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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Choosing the right linear actuator [INFOGRAPHIC]

When your design calls for a linear actuator, you have lots of choices.  Pneumatic, electric, rodless, rod, belt driven, screw driven. These are just some of the options available. 

If your design calls for a rod-style linear actuator, there are three main types you’ll want to consider:

  1. pneumatic rod actuators
  2. traditional electric rod actuators
  3. integrated or intelligent actuators

Here’s an infographic that may help your selection.linear actuator selection infographic

When it comes to easy configuration, pneumatic rod actuators are the winners. They’re simple and straightforward – an industry standard. Electric rod actuators are much more complex since you need to configure the motor, power cord, logic device and more. Integrated linear actuators are just that – integrated. They include the motor and controller so they’re easy to configure, like a pneumatic device.

If power consumption and operating efficiency are issues, consider using a traditional electric rod actuator or an integrated actuator. Pneumatic linear actuators and their supporting pneumatic systems are famous for leaks that drain power, and they only operate at about 10% efficiency. On the other hand, electrical linear actuators operate at 50-70% efficiency, and integrated actuators can typically deliver efficiencies on the upper end of that range. That efficiency means less power consumed to get a job done.

Then there’s flexibility. Pneumatic actuators score low here. They’re dependable workhorses, but not very programmable with respect to positioning or speeds/acceleration. When you need multiple stops and defined speed, electric rod actuators. and integrated actuators are the best choices.  

When your system calls for a linear actuator, consider your needs and your options. We hope these basic parameters help. If you need more assistance, call on Tolomatic. We’d love to assist you.

For more on the benefits of integrated actuators, download our white paper or get our infographic.

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