Servo or stepper replacing air cylinder

I have searched for any info on switching out an air cylinder with a stepper motor or servo but can't seem to search the correct keyword to come up with anything.

I t would have to be a very large motor to replace a 1.5 ton air cylinder and don't even know if it's possible but their are so many folks here from such diverse occupations that I thought I would give it a try and maybe someone would have seen something like it.

Thanks for any info.

Photos and operational description please.

A stepper is unlikely to be the correct solution, but we won’t know until you explain what it’s doing.

Think about dc motors, large servos, h-bridges, steppers, encoders and/or limit switches… and the right power supply to make this happen.

NOTHING with a motor can compete with the speed of an air cylinder!


Is that the mass of the cylinder or the lifting capacity?
How fast do you want it to operate?
What are you lifting?
Why do you want to change it?

Thanks.. Tom... :smiley: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

It's for a foil stamp press that I have, I'm running out of air capacity and to add more will run in the 20K-30K range. I have been switching my equipment over to steppers the last few years but they are just small cylinders getting switched out.
I have something a machine like the following video but I'm not looking for it to be as fast as far a the speed in which it operates but the actual stamp head will need to move with some speed.

The press literature calls it a 1.5 ton cylinder, it's a 5" dia piston which I usually run at around 100psi.
The speed of it only depends on how fast I want the machine to work, I have a much smaller press using a smaller cylinder and it takes 2 seconds to extend and then it depends on how long I want it to stay extended for the reverse movement.
It just holds a printing die that weighs less than a 2lbs.
I'm tired of always messing with air supply. Lines, compressors and air dryers are a constant problem and always need something fixed and always at a bad time. One less headache would be nice.

Then the force you need is Pi X 5 X 100.

What about something in here?
A lot of torque in a small form.
Needs a meaty power supply to do the job.

Rotary solenoids

A linear actuator rated for at least 2000 lbf (10K Newtons) could substitute, but be much, much slower.

Maybe something like this cheap Asian import:


Area of the cylinder = Pi * R * RE= Pi * 2.5 * 2.5 = 19.63 sq ins (YUCK, SI rules )

Air pressure = 100 Psi

So force from air pressure = Psi * Area = 100 * 19.63 = 1963 lbs (YUCK, SI rules)

As your application relies on pressure on the work area, you will need to make sure your controller has current limit control to allow for the stalled stepper when your die comes in contact with the foil to apply the stamping force.

Unfortunately this is quite easy to do with air application, but an electronic servo/actuator solution is a bit more involved.

You may need to spring mount the die that you press down with, and get the servo/actuator to stop at a position where the die has contacted the foil and the spring is applying the pressure.

Just a thought, hope it makes sense.

Tom.. :smiley: :+1: :coffee: :australia: