Innovative Air Cushion Solution Improves Actuator Productivity, Machine Reliability and Saves Money – Part 2

“A common goal throughout the business world is to increase productivity while reducing costs. This certainly applies to machine design, which means achieving the fastest possible cycle times. For pneumatic systems, this often requires running actuators as fast as possible without introducing excessive shock loads to the system.” This is the second post in series of blogs from Michael Guelker, product manager – pneumatic actuators, with Festo USA. 


Improperly adjusted air cushion (left):

End position cushioning which is poorly adjusted, or not adjusted at all, causes fluctuation in the pressure curve and thus oscillation during travel into the end position.



Properly adjusted air cushion (right):

Properly adjusted end position cushioning assures quick pressure build-up, causing the disproportionate deceleration of the piston.





Self-adjusting cushioning is a new type of cushioning system that eliminates the need for manual adjustment of the cushioning. In principle, it works the same way as manually adjustable cushioning, but the cushioning chamber is not exhausted via an adjustable cross-section (PPV adjusting screw) but via notches in the cushioning piston. The know-how lies in the geometry of these notches. Longitudinal slots integrated into the cushion piston make it possible to exhaust the air cushion independent of the cushioning length. The system employs innovative, patented air channel geometry to provide phased venting of the cushioning air. The system automatically adapts its characteristics to suit the cylinder’s prevailing load and speed conditions to provide optimum end-position cushioning. Because the exhaust flow of the pneumatic cushioning chamber changes over the damping stroke, it works with most commonly permissible speed and mass combinations, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

In next week’s blog Mr. Guelker will continue his discussion about adjustable and self-adjusting cushioning.  Let me know if you would like to see more articles like the ones appearing in this series.  I appreciate your feedback.


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