TriMan Price Comparisons Vol. 3
Guided Pneumatic Cylinders: Airtac vs. SMC
At Trimantec, we incorporate pneumatic guided cylinders into our custom automation builds that require stable movement of a load over a short distance. These types of air cylinders can be extended and retracted as needed. In addition, they provide stable, non-rotating, and high side load performance. Pneumatic guided cylinders are also known as guided actuators or guide rod actuators.
In this edition of TriMan’s Price Comparisons, TriMan will compare the Airtac TC guided cylinder series versus the SMC MGP series. They both offer a range of bore sizes and stroke lengths, but we’ll get into the specifics to uncover the true pros and cons of each.
The SMC MGP series offers bore sizes ranging from 12mm to 100mm and stroke lengths ranging from 10mm to 400mm. On the other hand, the Airtac heavy duty TC series is available in bore sizes ranging from 12mm to 63mm. Stroke lengths range from 10mm to 250mm. So, if you need a cylinder with a bore size larger than 63mm, the MGP series will probably suit you best. However, the Airtac TC series does offer a heavy duty body that is ideal for preventing high side load damage.
Both Airtac and SMC provide options for either a slide bearing or ball bearing. The slide bearing is great for high side loads while the ball bearing is more suitable for pushing and lifting applications. SMC does provide a third bearing option, though. The high precision ball bushing option is best for minimizing plate displacement. However, you only really need this option for high precision applications such as for use with glass polishing equipment.
Overall, the SMC MGP series offers you more options. Yet, TriMan would argue that unless you need a 100mm bore with high precision ball bushings, you should opt for an Airtac cylinder. You’ll get the same functionality and robustness but at a much more reasonable price. For instance, an SMC MGP series guided cylinder with a slide bearing, 25mm bore, and a 50mm stroke will cost you $284.60. The Airtac equivalent is only $130.50. (Hint: If your sign up for our newsletter, you can save 10% more.)
For our machine builds at Trimantec we often go with Airtac not simply because they’re more cost-effective, but because we can trust the quality of their product. We do sometimes use other brands such as SMC, but our partnership with Airtac means that we can offer our customers quality builds at a fair price.
For further technical specifications on the Airtac TC series, download the TC series data sheet. As always, feel free to contact us for assistance with Airtac products or any other brands we offer on our site.