Hydraulic cylinders are the muscle behind many industrial and mobile operations. Compared to other actuators, hydraulics deliver:

  • Efficient power-to-weight ratios.
  • Variable speed control.
  • Mounting and positioning benefits.
  • Cost- and energy-efficient designs.

But once a design team opts for hydraulic actuators, they are faced with another decision: go with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) cylinders or have them custom-made.

Standard Cylinders

COTS cylinders have definite advantages. For example: • They are readily available and can be delivered almost immediately.

  • They minimize manufacturing costs.
  • Their performance is proven.
  • They cost less than custom-made versions.

The main problem with standard cylinders is they are not optimized for any design team’s application or product. In fact, it’s highly likely COTS cylinders will be either over-designed or under-designed. If they are over-designed, customers will pay for performance and features they never use. This can lead to inefficiencies and lost performance and downtime. All of these leave customers dissatisfied.

Under-designed COTS cylinders are even worse. Users are stuck with underperforming cylinders likely to fail, leading to costly repairs and replacements. And depending on the failure, it can be extremely dangerous.

Read more: Hydraulic Cylinders: Comparing Custom and COTS Offerings