Tolomatic Custom Actuators
Custom actuator products - a key component of our business strategy
At Tolomatic, we welcome the opportunity to create a custom actuator, custom caliper brake, custom gearbox or any other type of motion control device that fits in our area of expertise. Think of custom design as starting with a blank page, much as those original designers needed to do for the first computer, the first automobile, or even the first wagon wheel. The break from standard to custom products is often difficult for a company because of the unusual mixture of talents necessary to pull it off well. The ability to tackle custom work requires that a company have a strong design engineering department, a group of people who are willing to think, as they say, out-of-the-box.
At Tolomatic, we employ a staff of highly trained and educated mechanical, electrical, and application design engineers. These talented employees continually create efficient, leading-edge solutions for a variety of customers in a wide array of industries.
We have our own in-house modeling and testing capabilities. where actuator, caliper brake and gearbox models can be easily altered and controlled to fit the needs of the final design. In fact, the skilled artisans in our model shop can create a custom design prototype quickly and efficiently while controlling the complete process so that the final product conforms to the highest quality standards. We can handle both the custom design and provide manufacturing services, which means that we are keenly aware of the costs associated with tooling and assembly.
Overall, We pride ourselves in providing actuators, whether they be from our standard line, a modification of a standard product, or through blank-page, out-of-the-box custom designs, that meet every specification our customer’s project requires.
Creating a custom product starts with meeting several of our design engineers for preliminary evaluation and concept analysis. It then follows through to the design and prototype of an initial product. The customer evaluates the prototype while we test it and procures materials, then we create secondary prototypes. Further evaluations follow if needed, and then the approved component is produced. But it is not through the process so much as through example that truly exploits our capabilities in design and production of electro-mechanical, fluid, and power transmission technology. The following examples are just a few of the innovative products we have produced.
A Customized Product for the Material Handling Industry
A material handling company needed an actuator for a flying cut-off operation. How fast the nip roll could move down, make the cut, and get back up out of the way without interrupting the material flow was limiting the line speed of the process.
The requirements for the actuation system were to decrease the cut time by one-half to one-third of any currently available system. What this meant in terms of performance specifications was that the actuation system was required to cycle down and back up a distance of 0.020 inch in less than 10 msec. To top off the challenge, the move had to be made with a 100-lb cutter, while providing a 750-lb down force.
Our engineers designed this dual diaphram cylinder for a material handling company that needed an actuator for a flying cut-off operation.
Considering the load requirements of this application, our engineers knew that an electric solution was unlikely. This application would require the speed and thrust of pneumatics. However, this would be a stretch even for air. The solution would require the cylinder to be nearly free of friction and would require the cylinder to waste no air and time filling non-thrust producing cylinder head volume.
Our solution was a patent-pending dual diaphragm cylinder. The cylinder is frictionless due to its floating piston design. At no point do the piston or piston seals make contact with the cylinder housing eliminating all stick-slip. Wasted volume is limited to the volume required to port the chambers. Almost no air volume is required to pressurize the cylinder head itself. In addition, the fiber reinforce diaphragm design resulted in a rugged cylinder with millions of leak-free actuations.
|A customer needed a custom design for an automated polishing process. The solution consisted of a diaphragm loft cylinder with miniature, precision rod slide cylinders.|
Lift and Telescope Cylinder for Automated Polishing Process
During an automated polishing process, the customer needed to remove particulate from a horizontal wheel on an interval based solely on the quality of the material surface finish. What the customer needed to do was to lift and extend, and lower and retract a wiper blade. The design’s requirements included a lift adjustable between 0.050 and 0.125 inch, capable of lifting 15 lbs., and applying an adjustable down force of 1 to 5 lbs. The extension required was 5 inches, however, the retracted footprint could be no more than 5 inches.
Once again, the custom design was different than any standard product our company produced. The final design consisted of a diaphragm lift cylinder with miniature, precision rod slide cylinders. The lift cylinder itself was a 0.5-inch bore with an adjustable spring return to provide the adjustable force return. Three 0.25-inch ground shafts guided it using precision bearings. The extension used two low-profile rod slide cylinders with 5/16-inch bore cylinders and precision bearings and shafting.
Peristaltic Rotary Actuator
For the company that required 24 in-lbs of torque in a package of less than 1 inch in height and a diameter of less than 5 inches, a peristaltic rotary actuator was the answer. The actuator was being used in an environment that required it to be leak free. Mounting requirements were also unique in that the actuator was required to accept a mounting shaft. Both initial tooling costs as well as product costs were extremely sensitive in this application.
Conventional rotary vane, rack and pinion, and electric motors could not meet the requirements of this application. Therefore, our company chose to use the basic concept of many fluid pumping devices used today—the peristaltic pump. The peristaltic pump uses an electric motor to pump fluid. Why not use air power to turn a shaft? The peristaltic concept met the cost, torque, and packaging objectives. The challenge was in the tubing. Traditional tubing proved to be unsatisfactory. Several iterations of tubing composition were required in order to find the proper solution for a peristaltic rotary actuator.
|A peristalic rotary actuator was the answer for a company that required 24 in.-lbs. of torque in a package that was less than 1 inch high and less than 5 inches in diameter.|
Wide Range of Capabilities
Our company is proud to acknowledge the fact that custom design and manufacturing has always been a key component in our business strategy. We have been involved with the creation of literally hundreds of special proprietary products for a wide variety of industries from aerospace and automotive to medical and pharmaceutical. In-house resources available to the customer include every aspect concerned with the entire process of producing and manufacturing a custom product, including design, prototype, test, and manufacture.
Our company’s capabilities extend from simple refinements like creating new mounting brackets or trapped holes to redesigning an existing product, to custom work, where our Tolomatic Custom Design Solutions Team will create a completely new product to fit customer specific needs.
Custom design can only be as good as each individual involved and the expertise of the customer as well. We are also known for having the most advanced, comprehensive, state-of-the-art training facility of its kind in the industry. To date, hundreds of our company’s distributorship salespeople and our customers have attended classes, which cover all our products and specials. This training is also open to prospective customers as well, and is worth taking advantage of.
If you can't find a product on our web site that suits your application requirements, let us know. Our sales and engineering department will work with you to determine the best solution for your application.
Fill out the Request For Quote form and submit it to us or print out the page for your reference which outlines the type of information we need to help create a solution for you.