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Shock absorbers: the final piece of the productivity puzzle

18 December 2018

With productivity incredibly important to manufacturers, shock absorbers are being used to ensure machines have longer lives, lower maintenance and safer operations. Paul Mulvey, UK Sales Manager for norelem, investigates what is behind the decision to use these products.

How do shock absorbers work?

Shock absorbers are most commonly seen and used in automotive vehicles but their presence is being increasingly seen on production lines across the world. These industrial shock absorbers are used as hydraulic machine components for slowing down moving loads with minimal machine load.

Companies are striving to increase productivity by operating machinery at higher speeds, but this results in increased noise, damage to machinery, and excessive vibration. EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has already called on the government to improve productivity, but raising productivity shouldn’t hinder the very machinery it needs to achieve it.

This is where shock absorbers come in; they are designed to improve product handling applications through smooth deceleration and reduced maintenance. 

They work by providing controlled, predictable deceleration through converting kinetic energy to thermal energy. The motion applied to the piston of a hydraulic shock absorber, for example, pressurises the fluid and forces it to flow through restricting orifices, thus causing the fluid to heat rapidly. 

This thermal energy is transferred to the cylinder body and dissipated to the surrounding atmosphere. For extra assistance, some production lines choose to air cool the absorber. 

Read the full article in the January issue of DPA

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