborn is sleeping again and the parents are enjoying their dinner and quiet time.

The waiter brings your dinner: a fillet mignon, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans (like those grandma used to make with the ham hock in them) and corn bread. Oh and a nice cold glass of sweet tea!

Isn’t it nice having a cylinder manufacturer, ahem, we mean waiter that understands what you need and gives you what you want?

What other basic (or not so basic) aspects would you advise to have an excellent grasp on prior to beginning the ordering process of a pneumatic or hydraulic cylinder? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.


Awesome, I know what I need and want. Now what?

Time to talk to your cylinder supplier. We have customer solution representatives ready for your call or inquiry right here at Sheffer -- all you have to do is pick up a phone and call 513-489-9770 or visit our website www.sheffercorp.com/contact-us/.