What Are the Pricing Factors for Power-Off Clamping Solutions?

A rod lock is an attachment to a hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder and buyers often wonder why the attached rod lock costs more than the cylinder itself. When you look at the logistics of making a rod lock versus making a cylinder, the manufacturing process of a cylinder is more straightforward than the process for a rod lock. Cylinders involve cutting material to length and then machining them with a few other modular components; whereas rod locks, involve more of a robust and precision-based process to handle heavy forces.  


AMLOK Rod Locks

But why else would my rod lock cost more than my cylinder? 

Product construction is the main factor. A rod lock is constructed of more precision components that involve higher precision and are harder to make including: 

  • Precision-machined housing
  • Hardened and ground clamp system

AMLOK Rod Lock in Cylinder

What other price factors are there for an AMLOK or SITEMA solution? 

It comes down to application--whatever your application may be, that’s what is going to drive your costs. Other things that may drive your costs include:

  1. Specialized Applications & Installation Requirements 

Some applications require a custom design or unique installation specifications that can drive up the costs. Whether it’s for extra labor for installation services or for certain design features for unique applications, the more customized the product, the more expensive it tends to be. 

AMLOK Rod Lock Render


  1. Level of Holding

More holding requires a higher price due to the scaling up of the components that make up the product.

Higher Levels of Holding with AMLOK Rod Lock

  1. Type of Materials Needed

Sometimes basic materials just won’t cut it, so specialized materials are used for certain environmental conditions or specialized applications. For custom units that need to hold 1500+lbs?, bigger springs can be added but they’re going to cost more. To prevent corrosion and rust, stainless steel can be used, but again, it’s going to drive up the costs.

  • Stainless Steel

  • Electroless Nickel Plating 

  • Special Seals such as Viton


Image Caption: Electroless Nickel Lock on test press

Electroless Nickel Lock on Test Press

  1. Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions can drive the price up and change the materials that are necessary; for example, special designs may be needed for harsh environments. If your applications require resistance to something, like salt spray, special seals and a stainless steel or electroless nickel plated housing can be utilized. Our team can work with your application needs to drive the right solution, typically at a higher cost, to meet your needs.  

What Are the Pricing Factors for Power-Off Clamping Solutions?


  1. Diameter Size of Rod/Cylinder

As mentioned earlier, a larger diameter equals higher holding and requires more raw material, which means more expenses.

In some applications, designers will attempt to use an existing rod or cylinder for mounting the locking device. In many cases, the existing equipment may be oversized compared to the actual load exerted on the locking device. This situation can produce higher prices for the locking device.

SITEMA Safety Catcher

  1. Mounting Arrangements

In certain applications, a separate rod may be integrated with the Amlok due to limited mounting space. Typically, SITEMA Safety Catchers are mounted on a separate rod because the Safety Catcher is only to protect gravity fall conditions and not required to hold the tonnage of the press.  

Mounting arrangement costs can be due to the machine configuration. For example, sometimes two lighter-duty Catchers must be used rather than one large unit. This is due to the machine configuration.  

The most common practice for mounting a Catcher is to bore a hole through the crown of the press and attach a rod to the platen.


AMLOK Rod Lock Integration


  1. Peripheral Engineering/Design

Custom solutions require time, problem-solving, critical thinking in design, and possibly prototyping--all services that incur cost beyond the price of the unit. 

  1. Imported From

Customs, freight, and fees also affect the price.  

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

After reading all this information on costs, it may seem like the initial expenses of power-off clamping units are high. However, rod locks and SITEMA solutions are more flexible and can be swapped out and repaired multiple times as long as the housing remains in good shape -- providing a higher ROI and lower total cost of ownership -- for roughly half the price of a new one you can repair your rod lock keeping the costs of ownership relatively low. 


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