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Festo has launched a new generation of pneumatic actuators designed to provide a cost-effective alternative to specialist high-end components for the food and beverage industries.

The actuators employ Clean Design principles to help minimise contamination risk and are said to be suitable for use in aggressive environments where frequent wash-down procedures are implemented.

The first products in the range include corrosion-resistant round and guided cylinders that use US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved seals and US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved H1 food-grade lubricants.

The new Clean Design cylinders are intended to help original equipment manufacturers building food-safe automation overcome the division between expensive custom components and non-standards-compliant off-the-shelf equipment.

Festo’s automation components are produced using a combination of standard parts, specialist materials and the latest fabrication technologies.

The new CRDSNU round cylinders and DGRF guided cylinders represent these principles, following research into surface friction, lubrication and wear, materials analysis and computer-optimised design.

Both product ranges are characterised by smooth, corrosion-resistant body profiles that are free from protrusions to facilitate efficient wash-down and the removal of any bacterial contamination.

The CRDSNU stainless-steel round cylinder is available in eight ISO 6432-compliant sizes spanning stroke lengths from 1mm to 500mm.

The cylinder uses the company’s patented PPS self-adjusting pneumatic cushioning technology, which automatically adapts to the prevailing load and speed conditions to improve end-position cushioning.

This technology offers maintenance-free operation and, by obviating the need for a manually adjustable cushioning screw, helps to preserve the cylinder’s clean wash-down lines and to ensure optimum machine operation with minimal noise.

For applications that involve high torque moments, Festo has introduced the DGRF guided cylinder, which features lateral piston-rod support guides.

These cylinders offer a choice of six different bore sizes from 20mm to 63mm and are available with stroke lengths from 10mm to 400mm.

As standard, the CRDSNU and DGRF cylinders are fitted with FDA-compliant lubricants and wiper seals, suitable for use in environments involving direct contact with food products.

However, for particularly aggressive applications demanding frequent detergent-based wash-down, the cylinders are also optionally available with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) self-lubricating seals.

These non-toxic seals combine high abrasion resistance with a low coefficient of friction, which helps to ensure a long service life in ‘dry-running’ operations.

About Festo

Festo manufactures pneumatic and electrical components and systems to support customers with factory and process automation. The company has an annual turnover in excess of 1.7 billion Euro, employs 12,800 people around the world and has facilities in 176 countries around the world. Festo operates an aggressive R&D programme investing 7.5% of sales annually, holds over 2,800 worldwide patents, introduces about 100 innovative new products to the market every year and has a product range of over 30,000. For more information about the company’s products and services, please visit our website.  

About Festo Didactic

Festo Didactic, the training and consultancy division of Festo, supports organisations seeking to develop competencies in sales & service, leadership, employee engagement, change management, team-working, coaching, business planning, production processes and automation technology. The division has particular expertise in working with manufacturing and engineering businesses. It has a full time workforce of over 200 and operates in 70 countries worldwide. Each year, it manages more than 230 consultancy projects and runs more than 2,900 open courses in 26 languages, involving some 42,000 participants. For more information about Festo Didactic, please visit the Festo website and follow the link.

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