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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Chilly or scorching: linear servo actuator works in all temps

Machine designers know the problems hydraulic cylinders have in cold and hot weather – sluggish response due to thicker oil on the one hand and on the other extensive maintenance downtime caused by frequent seal failure. Plus, with hydraulics there’s the always-present threat of a costly fluid leak. 

An electric linear servo actuator can solve these challenges and lower operating costs at the same time. For the story of how this helped one manufacturer, see below.

For an overview of how electric linear actuators compare to hydraulic cylinders, read our white paper, Electric rod actuators vs. hydraulic cylinders: a comparison of the pros and cons of each technology. Download it here.

 

Needed: Linear motion control that works in all temps

A lumber processing equipment maker faced challenges with its fencing system. The hydraulic cylinders used for positioning didn’t easily accommodate changes in fencing lengths. Plus, the system was usually installed in an area that wasn't temperature controlled, so the hydraulic cylinders were exposed to heat and cold.  The system was slow to respond in the cold. Heat caused worn seals that in turn caused costly leaks and expensive downtime for maintenance.  The overall inefficiency of the hydraulic system (only about 45%) made the fencing system expensive to operate

Designers at the equipment manufacturer needed a positioning system that was flexible, efficient and able to keep working no matter the temperature.  The system's environment had heavy dust and moisture, so components had to withstand these hazards.electric servo linear actuator in fencing system

 

Integrated servo actuator solves the challenge

The machine designers consulted with our engineers and found a solution: IMA integrated linear servo actuators.  The IMA linear actuator, with its integrated servo motor, is infinitely positionable and fully programmable so it quickly adjusts to various fencing lengths.  There is no fluid to leak or to thicken in the cold so the system responds quickly, and there are no hazardous, messy clean-ups.  Also, seals are only used for protecting internal parts, rather than for maintaining hydraulic fluid pressure, so hot weather seal failures are a thing of the past. In fact, IMA linear actuator can operate in ambient temperatures between -20 to 60 degrees C (-4 to 140 degrees F).  Like other electric linear actuators, IMA integrated servo actuators offer low-cost operation with high efficiency (up to 80%) and low-to-no maintenance.

Our engineers recommended the ball screw and IP67 options for these IMA actuators. The ball screw works with the servo motor to provide flexible positioning capabilities with better accuracy and repeatability than the hydraulic cylinders could provide. The IP67 option ensures protection from dust and moisture.

 

IMA servo linear actuatorIMA Linear Servo Actuators

The IMA is a linear servo actuator in a compact, heavy duty package. It features a unique integrated servo motor design.

Available in both ball and roller screw configurations, IMA servo linear actuators provide forces up to 30.6 kN (6875 lbf) even in high duty cycle applications. The IMA utilizes a standard servo motor available with many feedback types. An IP65 rating is standard. Protection levels of IP67 and IP69K are available as options. IMA linear actuator can operate in ambient temperatures between -20 to 60 degrees C (-4 to 140 degrees F).

Watch our IMA video.

Download the IMA brochure.

 

Resources

Learn more about hydraulic cylinders compared to electric actuators in our white paper, Electric rod actuators vs. hydraulic cylinders: a comparison of the pros and cons of each technology.

Interested in electric linear motion? Join the discussion at our LinkedIn group.

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