How to Select Linear Actuators   Ball Screw | Rod Type | Rodless Type Image Credit: Del-Tron | Thomson | AeroTech   Linear actuators are mechanical devices used to move items through a system. The device uses energy to develop force and motion in a linear manner, as opposed to a rotational motion in an electric motor. Linear actuators offer advantages including a simple design with minimal moving parts. They are self-contained and can achieve high speeds, and the actuator...
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Q & A on Linear Actuators

We asked our users for their input on Linear Actuators. Here are the results of 153 users familiar with Linear Actuators.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing linear actuator design?
23 answers
Answers:
Technology is almost standardised. More powerful motor with the compact space may be a new technology.
~Radhakrishnan R, Design Engineer, Coimbatore, India
1: AC/DC Servo-controlled motors 2: Pneumatic Actuation 3: Hydraulic Motor Actuation
~Dhananjay K, Engineering Consultant, PUNE, India
Other than brushless DC motors and ceramic balls in ball screws, nothing is really new.
~James H, Engineer, Lafayette, NJ
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative linear actuators?
21 answers
Answers:
Each company has various sizes and designs. Innovation lies in the design/selection by the linear actuator manufacturer in the concurrent design with the customer through collaborative PDM tools, even if it is for a standard product.
~Radhakrishnan R, Design Engineer, Coimbatore, India
Not sure, but Danaher's are nice. Some are nearly worthless, and of course, the low price reflects the quality.
~Chris L, Maintenance, inventor, Acworth, GA
We all know names like Figelli and Electrack but UltraMotion is pushing the limits of design right now.
~Darren P, Engineer, Morrisville, NC
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used linear actuators for?
29 answers
Answers:
*vertical movement of the dosing head *capping machines *pick and place *dosing of liquid products In the linear actuators it's very much the applications in the industry, depends on the process that needs improvement.
~Henry Avila, Engineer, Colombia, Cali
1: AMLC- Automatic Mold Level Controller for Continuous Steel-Casting Furnaces 2: Lift-lower devices with precision positioning and feedback system 3: Lifting scraper arms of effluent treatment plants
~Dhananjay K, Engineering Consultant, PUNE, India
Steam calandaring machine for hosiery knitted tubular fabric . The tubular fabric has to be expanded by rollers, positioned by linear actuators for various sizes of fabrics.
~Radhakrishnan R, Design Engineer, Coimbatore, India
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that linear actuators have been used for.
18 answers
Answers:
Used to divert exhaust on high performance watercraft, increasing horsepower and sound. Introducing fresh air into on highway containers that transport perishable goods, reducing the ripening process.
~PAT T, Marketing/Sales, Lansdale, PA
You mean to say that non standard application means "inappropriate application"?. Inappropriate application occurs due to non availability of appropriate solutions to the user.
~Radhakrishnan R, Design Engineer, Coimbatore, India
All applications I have worked on would be considered "non-standard" when it comes to off the shelf commercial/industrial actuators.
~James H, Engineer, Lafayette, NJ
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of linear actuators?
6 answers
Answers:
Improper torque limit settings lead to equipment damage. Actuators that are not sealed or protected should not be used in a harsh environment.
~Matthew Risser, Senior Automation Engineer, Smithfield, PA
Unaccounted for lateral loads causing repeated premature failure. Required a redesign.
~Justin M, Engineer, Richmond, VA
Yes..improper guide for screw to prevent rotation can jam the drive!!!
~Dhananjay K, Engineering Consultant, PUNE, India

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
24 answers
Answers:
The product design should be automated and hence there should not be a hesitation for increasing the range to suit the requirement of customer.
~Radhakrishnan R, Design Engineer, Coimbatore, India
I wish there's small actuators that apply for small parts at the cars and I wish there is an actuator that can move for any directions.
~YUDI LIRA, ENGINEER WITH HOBBIES FOR ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL, MAKASSAR, INDONESIA
Actuators precision controlled by pneumatic power, digital feedback system, very fast response and low weight.
~Dhananjay K, Engineering Consultant, PUNE, India
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of linear actuators?
14 answers
Answers:
Be wary of published ratings for load or performance. Always verify them by your own analysis or discussing with the manufacturer's engineering department.
~James H, Engineer, Lafayette, NJ
The first is to define the process, if applied The second is the calculations of velocity and mass torques And finally ease of programming
~Henry Avila, Engineer, Colombia, Cali
When looking at linear actuators, be sure to check if your application will cause the actuator to be subjected to lateral loads.
~Justin M, Engineer, Richmond, VA
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using linear actuators?
18 answers
Answers:
The first is the "saving energy ", the second is the movement control precise intermediate stops (not possible witch pneumatics).
~Henry Avila, Engineer, Colombia, Cali
Actuator producers are interested to negotiate for tailored design and production of actuators that best suit to your needs.
~Arto H, Engineering Consultant, Tampere, Finland
Yes, I always advise to my all customers to buy and use linear actuators, and to be a trendsetter for the future.
~YUDI LIRA, ENGINEER WITH HOBBIES FOR ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL, MAKASSAR, INDONESIA
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