Machine Design

Custom actuators fit particular needs

Engineers no longer have to design around stock actuators. Bimba Manufacturing, Monee, Ill., offers custom actuators to meet unique specifications. Engineers present functional requirements and work with Bimba's technical staff to develop a custom design. Most of the work can be done electronically through e-mail and CAD files. Custom applications may include special materials, integral related components, unique geometries, or unusual performance specifications. Here are several custom designs:

The 2:1 ratio air-to-air booster is small and self-contained. It was developed to amplify inadequate air pressure by doubling the input pressure and increasing the output force of a cylinder in a constrained space.

The diaphragm cylinder works in a clamping application with minimal friction losses. Its short overall height lets the cylinder fit into a tight space and operate with minimal friction.

Low Profile Air Table Actuator: The electronics industry demands precise guiding of loads in small footprints. The actuator minimizes height with a linear recirculating ball rail located next to the bore.

The drive roller cylinder includes an oversized shaft and a heavy-duty bearing to withstand large side loads. The cylinder supports a spool, as the drive roller spins it on a yarn winder in the textile industry. An internal guide mechanism prevents rod rotation.


This solid stainless-steel cylinder with adjustable air cushions was requested for a valve actuator used by an animation company. Exposed to the external environment, the cylinder required a material that was highly resistant to wear and corrosion.

A twist/clamp cylinder is made by integrating a rod mechanism into an existing cylinder body to provide a twisting motion upon extension. This was required for a clamp in which the rod end interfered with the removal of the workpiece.

The stopper cylinder is made by modifying a cylinder to stop a conveyor. The cylinder works like a damper, the heavyduty mounting withstands side impact loading.

The double-ended hollow rod actuator provides a precise, oscillating vertical motion required for an electronic-component fabrication process. Various media are transmitted through the inside diameter of the rod.

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