Air Cylinders & Actuators
Air cylinders and pneumatic actuators can support automation by enhancing productivity, increasing throughput, and improving worker safety when they are appropriately specified. The products range from linear (round body, compact, tie rod), guided, rodless, rotary, gripper, locking, clamp, and stopper with variations of non-rotating, corrosion resistant, heat-resistant, repairable and other common options.
SMC cylinders and actuators are available with inch and metric dimensions as well as NFPA and ISO Standards to meet a wide spectrum of industries and application requirements.
Basic linear air cylinders are used to provide straight-line, in/out linear movement for a variety of applications. Available as single acting (spring extend or spring return actuators) and double acting styles with single rod or double rod configurations, non-rotating, and precision non-rotating models.
Actuator body styles include crimped, round, or tie rod. Single acting air cylinders develop thrust in one direction and have spring return mechanism, which lowers air consumption compared with the equivalent size of double acting air cylinders. Using a double acting air cylinder, air pressure may be alternately applied to provide force in both directions.
Guided cylinders utilize guide rods mounted parallel to the piston rod to provide stable, non-rotating, high side load performance. SMC offers dual rod, heavy duty and precision actuator models. Like rodless cylinders, SMC guide rod cylinders reduce rod bending, piston bending and uneven seal wear. Low profile guided actuator series are available for restrictive space limitations.
A pneumatic gripper is used for general pick and place applications. The series include pneumatic rotary grippers, two, three and four finger parallel styles that are ideal for gripping and centering; a wide opening parallel model pneumatic gripper, designed to accommodate many different sized parts; a heavy duty style, suitable for a wide range of applications; an angular model with speed adjustment built in; a toggle to give reliable gripping support; a low-contamination style, equipped with a protective boot; and electric gripper models.
Rotary Actuators come in two types, Rack and Pinion and Vane style. When the application calls for rotational motion less than one revolution, rotary cylinders can mount right at the equipment joint without taking up space with long stroke lengths, which would be required to do the same job with a linear cylinder. SMC's pneumatic rotary actuator units can achieve arc lengths of 90°, 180°, 190°, or even 270°, depending on the configuration.
Rodless cylinders differ from a basic air cylinder in that no piston rod extends outside the cylinder body. Instead, the internal piston is connected to an external carriage, by means of a magnetic or mechanical coupling system.
SMC's rodless cylinders are ideal for long stroke applications because they are unaffected by rod overhang, bending, piston binding, and uneven seal wear, and for use in confined areas where space is a premium.
Pneumatic clamp cylinders are used for holding a workpiece in place while work is being done. Most pneumatic clamp cylinders are designed for weld spatter resistance for long life.
When your application requires that a task be performed that can not be completed with standard air cylinders, SMC can help you find the solution. SMC offers a variety of specialty air cylinders including Sine (smooth acceleration), Load Stopping, and Clamp to name a few. For example, the transportation of delicate items often requires greater control of cylinder speed, acceleration and deceleration than is afforded by traditional pneumatic cylinders. For this reason, SMC has developed a RE series of sine cylinders. These cylinders facilitate high-speed transportation of work but have very smooth actuation (similar to sine wave).
For your demanding applications our large engineering department can customize a product solution for you. Need a special variation on our standard pneumatic rotary actuator? No problem. We can create a three-stop rotary unit to meet your custom needs.
SMC also offers a large selection of accessory products, to further compliment our abundant line of cylinder products. These include rod clevises, mounting brackets and alignment couplers, for attachment. Positioning feedback is provided by the largest selection of auto switches available from any pneumatic manufacturer. To control speed we offer shock absorbers, quick exhausts and flow controls in a wide variety of sizes and configurations.