Category Archive: Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders

How To: Determine the Appropriate Technology for High Force/High Speed Applications

Flexibility, performance, capital and operating costs have always been key factors in today’s expanding manufacturing marketplace. For decades hydraulics and mechanical presses were the only options for high-speed, high-force assembly and forming applications. More recently hydra-pneumatics and servo-based systems have emerged as viable low-cost alternatives. So which technology is best suited for a specific application? The following topics can serve as a guideline towards the correct usage.
Aries Engineering is the only manufacturer Headquartered and Manufactured in North America offering both servo driven and hydra-pneumatic solutions.

Servo-Based Technology – HyperCyl-EMA

Capability: Provides exceptional control over force, speed, and distance characteristics. Requires the use of a full PLC/PC based electrical panel and 230V/460V. Best used for push-to-distance or push-to-force applications, push/pull applications and where Extreme repeatability is essential. Signature analysis, data logging, part history, trending and root cause analysis options are also available for added functionality and tracking.

Reliability: Servo technologies are inherently capable and sizing them appropriately is crucial. Expected lifetime is from 3 Years to 5 Years, configured for any application. Long-Term Reliability coincides with maintenance schedules.

Speed: Up to 16.00 in/sec with an extremely high rate of repeatability. Requires a deceleration setting before Contact and Home to maximize tooling and screw life.

Forces: 1-10 Ton in Ball Screw configurations (BS1 & BS2) with a medium dynamic load rating; 1-25 Tons in the Roller Screw configuration with a high dynamic load rating.

Maintenance: 3/6-month lube schedule & periodic belt tension check dependent on usage and environment.

Cost: Can be higher initial cost than comparable Hydraulics. Energy efficiency and ROI achieved with minimal downtime, low noise pollution, rapid setting changes without involving tooling, ZERO environmental pollution, comparable energy usage to hydraulics without the mess.

Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders – HyperCyl

Capability: Utilizing 2 pneumatic valves for operation and a FRL greatly reduces start up time. Cylinders are available in 5 design configurations and 11 standard sizes. Best used for; crimping, dimpling, peening, swaging, inserting, clinching, pressing, staking, piercing, punching, marking, bending, and forming. When coupled with the IntelliCyl option, (load cell and LVLT) force distance monitoring is available.

Reliability: (MTBS) Mean time between service interval of approximately 4-5 million cycles because down time is not an option. LIFETIME warranty on all HPI – HPS – HZ – HZS – HPT cylinders, 1-Ton through 200-Ton.

Speed: Fast Approach speeds similar to that of a pneumatic cylinder (6 in/sec – 10 in/sec) and High-Pressure speeds similar to that of hydraulic cylinders (1.0 in/sec – 2.0 in/sec).

Forces: 1-200 tons of output force using 30-100 PSI shop air.

Maintenance: 20 million cycles before seals require replacement. Field serviceable by maintenance techs and 24-hour HyperCyl assistance is available. Periodic maintenance depends on application and environment.

Cost: More expensive than Pneumatic cylinders but offers the same clean, quiet & self-contained operation. Less expensive than hydraulic and mechanical systems for both short & long-term investments.

Additional Products:

HyperView Press – SigPOD
IntelliCyl – load cell & linear transducer
HyperPress-C Frame, H Frame, CGB Frame
Equalizing/ Non-Equalizing Units Pneumatic
Mechanical Rod Locks

Industries Served:

HyperCyl Manufacturing Industries Served – Automotive, DoD, Lawn & Garden, Appliance, HVAC, Food & Beverage Packaging, Destructive Testing, ATV/Off-Road

HyperCyl-EMA Industries Served – Medical Device Manufacturing, Aerospace, Automotive, Food Product Manufacturing, Clean Room Environments, Lab Testing

To learn more about our product solutions and how they can benefit your assembly or forming application, contact us today. To discuss your application requirements with one of our experts, request a quote.

Can HyperCyl meet your application needs?

HyperCyl’s products are designed to enable clean, quiet, and precise operations with minimal maintenance requirements. Our diverse product portfolio supports a wide range of industries and applications.


Aries Engineering/HyperCyl is a Michigan-based company specializing in the fabrication of cylinders, presses, and other products for assembly and forming applications in the industrial automation, manufacturing, commercial, and defense industries. Our versatile products cover virtually all segments of industrial production, from medical and electronic device manufacturing to heavy industrial piercing and forming, including:

  • Automotive (engine/transmission, suspension, body)
  • Medical devices (clean-room)
  • Semiconductors (clean-room)
  • Electronic devices
  • Appliances (washer, dryer, etc.)
  • Munitions (bullet manufacture, warhead seal & contain systems)
  • Office furniture
  • Coining
  • Hemming

Meeting Your Application Needs

Whether you need a simple press, high-precision actuator, or fully customized turnkey system, HyperCyl has the manufacturing expertise and problem-solving skills to provide unique solutions for a range of assembly and forming challenges. Our press systems include C-frame, H-frame, and CBG-frame options, and we also offer HyperPierce units available in both equalizing and non-equalizing designs.

HyperCyl cylinders are clean, quiet, and reliable self-contained power sources with versatile designs capable of accommodating various industrial operation requirements.

In addition to our standard product line, we also accommodate special requests, and can tailor our cylinder and actuator designs around the customer’s specific production requirements with reasonable turnaround times and prices.

Quality You Can Expect

When you choose a HyperCyl for your operation, you can expect:

  • The ability to separately regulate the approach and power strokes, providing enhanced control over the process and eliminating the need for cylinder reconfiguration
  • Increased retract force versus competition, allowing for heavier tooling
  • No stored energy hazards as the cylinders do not use mechanical springs to assist the pistons (competition does use internal springs)
  • Increased value over alternative cylinder options, including multi-stage air cylinders and hydraulic cylinders and power units
  • Limited lifetime warranty

To learn more about our product solutions and how they can benefit your assembly or forming application, contact us today. To discuss your application requirements with one of our experts, request a quote.

A Guide to Pneumatic Cylinder Installation

Pneumatic cylinders are mechanical components that provide linear force to various devices and systems. They generate the force by applying compressed air to one side of a sealed barrel and exhausting it from the other side. This action causes the piston/rod assembly contained inside to extend or retract.

It is important to install pneumatic cylinders correctly. Otherwise, there is a risk of inaccurate or unreliable operation and premature failure. This is especially true for hydra-pneumatic cylinders, which generate high forces in a small package. As such, incorrect installation can lead to severe equipment damage and/or operator injury.

Below, we discuss how to install a pneumatic cylinder properly. Additionally, we highlight the importance of testing the system before putting it into operation and the precautions to take when performing installations.

How Do I Install a Pneumatic Cylinder Properly?

Pneumatic CylinderThere are two essential fixing points to consider when installing a pneumatic cylinder: the body and the piston rod end. How these points are fixed depends on the application.

In static applications, the cylinder can be mounted to the machine bench and fixed rigidly to its structure. Both pneumatic and hydra-pneumatic cylinders are typically mounted with a rectangular front flange mount (also sometimes called an MF1 mount or FH mount) or tapped holes in the front of the face (also sometimes called an MR1 mount or UH mount) due to the high forces generated. However, some pneumatic cylinders use a semi-rigid trunnion mounting method (MT1) that utilizes body supports or pivots and clevis pins. It allows them to rotate as they follow the extension and retraction of the piston rod. In rare cases, a side lug mounting method (MS2T mount) may be used.

In complex linkage applications, the cylinder must be able to swivel on its mountings. There are several solutions to this mounting requirement. For example, a front clevis, central trunnion, or rear hinge can be used on the body of the cylinder to allow the cylinder and load system to achieve different degrees of balance. Alternatively, a clevis, front hinge, or universal eye can be used at the end of the piston rod to mount swivel attachments. If a trunnion mounting method is chosen, it is essential to ensure the cylinder can oscillate freely on the mountings and the pipe connections can flex when in use.

Some of the things to keep in mind when installing a pneumatic cylinder include:

  • Minimize or eliminate side loading. Side loading is highly damaging to pneumatic cylinders. Ensuring the cylinder is correctly aligned and properly mounted can reduce the risk of it occurring. An alignment coupler or die set coupling can also eliminate or minimize side loading when attaching the rod end to the tooling.
  • Lubricate the bearing slides and trunnions. The bearing slides and trunnions should be lubricated as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Why Should I Test the System?

Before putting a cylinder into operation, it is critical to test the entire system to ensure the component actuates with minimal resistance and the rod experiences minimal side loading. Testing operations can be conducted by using a flexible air line and blow gun to check the cylinder is installed properly and able to move freely at the published minimum operating pressures. For hydra-pneumatic cylinders, it is vital to test them in low pressures (approach and retract) without going into high pressures (intensification) to ensure the tooling and overall setup are aligned correctly. These testing operations should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for sequencing the cylinder for approach, retract, and intensification.

What Precautions Should I Take When Installing Pneumatic Cylinders?

There are many considerations to keep in mind when installing a pneumatic cylinder. Be sure to take the following precautions to ensure safe installation:

  • Avoid attaching unsupported loads directly to the piston rod. Use roller guides or a slide to support the load.
  • Minimize bending moments. Suspend the rod end from a roller track or another form of external guidance if it has a long out-stroke and high shear weight.  Install external bearings, or guides, to reduce side loading wherever possible.
  • Align the pneumatic cylinder and guided loads properly. The use of alignment couplers, or die set couplers, will overcome minimal alignment issues.
  • Use properly conditioned air, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Particulate filtration, removal of water (moisture), and other contaminants is important for nearly every manufacturer’s cylinders and pneumatic valves.

Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinder Solutions at HyperCyl

If you’re looking for hydra-pneumatic cylinders and presses for your assembly and forming operations, turn to the experts at HyperCyl. Equipped with more than 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skills to help you identify the right equipment for your needs. Our products are carefully designed, assembled, and installed to allow for greater process control, higher retract force, and better cost savings.

For more information about pneumatic cylinders or our product and service offerings, contact us or request a quote today.

Everything You Need to Know About Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders

Hydra-pneumatic cylinders—commonly referred to in the industry as hydro-pneumatic cylinders, air-over-oil cylinders, or intensifier cylinders—are pneumatically controlled cylinders engineered to generate higher hydraulic pressures to achieve a greater stroke force than can be attained by solely pneumatic cylinders of the same bore size. For example, a 5-inch bore pneumatic cylinder can output less than 1 ton of force at 100 psi, while a 5-inch bore hydra-pneumatic cylinder can produce up to 10, 15, or 20 tons of force, depending on the design.

The following blog post provides an overview of hydra-pneumatic cylinders, including how they work, key features, typical applications, and solutions at HyperCyl.

How Do Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders Work?

Pneumo-Hydraulic CylinderIn contrast to strictly pneumatic or strictly hydraulic cylinders, these hybrid cylinders rely on the surface area differential of an internal pneumatic piston-rod assembly to significantly increase the pressure of trapped oil above the work piston, to provide an intensified hydraulic cylinder output force. Initially, they function similarly to pneumatic, double-acting cylinders, extending and retracting to the workpiece with output forces typical of pneumatic cylinders. However, once in contact with the workpiece, a second pneumatically controlled cylinder section drives a rod into the oil section, sealing it off, and intensifying the internal pressure. The intensified oil pressure pushes against the work piston, producing an increased output thrust, typical of hydraulic cylinders.

Similar to other double-acting pneumatic cylinders, hydra-pneumatic cylinders utilize valves to control their motion. They have one four-way valve to control approach and retract motion, and one four-way valve to control oil pressure intensification. This design combines the advantages of pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders without any of the disadvantages (e.g., excess heat and noise, space limits, or risk of leaks). Compared to strictly pneumatic cylinders with a multi-stage design, these cylinders consume only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the air.

Key Features of Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders

While hydra-pneumatic cylinders come in a variety of designs to suit different applications, some of their key features include:

  • HPX Hydra-pneumatic cylinderThree major moving components
  • Simple control circuits
  • Total/air oil separation on both sides of the oil
  • Wear bands on the reservoir and work pistons
  • Linear output forces up to 200 tons
  • Heavy-duty construction for durability and reliability
  • Tie rods with tensile strengths of 100,000 psi
  • Mean time between failure (MTBF) of 4.7 million strokes
  • Service life of 20 million strokes
  • Operational capacities in any position or attitude
  • Medium-duty mounting styles compliant with National Fluid Power Association (NFPA)
  • Included repair manual and field serviceable seal kits
  • Options for gage kits, sensors, total stroke limiters, alignment couplers, and more

Typical Industry Applications for Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders

InetlliCyl Pneumo-Hydraulic CylinderThe full line (six series) of HyperCyl® hydra-pneumatic cylinders are designed for machine builders and OEMs to use in their own presses and automation, as well as for use in HyperCyl supplied presses. HyperCyl presses are available with “C” frames or “H” frames, unguided, two-column guided, or four-column guided upper bolsters, and bench-mounted, pedestal, or machine base configurations. Due to their modular design, machine designers can choose a simple frame and drive unit design that facilitates integration into a larger assembly process, or a turnkey design that incorporates automation technology, controls, and more.

HyperCyl presses find use in a wide range of production applications, such as:

  • Part insertion and assembly
  • Material piercing
  • Clinching
  • Staking
  • Drawing
  • Marking
  • Cutting
  • Pressing
  • Folding
  • Riveting

Why Partner With HyperCyl for Your Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinder Needs?

HyperCyl by Aries Engineering Company (AEC) is a privately owned company based in Dundee, Michigan. We specialize in the manufacture of hydra-pneumatic cylinders and presses for assembly, piercing, and forming applications. By utilizing our cylinders, our customers benefit from the following:

  • Greater Process Control: Our cylinders allow for separate regulation of the approach stroke and power stroke, which allows for more complete control over the process without the need for cylinder reconfiguration.
  • Higher Retract Force: Since our cylinders generate greater retract forces, they can accommodate the attachment of heavier tooling.
  • No Stored Energy: Our cylinders do not use mechanical springs to move the pistons, which can break and hinder/halt operations. There are no unexpected motions from stored energy in HyperCyl cylinders.
  • Better Cost Savings: Our cylinders consume less air than other pneumatic cylinders. Our cylinders take up less space, generate less heat and noise, and cost less to purchase than a hydraulic cylinder and power unit. Additionally, they offer faster operational speeds and a smaller risk of leakage.

All of these qualities translate to lower investment, operational, and/or maintenance costs.

Source Hydra-Pneumatic Cylinders from HyperCyl

Since 1994, we’ve helped our customers determine the force and stroke requirements for their applications to help them design and purchase the right equipment for their needs. By evaluating their parts with our in-house equipment, we help identify the forces needed, and which actuator is best suited for their assembly, piercing, or forming application. All supplied materials are accompanied by complete evaluation documentation and reporting. We also offer access to an extensive database of hundreds of previous assembly and forming applications for examples of our capabilities.

To learn more about our product solutions and how they can benefit your assembly or forming application, contact us today. To discuss your application requirements with one of our experts, request a quote.