Drives and actuators

Festo offers drives and actuators for a wide range of applications in factory automation. In addition to pneumatic drives, which are especially easy and cost-efficient to commission, we also offer servo-pneumatic position systems for controlled pneumatic positioning technology and electric drives for flexible linear or rotary positioning. Our drives are used in numerous industry segments as the core component in pneumatic and electric control and drive technology.

Using drives and actuators

Conventional application areas for pneumatic drives include mechanical movements such as clamping, lifting, countersinking. gripping, stopping and much more. Servo-pneumatic drives are primarily used in "soft" positioning technology because air is a compressible drive medium. Typical application areas for electric drive technology can be found throughout automation technology, especially in the field of positioning.

Pneumatic cylinders

The range of pneumatic cylinders drives at Festo includes piston rod and rodless cylinders (linear drive), rotary cylinders, tandem, multi-position and stopper cylinders, as well as clamping cylinders, drives with linear guides, and bellows and diaphragm cylinders. As part of the range, we offer many standards-based cylinders with standardised dimensions and mounting interfaces. Cylinders that comply with a specific standard have identical dimensions. There are standards for piston rod cylinders with round design (ISO 6432), compact design (ISO 21287) and for profile and tie rod cylinders (ISO 15552).

Pneumatic cylinders

Servo-pneumatic positioning systems

As the global market leader in servo-pneumatic systems, Festo now presents the third generation of servo-pneumatic drive systems. Our systems always consist of a cylinder with displacement encoder, a proportional directional control valve and a position controller/axis controller, and we also offer separate displacement encoders and sensor interfaces as well as cables and accessories. These systems offer good value for money, especially for moving weights over 10 kg.


Electric drives

Within our electric drive range, we offer electric rotary drives, stoppers, handling modules and accessories for electric drives, in addition to electric axes, cylinders and mini slides. The drive type, such as a spindle drive or toothed belt drive, plays an important role, as does the guide. We generally divide guides into three categories: plain-bearing guides, recirculating ball bearing guides and roller bearing guides. The electromechanics are characterised above all by robustness and rigidity as well as precision and dynamic response. For example, the linear mechanics achieve speeds up to 10 m/s, accelerations up to 50 m/s² and a repetition accuracy of +/– 15 µm. Strokes up to 8.5 m are available as standard.

Electric drives

FAQs – frequently asked questions clearly explained

How do pneumatic drives work?

In a pneumatic cylinder, the compressed air is used to exert force on a cylinder piston in order move it in a specific direction. The movement of the piston is transferred to the parts to be moved by a piston rod or a frictional connection. A pneumatic cylinder is a drive operated with compressed air usually up to a maximum of 12 bar in order to generate linear or rotary motion. A distinction should be made between single-acting and double-acting cylinders (work is performed only in one direction or in both directions).

How does servo-pneumatic positioning technology work?

At Festo, servo-pneumatics stands for controlled pneumatic positioning technology. Servo-pneumatics is always a system in which a pneumatic cylinder can be moved to a preset target position in a position-controlled manner or generate a preset target force in a force-controlled manner. Servo-pneumatics is a "soft" positioning technology because air is a compressible drive medium. When the drive is in a controlled position, it can be pushed away by a correspondingly large external force.

How do electric drives work?

Electric drives or electromechanical drive technology involves either linear or rotary drives. An electric motor (servo or stepper motor) drives a toothed belt or a spindle, which in turn moves a slide in a linear direction. In the case of rotary drives and modules, the electric motor drives the internal rotary mechanics directly. The servo or stepper motor is operated via corresponding servo drives.