Use flow control valves. Even when a cylinder is sized properly, it may stroke too quickly and require use of a flow control. Flow controls typically limit speed by controlling the flow of air leaving the cylinder ("meter out" valves). Flow control valves are unidirectional, and allow full flow in the opposite direction. The use of two flow control valves on a double-acting cylinder will allow independent speed control of the extension and retraction strokes. Limiting the speed of a cylinder can reduce mechanical stress on connected components, reduce noise problems caused by cylinder 'banging', and reduce rapid exhaust racket. These flow controls are typically mounted directly to the cylinder ports, but can also be mounted in-line near the cylinder, or at the valve exhaust port if the tubing length between the valve and cylinder is less than about 3 ft.
Specifying cylinders with built-in cushions can help provide long-term performance in high-speed pneumatic motion applications. The cushions allow a cylinder to stroke at high speed and only slow down near the end of stroke for a quiet, low-impact stop. Adjustable pneumatic cushions are often the best solution, comprised of specially designed end caps with built-in flow controls. Mufflers can also be used to quiet cylinder or valve exhaust noise, and they are often a simple and low cost solution.
Cylinder position switches are extremely helpful in sequencing operations and are used to delay another machine action until a cylinder’s stroke is complete. Using timers alone to control a sequence instead of position sensors should be avoided. One stuck or slow cylinder during an automated sequence can cause a machine crash, costing much more than the cost of buying, installing and programming "end-of-stroke" sensors. Cylinder position switches can also be used mid-stroke, in combination with 3 position, center closed (pressure held) valves to stop a cylinder somewhere along it's travel for various purposes.
Pneumatic cylinders are often mounted using a nut and the threads provided at the "nose" of some cylinders, either with a bracket (as shown at right), a flange mount, or via a through hole in the structure of a machine. More details about cylinder mounting options here.
A Pivot Mount is a convenient way to mount a cylinder so that the cylinder body can rotate. More details about cylinder mounting options here.
A Clevis is a U-shaped or forked connector to which another part can be fastened by means of a bolt or pin passing through the ends of the connector. With pneumatic cylinders, the clevis may be attached to the end of the rod (rod clevis) or the rear of the cylinder (rear clevis). Browse the Nitra® Pneumatics Accessories section to purchase a clevis for your cylinder. More details about cylinder mounting options here.
Guided Rod cylinders are easy to install, and the rod cannot rotate. With their rectangular shape, through holes & t-slots, guided rod cylinders can be bolted directly to the frame of a machine without requiring brackets or flanges. Guided rod cylinders can even be mounted to each other, to enable X-Y motion without having to machine intricate parts. Guided rod cylinders can also handle much larger side or overhung loads than conventional cylinders of similar size. The flange at the rod end is also easily adaptable for many uses, and because of the integral guide rods - it will not rotate.