TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING ELECTRIC LINEAR ACTUATORS
Linear actuators are used in a variety of applications where linear motion is required. Many things need to be considered before seleting the ideal Actuator for any application. Some common uses of linear actuators include:
- Automation: Linear actuators are widely used in industrial automation, such as in conveyor systems and packaging machines, to control the movement of objects.
- Robotics: In robotics, linear actuators are used for controlling the movement of robotic arms and legs.
- Medical equipment: Linear actuators are used in medical equipment, such as hospital beds, to adjust the position and angle of the bed.
- Aerospace: Linear actuators are used in aerospace applications, such as in aircraft flight control systems, to control the movement of flaps, spoilers, and other control surfaces.
- Automotive: In the automotive industry, linear actuators are used for controlling the movement of car seats, mirrors, and other components.
- Home automation: Linear actuators are used in home automation, such as in smart homes, for controlling the movement of curtains, blinds, and other home features.
- Consumer electronics: Linear actuators are used in consumer electronics, such as gaming chairs and massage chairs, to adjust the position of the chair and provide a comfortable experience for the user.
These are some of the most common uses of linear actuators, but the list is not exhaustive. Linear actuators can be used in many other applications where linear motion is required.
Here are some tips for design engineers when choosing the right electric linear actuator:
- Determine the required force and stroke: Knowing the force and stroke requirements will help you choose the right actuator size and type.
- Consider environmental conditions: Make sure the actuator you choose is suitable for the environmental conditions it will be operating in.
- Select the right type of actuator: There are several types of electric linear actuators to choose from, such as ball screw, belt drive, and linear motor actuators. Choose the right type based on your specific application requirements.
- Check the load capacity: Ensure that the actuator you choose can handle the load capacity required by your application.
- Choose a reputable brand: Look for a reliable and well-known brand with a good track record for producing high-quality actuators.
- Evaluate the control options: Consider the control options that are available for the actuator, such as manual or automated control, and choose the right option for your application.
- Consider the cost-effectiveness: Choose an actuator that is cost-effective and provides good value for your investment.
- Take into account the installation process: Make sure the actuator you choose is easy to install and integrate into your system.
These are some of the key factors to consider when choosing the right electric linear actuator for your application.
First Calculate How Much Force You Need before choosing the right linear actuator
To calculate the amount of force you need before choosing the right linear actuator, you should consider the following steps:
- Determine the total load weight: The first step is to determine the total weight of the load that the linear actuator will be lifting or moving.
- Determine the required speed: Next, you need to determine the required speed of the linear actuator. The required speed will depend on the specific application and how fast you need the load to move.
- Calculate the force needed: Once you have determined the total load weight and required speed, you can use the following formula to calculate the force needed: Force = Load weight * acceleration
- Factor in additional forces: In some cases, there may be additional forces acting on the load, such as friction or wind resistance. You should factor in these additional forces when calculating the total force needed.
- Safety factor: Finally, it is recommended to add a safety factor of 20% to the calculated force to account for any unexpected or additional loads.
By using these steps, you can calculate the amount of force you need before choosing the right linear actuator. It is important to choose an actuator that can handle the calculated force in order to ensure that it operates reliably and safely in your application.
Find the Suitable Travel Speed required
To find the suitable travel speed needed before choosing the ideal linear actuator, you need to consider the following steps:
- Determine the application requirements: The first step is to determine the requirements of your application, including the time frame for the movement of the load and any other relevant factors.
- Calculate the travel distance: Next, you need to determine the travel distance of the linear actuator. This is the distance that the load will travel from its starting position to its final position.
- Determine the cycle time: The cycle time is the total time it takes for the linear actuator to complete one full cycle of movement, from start to finish and back to start.
- Calculate the travel speed: Once you have determined the travel distance and cycle time, you can use the following formula to calculate the travel speed: Travel speed = Travel distance / Cycle time
- Consider the load weight: The load weight will also impact the travel speed of the linear actuator, as a heavier load will require more force and take longer to move.
- Factor in additional factors: Other factors that may impact the travel speed of the linear actuator include the presence of friction, wind resistance, and any other environmental factors.
By using these steps, you can find the suitable travel speed needed before choosing the ideal linear actuator. It is important to choose an actuator with a travel speed that meets your specific application requirements to ensure that it operates reliably and efficiently.
Check the Physical Dimensions
It is important to check the physical dimensions before buying the right linear actuator because:
- Space limitations: The physical dimensions of the linear actuator will determine where it can be installed and how much space it will take up. You need to make sure that the linear actuator fits in the available space and does not interfere with other components or systems.
- Mounting options: The physical dimensions of the linear actuator will determine the available mounting options, such as whether it can be mounted vertically, horizontally, or at an angle.
- Load capacity: The physical dimensions of the linear actuator, such as its length, can impact its load capacity. A longer actuator will have a greater load capacity than a shorter actuator.
- Stroke length: The stroke length, or the distance that the actuator can move, is directly related to its physical dimensions. You need to make sure that the stroke length of the linear actuator is sufficient for your application.
- Integration: The physical dimensions of the linear actuator will impact its integration with other components or systems. You need to make sure that the linear actuator fits within the required space and is compatible with other components.
By checking the physical dimensions of the linear actuator, you can ensure that it meets the requirements of your specific application and can be installed and operated correctly.
Consider Environmental Protection (IP) requirements
Yes, it is important to consider the IP rating of a linear actuator for your application. IP rating, or ingress protection rating, is a numerical code used to specify the level of protection against solid objects (such as dust) and liquids (such as water) that a device provides.
In certain applications, linear actuators may be exposed to harsh environmental conditions, such as high levels of dust, moisture, or water. In these cases, a linear actuator with a high IP rating will be required to ensure that it operates reliably and safely.
The IP rating is indicated by two numbers, with the first number representing the level of protection against solid objects and the second number representing the level of protection against liquids. For example, an IP65 rating means that the linear actuator is dust tight and protected against low-pressure water jets from all directions.
It is important to consider the IP rating of the linear actuator in your application to ensure that it meets the requirements for protection against the specific environmental conditions that it will be exposed to.
Decide Between Standard or Track Actuators
Standard and track actuators are two different types of linear actuators that are designed for different purposes.
Standard actuators, also known as rod-style actuators, are a type of linear actuator that uses a cylindrical rod to move a load along a straight line. They are commonly used in applications where a linear motion is required, such as in machinery and automation systems. Standard actuators are typically more compact and lightweight than track actuators.
Track actuators, also known as linear guides or slide actuators, are a type of linear actuator that uses a track or guide system to move a load along a straight line. They are commonly used in applications where high precision and stability are required, such as in robotics, machine tools, and semiconductor equipment. Track actuators are typically larger and more expensive than standard actuators, but they provide better accuracy, stability, and load capacity.
In summary, the main difference between standard and track actuators is the type of mechanism used to move the load. Standard actuators use a cylindrical rod, while track actuators use a track or guide system. Both types of actuators have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the right type of actuator will depend on the specific requirements of the application.
Determine What Feedback You May Need if any
There are several factors to consider when determining if an application needs feedback before choosing the ideal linear actuator:
- Position control: If precise position control is required for your application, feedback is essential. Feedback helps to ensure that the linear actuator moves to the desired position and stays there.
- Speed control: If speed control is important in your application, feedback can help to regulate the speed of the linear actuator and ensure that it moves at the desired speed.
- Load sensing: If the linear actuator is carrying a load, feedback can help to determine the load position, weight, and other relevant information, which can be used to control the actuator and ensure that it operates safely and reliably.
- Monitoring: Feedback can be used to monitor the performance of the linear actuator and detect any issues or malfunctions, allowing for early intervention and preventative maintenance.
- Safety: In some applications, feedback is required for safety reasons, such as to detect any malfunctions or potential hazards and shut down the system if necessary.
- Cost considerations: Feedback systems can be expensive and add to the overall cost of the linear actuator, so cost should be a consideration when deciding whether feedback is necessary.
Ultimately, the decision to include feedback will depend on the specific requirements and constraints of the application. If precise position control, speed control, load sensing, monitoring, or safety are important, then feedback is likely to be necessary.
What are the different types of feedback actuators
There are several different types of feedback actuators, including:
- Potentiometer: A potentiometer is a type of feedback actuator that measures the position of the linear actuator by resistance. The position of the linear actuator is indicated by the resistance value, which is proportional to the position of the actuator.
- Encoder: An encoder is a type of feedback actuator that measures the position of the linear actuator by encoding the motion into an electrical signal. Encoders can be absolute or incremental, and they are commonly used in applications that require precise position control.
- Linear variable differential transformer (LVDT): An LVDT is a type of feedback actuator that measures the position of the linear actuator by using electromagnetic induction. An LVDT is typically more accurate than a potentiometer, and it is commonly used in high-precision applications.
- Load cell: A load cell is a type of feedback actuator that measures the load on the linear actuator by using strain gauges. Load cells are commonly used in applications that require load sensing, such as in material handling and automation systems.
- Hall effect sensor: A Hall effect sensor is a type of feedback actuator that measures the position of the linear actuator by using the Hall effect. Hall effect sensors are commonly used in applications where precise position control is required, and they are often combined with encoders to provide more accurate feedback.
These are some of the most common types of feedback actuators, but there are others as well. The type of feedback actuator used will depend on the specific requirements of the application, including the level of precision required, the environment, and the cost constraints.
FIRGELLI have created a few calculators to help you select the ideal Actuator once you know what sort of force, or speed or stroke you need for the application. There are a coule of different Calculators we created including:
1. Select an Actuator based on Stroke. Click here to goto the calculator
2. Select an actuator based on force: Click here to goto the calculator
3. Calculator based on input data such as angles, weight and size: Click here