Pressure for the Future
The NFPA, or National Fluid Power Association, is a gathering of minds focused on advancing pneumatics and hydraulics in all aspects. Already in use across virtually every industry, cylinders have allowed for the expansion of human potential with the simple harnessing of the power of pressure exerted on both liquid and air. While currently still increasingly popular, these devices can always see improvements, leading to the NFPA’s focus on keeping them safe and keeping them relevant. In addition, their work with ISO standardization has kept these devices equalized across the board so that one company can’t monopolize the entire industry.
In the beginning, hydraulic cylinders quickly became a manufacturing staple. They could do more and cost less than any employee, helping build the production line that is so integral to corporations today. Then, in 1953, the NFPA emerged as a way to bring together the top minds of fluid power as a way to keep the market active as they developed and evolved cylindrical systems to meet the needs of the constantly evolving economic landscape. Now, there are three types that power the world with each bringing its own set of goods and bads.
Tie rod cylinders are the workhorses of the NFPA cylinders. Comprised of two components that move in and out of one another as a way to create the pressure needed to exert energy, these are further reinforced by steel tie rods located along the outside of the cylinder. Varying in size and shape, the tie rods allow for unheard of amounts of pressure to be exerted on an object. Due to this, they are a staple in virtually every manufacturing plant in the industrialized world. The only downside, understandably, is that they take forever to clean or repair due to the tie rods needing to be removed completely to even reach the cylinders.
To make the cylinders more adaptable to jobs that required motion, the NFPA then focused on perfecting welded body cylinders. These designs don’t have any tie rods, instead securely fastening two pieces that create the back and forth motion needed. Because of this, the smaller build has led to their attachment to many outdoor machines, including diggers and cranes. While certainly nowhere near as powerful as a tie rod, they can still exert surprising amounts of force, helping machines move around tons of debris.
While interchangeable cylinders can fit either type, their uniqueness is what allows for companies to perform a variety of tasks without needing to purchase entirely new sets of cylinders for each one. So long as the purchased parts meet NFPA requirements, they are standardized enough so that they will work with any other NFPA component. This means so long as the specs of the cylinder meet the needs of the jobs, they can be attached and utilized for every project.