Compact Air Cylinder

The Original Pancake®

The Original Short-Stroke, Low-Profile Air Cylinder Fits Tight Spaces

Since its invention in 1958 by Al Schmidt, the Original Pancake® pneumatic actuator has been satisfying designers’ needs for short-stroke, low-profile air cylinders that can fit into tight spaces. The Pancake line’s combination of features, options, quality, strength, appearance and longevity have made us the leader in compact air cylinders.

Pancake cylinders offer novel features and durable construction to ensure greater reliability. We machine the cylinder body and the bores from high-quality solid bar stock at the same time for good bore concentricity, perpendicularity, high strength and rigidity, and the rod-bushing’s non-metallic high performance composite gives it exceptional load-bearing capability. The composite even polishes the 303 stainless steel shaft for a better shaft life. And the hard chrome-plated stainless piston rod extends the lifetime of the cylinder.

Pancake air cylinders are available in eight bore sizes from one-half to four inches and stroke lengths to four inches, providing excellent stroke and rod support in a small height package. The cylinder line offers pressure ratings to 250 psi pneumatic and 500 psi hydraulic service. Select from a wide range of options including a magnetic piston for cylinder position sensing or a non-rotating unit with internal pins to ensure proper rod orientation. Custom designs are also available. Each Pancake air cylinder comes pre-lubed with Magnalube-G® — a Teflon™ impregnated grease that resists corrosive moisture, water and oil separation.

Key Specifications

  • Available in eight bore sizes: ½, ¾, 1 ⅛, 1 ⅝, 2, 2 ½, 3 and 4 inches
  • Standard stroke lengths up to 4 inches
  • Pressure rated to 250 psi pneumatic and 500 psi hydraulic service
  • Heavy wall to protect the bore from damage
  • Clear anodized cylinder bodies: clean, attractive appearance and corrosion resistance
  • Hard chrome-plated stainless steel piston rod adds longevity to the cylinder
  • Cylinders pre-lubed with Magnalube-G® grease
  • Magnetic piston option available for cylinder position sensing
  • Standard options and custom designs available
  • Numerous mounting options
  • Dial-A-Stroke® precision configuration for the end stroke
Technical Advantages
  • The cylinder bodies and bores are machined simultaneously from high-quality, solid aluminum bar stock resulting in excellent bore concentricity, plus high strength, rigidity and piston rod support.
  • The rod bushing — one of the air cylinder’s primary load bearing points — is made from a high-performance composite material for greater strength.
  • The piston bearing and shaft work together to ensure high reliability: The composite bearing polishes the 303 stainless steel shaft while minimizing o-ring wear to provide longer shaft life and a long-lasting seal.
  • Magnalube-G® Teflon-impregnated grease provides a long operating life and lubricates at a wide temperature range.


Application Examples

  • Conveyors
  • Semiconductor processing
  • Motorcycle shocks
  • Exhaust brakes
  • Manifold mounts
  • High-temperature applications
    • Mold knock-out
  • Food and beverage production
    • Dispense head actuator
  • Packaging

Custom Solutions