By Pete Amata

OTP Industrial Solutions supplies highly engineered pneumatic components for all types of industrial projects in industries such as automotive, food and beverage and OEM (original equipment manufacturing).

The basic goal of any machine design is to require that the machine work at its peak performance with precision and consistency. Speed controllers are an important part of this design. Speed controllers, or flow controls as they are also known, are a compact engineered component that normally provides “free flow” of air in one direction and “metered” air flow in the opposite direction. The “metered flow” is accomplished by using a check valve circuit to divert the fluid flow through a needle valve which can increase or decrease the rate of fluid as required. Speed controllers should be mounted directly to the actuator for immediate quick control of the actuator.

An essential rule of thumb in Fluid Power is, “when in doubt, meter out.” This phrase means that if you do not know the complete application circuit but need to control it, do it by regulating the fluid flow out of the actuator. This process will provide control by using the back pressure developed in the circuit to synchronize the speed and performance of the actuator so it does the work as required and under control. Whether you are talking about pneumatics or hydraulics, the principle is the same.

Vertical applications are known for being difficult to control. In a vertical application, the weight of the load can cause the cylinder to extend faster than the fluid is being directed to the cylinder; this causes erratic actuation with little or no force. The cylinder may also jerk at different times as the fluid catches up to the cylinder causing unstable performance. SMC speed controllers have a pilot operated design to solve this problem, plus the design provides a backup to the circuit in case the air pressure is lost in the system. A pilot operated speed controller will retain the air in the cylinder until a pilot signal is sent, lifting up the check valve and allowing the flow of the captive air out of the actuator.


  • Newly developed dial display units provide feedback per a specific number
  • Ten turns of control as a standard with the same percentage of change per rotation
  • More body sizes, metric and imperial threads and multiple locking options on adjustment
  • Mostly designed for one-touch tube connections for easy installation
  • Residual pressure release, if needed


  • Pilot operated unit—pilot signal required to open flow control
  • Dual flow unit—offers control in both directions
  • Tamper proof unit—designed stop adjustments in the field by operators
  • Quick exhaust unit—quickly exhaust return flow for faster operation
  • Manifold mounting—DIN rail and “L” bracket mounting of multiple units
  • Energy saving unit—combination pressure circuits reduce energy usage
  • Low speed control unit—better resolution on low speed applications
  • Clean room/corrosive resistant units—meets specific design needs

OTP’s team of certified fluid power pneumatic specialists and experts have the knowledge, training and experience to help assist you in your fluid power requirements.