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An Overview of Modern Day Uses of a Linear Actuator

By Michael Adams Subscribe to RSS | July 17th 2012 | Views:

A linear actuator is a device that produces movement or work by using non-linear energy and converting it into linear motion. An object that needs to travel in a straight line can be moved using a linear actuator. Traditionally, hydraulic, mechanical, and air-powered actuators have been used. But with the advent of electric actuators a few decades ago, more industries are now switching to the electric alternative.

The type of actuator you choose primarily depends on the travel range, power, stroke force and programmability you require. For instance, the zoom lens of a digital camera requires actuators that are very small in size and can offer a precise motion range. Besides from tiny precision process controllers, some machines might need bigger actuators that are used in large machines. If you look around, you shall notice that every day-use devices such as DVD players, printers, computer drives, etc make use of small linear actuators.

Electric actuators comprise an electric motor that serves as an energy input source. The actuators can be designed to offer the user several different extension lengths. In contrast to a non-linear actuator, a linear actuator moves either forward or backward direction. This makes it ideal for pull-and-push, or pick-and-place applications.

There are several advantages of linear electric actuators over other actuator types such as hydraulic or pneumatic. Here are a few:

These actuators are most cost effective in the long run because they do not need to make use of hydraulic fluids or oils.

This endows them with clean and contamination-free operations. The power transmission that is offered by such actuators is more energy-efficient.

Since these actuators function on electrical power, their overall operations require little intervention.

A number of programmable controls can be added to these actuators to make their functions more precise and repeatable.

Today, these actuators can be easily integrated with larger operations as they are available with custom software.

As a user, you don’t need to lubricate these actuators. They can be powered by varied voltages.

They can be installed vertically or horizontally depending on your precise requirements. For high-precision applications, electric cylinder actuators are a better alternative.

Users can expect these devices to perform several different types of tasks such as tilting, pushing, lifting, and pulling at the touch of a button. An electric cylinder and actuator requires very little time to install. In contrast, a hydraulic or pneumatic actuator comprises pipes and hoses that take considerable time to set up. A linear actuator can be used for switchgear automation, testing or assembly operations, medical equipment, and even making special-use vehicles and appliances for the disabled. Today, with these actuators becoming more advanced than before, their applications are limited only to a users’ imagination.

Michael Adams - About Author:
I have many years of experience in the electronics & electrical manufacturing industry. I take interest in sharing my knowledge about desired linear actuator for businesses. If you are looking for the most demanding electric cylinder, you stand to benefit from my articles.

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