Excellent article. It's always great to see engineering refinements that end up tackling difficult issues such as reducing friction, lowering energy consumption and reducing in traditional products like pneumatic cylinders. These improvements have a very positive effect on new product designs.
There is a ~75-year-old patent on this subject...my Dad's (Wallace M. Jones, Westinghouse Corp), regarding stick-slip reduction of piston O-rings. This allows the O-ring to rotate 1/4 turn in its groove. This was used in radar-controlled anti-aircraft guns.
I would be surprised if this problem was not solved by others decades ago. The USPTO should be an important tool for every design engineer.
I always thought that the glass body lined air cylinder with the soft carbon piston was a great patent. Stiction in the Airpel cylinders I used was extrordinarily better than traditional actuator seals.
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When a crane doesn't have a monitoring system, crane owners schedule service every six months and simply scrap the parts they replace, even if a part has had little use and doesn't need replacing. This can cost thousands.
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