Position Sensing Cylinders and Switches

Lehigh Position Sensing Available on All Series Cylinders

There are four main types of position sensing devices for pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders:

  • Tie rod mounted limit switches that are actuated by a magnetic piston
  • End-of-stroke proximity switches that are actuated by the cylinder cushion boss
  • Linear displacement transducer constructed as a probe inside the cylinder rod
  • Servo-type positioner for an air cylinder operating by force-balance

Tie-rod mount limit switches that are adjustable throughout the cylinder stroke length are commonly available on pneumatic cylinders. We also offer this on our pressure rated hydraulic cylinders!

This is possible because the tube material in this JHDH series is not steel. Never has been. For 60 years we have built our pneumatic and pressure-rated hydraulic cylinders with tubes made of tempered brass. This material enables us to feature the same magnetic piston sensing option in hydraulics that is common in pneumatics.

This same limit switch option is also available on our line of all-stainless steel cylinders.

High-Pressure Hydraulic Cylinders with Tie Rod Mounted Limit Switches

Standard Pneumatic Cylinders - JHD Series YouTube video

Lehigh has the capability to offer tie rod mounted limit switches on high pressure hydraulic cylinders and LSSW stainless series cylinders. The advantage of tie rod mounted switches is the ability to sense piston position anywhere along the stroke. In the past, end-of-stroke piston sensing was the only option available. The switch senses a magnet in a groove on the piston through the tube wall. The cylinder tube and piston must be made of non-ferrous material. The switch offered is the Balluff BMF 21. This switch and its mounting bracket are made specifically for tie rod cylinders. The switch is available in PNP or NPN normally-open, 10-30 VDC.

This new switch option is available for cylinder bores 1 1/2” through 4”. The switches can be used with any standard catalog NFPA mounting option.

Tie Rod Mounted Limit Switches

This series of compact reed and hall effect switches is designed to be rugged and cost effective to electrically sense cylinder stroke position. Mounting is accomplished by clamping the the switch to the cylinder tie rod with the self adjusting clamp that comes with the switch. A large number of custom circuits are featured to match your application requirements.


  • Working temperature: -22F to 176F
  • Vibration Resistance: 10 to 55 Hz
  • Life Expectancy at Full Load: 10,000,000 cycles
  • Max Switch Current: .25 amp to 4 amp
  • Repeatability: .001″
  • Shock Resistance: 30g @11 ms
  • Operating time: OPERATE: 1.5 usec – .6msec / RELEASE: .5 usec – .05 msec
  • NEMA Rating: NEMA 6 with wire lead cables, style 0 – NEMA 4 with connectors, styles 1, 2, 3 and

Valve Options

  • Lehigh Fluid Power is an ASCO OEM
  • Standard and Specialty configurations
  • Call us for valve options installed on your Lehigh cylinder

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