The VIPTM compressor is a new, high-quality product line from the Dresser-Rand company. It incorporates a valve-in-piston cylinder. This is a unique design which results in higher efficiency and fewer parts. The VIP cylinder design is drastically different from the conventional reciprocating compressor cylinders in that the valve are an integral part of the piston assembly. Finite element analysis (FEA) was applied concurrently with the design of these cylinders. Three dimensional solid finite element models were generated and analyzed using the ANSYS® finite element program. Both linear and non-linear analyses were applied. The finite element model was verified by comparing the FEA results with the strain gage test data. A stress criteria was established using the strain gage correlation and the cylinder destruction test results. Once the FEA model had been verified, it was used with confidence in the design process of the cylinders. This design procedure can also be used on other similar projects.