Welcome to this installment of MC² on vibration damping and shocks!

Vibration is mechanical oscillation (regular or otherwise) about some equilibrium — prone to becoming problematic in motor-driven motion designs where there’s looseness, backlash, windup, uneven effects from friction, machine-assembly imbalances, or shock loading. Noise is a manifestation of vibration that degrades the perceived quality of machines … and in many cases is an unacceptable byproduct of motion. 

So as we explore in several MC² features, the ultimate goal for design engineers is to build and tune designs for minimal vibration (free or forced) and render unavoidable system vibration damped (dissipated) or isolated. That way, the machine can quickly settle back to equilibrium. We also explore a phenomenon related to that of vibration — that of shock. Check out the below for more.

Lisa Eitel

Executive Editor, Design World


Vibration Damping & Shocks Classroom Sponsored by


Technical  •  Differences  •  Sizing  •  Protection

What are shock and vibration absorbers?

Motion is present in almost all industrial automation systems. Stopping or changing the direction of that motion releases kinetic energy, which can cause shock and vibration to occur. 

Vibration damping: What’s the difference between passive and active methods?

Unlike typical static or dynamic loads, forces due to vibrations are difficult to predict, model, and account for when designing motion control systems. 

What are negative-stiffness vibration isolators?

Protecting sensitive equipment from harmful vibrations can be done with either passive or active isolation systems, with the choice often being made on price, simplicity, and the level of protection required.

Industrial shock absorbers: The sizing process

Machine builders are always on the lookout for ways to run equipment faster and increase throughput and productivity. 

Standard, off-the-shelf gas springs are never in short supply. Depending on your application, some degree of customization is necessary to ensure you have the right one for your assembly.

Your Guide to Gas Spring Design and Customization

Online tools and customized solutions

What are gas springs? A technical primer

Gas springs, also called gas dampers, tension springs, or gas-pressure springs depending on the setup and context, are compressed-air or oil cylinders that install in motion designs to damp forces and return kinematic linkages and more complicated assemblies to default positions. 


Technical Focus • Types • Trends • Components

High speeds and output put greater demand on shock and vibration technologies

The move to faster speeds, larger volumes and greater outputs in automated machinery is prompting more use of vibration and shock mitigation technologies.

Shock and vibration-damping technologies ensure smooth and safe designs

For mission-critical motion systems, any oscillation can cause damage to the machines themselves, the product they’re used to manufacture and the people operating them. 

Trends in shock absorbers for tight spaces and harsh environments

Shock absorbers are used in a wide range of industries as a cost-effective way to protect machines and save money in the long run. 

Shock + vibration-damping components in motion applications

Shock and vibration-damping components are as varied as the designs in which they work. 

Controlling Unwanted Vibration—No Matter Your Application

In many cases, machine vibration is unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. At ACE Controls, we can help you solve your unwanted vibration problems using our leveling mounts, damping pads and rubber-metal isolators.


What’s the difference between a dashpot and a snubber?

Dashpots and snubbers are two types of pneumatic device used for controlling the movement of a load — typically for the purpose of controlled deceleration or motion damping.

Vibration in industrial machinery often originates from imbalances inherent to motors, gearboxes, and other turning component that excites natural frequencies.

What are mechanical, fluid-power, and elastomeric material dampers?

ACE Controls Inc. is a leading innovator in deceleration, vibration and motion control technology. For over a half century, ACE has provided both standard and custom products to meet your most demanding application requirements. We are committed to delivering the highest quality with the latest technology to solve your problems.