Posted by Tolomatic on July 24, 2018

Motor mounting for electric linear motion

The motor is the power behind an electric linear motion system. An essential component. Designers can choose from a variety of motor types – stepper, servo, induction – and a myriad of motor manufacturers. Different applications will have different motor requirements.  For those who elect to handle their own motor mounting, we’ve developed a new Technical Note on the subject. 

Posted by Tolomatic on July 10, 2018

Developing a strong industrial automation team

Panic’s in the air surrounding industrial automation employment, from engineering to production. While we don’t subscribe to the panic, we’re part of the automation universe so we face similar challenges. We design and manufacture electric and pneumatic linear actuators and motion control, so we need a wide variety of technical expertise from machinists, assemblers, technicians, quality control, engineers and more. We’re always working hard to attract and keep good people for our team.

Here’s how we’re approaching the issues of hiring and retaining great employees.  We hope our practices can help you.

Posted by Tolomatic on June 26, 2018

Lots more high-force linear actuator solutions with electric

Some machine designers still believe only hydraulic cylinders can handle high-force applications.  But the fact is, electric high-force linear actuators are capable of 30,000 lbf (133 kN) maximum force and more, and they offer great affordability.

Some designers think the selection of electric high-force linear actuators is limited. But the truth is the range of electric high force actuation solutions is always expanding. With this expanding range of solutions, more existing applications can be converted to electric and new applications can gain the benefits of electric actuation.

Posted by Tolomatic on June 12, 2018

How to ensure low cost linear motion

“People want to save money on their industrial automation systems,” says captain obvious.  Equally obvious is the fact that no one wants to reduce output or product quality to save a buck. So how does a machine designer accomplish this? Save money without sacrificing performance and quality?

One way to ensure affordable automation systems and, specifically, low cost linear motion, is to stop looking at purchase price only and start thinking long term. Consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the equipment.

Posted by Tolomatic on May 30, 2018

Keeping it clean: hygienic linear actuators for food safety

Cleanliness is serious business in food processing.  The potential for contamination by microbes, chemicals and other foreign substances is real and always present. And food residue can be hard to eliminate. Keeping processing equipment clean makes good business sense. (Nobody wants their brand associated with foodborne illness.) Plus, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) makes it part of the law of the land. Food processors rely on their equipment to withstand the rigors of the processing environment. That’s especially true for hygienic linear actuators for food safety.

Posted by Tolomatic on May 15, 2018

Electric valve actuators: The best choice for process control

Process engineers have several choices when it comes to actuators for rising stem valves – manual, pneumatic, hydraulic and electric. Manual actuators satisfy simple on-off needs.  Pneumatic valve actuators are fast and low cost. Hydraulic systems can be a solution for high force applications and remote installations. For critical process control applications, though, electric valve actuators can deliver what process engineers are striving for - increased productivity, greater efficiency and less downtime.  In other words, electric actuators improve processes and save money.

Posted by Tolomatic on 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 extensive maintenance downtime on the other caused by frequent seal failure. Plus, 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.

Posted by Tolomatic on April 17, 2018

What to consider: electric actuators for food and beverage processing

Keeping things clean is a top concern in food and beverage processing operations because food safety is crucial.  The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), with its emphasis on preventing foodborne illness, puts even more pressure on food producers. Machine designers who serve this industry need to incorporate components that meet the industry’s demands. When it comes to electric linear actuators, there are several things a design engineer needs to consider, especially if the machine will be subjected to periodic washdowns. 

Posted by Tolomatic on April 3, 2018

Stainless steel linear actuators stand up to corrosion, tough conditions

Machine designers who develop systems for harsh environments often need corrosion resistant components, including stainless steel linear actuators, to stand up to challenging environmental conditions. Corrosive agents, moisture and dust in manufacturing environments impact the performance and life of automationn components.  Dust and debris may enter housings causing wear. Moisture may short electrical connections.  Corrosive agents can eat away at housings, seals, fasteners and more. For confirmation that a component will stand up to environmental factors, we recommend the IP (International Protection or Ingress Protection) rating system.

Posted by Tolomatic on March 20, 2018

Hush! Minimizing noise in electric linear motion systems

Under most circumstances electric linear motion systems are quiet.  They certainly don’t create the hissing and bang-bang noises associated with pneumatic systems. However, there’s another type of noise that comes with electric systems of all types – electrical noise or interference.

This is a common occurrence caused by random fluctuations in electrical signals. If the amplitude gets high enough, electrical noise can disrupt the operation of devices like electric linear actuators.  The results can be anything from erratic movements to complete system failure.