There’s no denying that hydraulic cylinders can provide reliable linear motion in the right applications. However, hydraulics can be problematic. Cylinders often leak, causing slip-and-fall hazards for workers as well as potential environmental contamination. Hydraulic cylinders deliver high force but can be difficult to control. When a changeover is needed, adjusting a hydraulic cylinder is a time-consuming, hit-and-miss process.
New electric high-force linear actuators are an alternative to hydraulics in many applications. For an overview of how high-force electric 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.
Slow changeovers a problem
A manufacturer of wheel bearing presses for the automotive industry was using hydraulic cylinders in their machines to meet their application’s force requirements (75 kN or 17,000 lbf). The cylinders presented problems, though, including limited control, high energy consumption and hydraulic fluid leakage. Worst of all, during changeover from one wheel size to another, machine operators had to make multiple manual adjustments to achieve the right performance specifications. Each changeover resulted in lost production time and rework. Plus, since the hydraulic power unit had to run continuously, the machine consumed large amounts of energy.
The alternative? Electric high-force linear actuators
We worked with the OEM’s design engineers and recommended the RSX extreme-force electric actuator. This electric linear actuator provides consistent, repeatable force and eliminates the need for operator intervention during changeover. The servo-controlled RSX actuator allows the OEM to create quick, easy changeover procedures to accommodate any wheel size. The 80% efficiency of the servo system is much higher than the 40-50% efficiency of the hydraulic system, which means substantial energy savings. With the RSX electric linear actuator, the OEM has achieved better overall control, lower energy costs, faster changeovers and zero leaks.
RSX electric extreme-force linear actuators
The RSX series of extreme-force linear actuators includes the RSX096 actuator with forces up to 133 kN (30,000 lbf) and the RSX080 with forces up to 80 kN (18,000 lbf). The RSX096P (press version) is under development and will have 40,000 lbf capacity. The series will eventually expand to 50,000 lbf capacity.
Both the current models are designed and tested for 100% duty cycle and are roller screw-driven for consistent performance and long service life in demanding environments. Rated IP65 with an IP67 option, these actuators resist water from a light washdown and dust from outdoor environments.
RSX actuators are suited to applications like pressing, punching, stamping, riveting, fastening, joining, injection molding and a variety of sawmill processes.
For an overview of how high-force electric actuators compare to hydraulic cylinders, download our white paper, Electric rod actuators vs. hydraulic cylinders: a comparison of the pros and cons of each technology.