High Speed Linear Actuators

high speed linear actuator

Creative Motion Control is proud to stock the PA-15 High Speed Linear Actuator. This overview will
describe high speed linear actuators like the PA-15, how they work, and why they are vital part in
modern industry.

What Is an Ultra High Speed Linear Actuator?

An actuator is a component in a device that makes a particular kind of motion happen. Actuators are
usually part of a larger system that includes sensors, structural components, and elements that interact
with the world in a particular way.
Different types of actuators produce different types of motion. A linear actuator produces motion in a
straight line and is appropriate for use when transferring various kinds of energy, such as rotational
energy, into linear motion.
Electric elevators and motorized wheelchair lifts use linear motion, so they rely on linear actuators. A
typical car jack is an example of a mechanical linear actuator. It converts the rotational motion provided
by the user into energy that moves a vehicle up or down. High speed linear actuators are typically used
when lighter loads need to be moved at higher speeds.
The P-15 ultra high speed linear actuators can achieve speeds as high as 9 inches per second, making it
suitable for applications that require rapid movements such as sorting and movements of a robotic arm.

Important Features of a High Speed Heavy Duty Linear Actuator

An actuator must have a mechanism to obtain energy. For example, a car jack’s lever connects to a gear
that transfers energy to the lifting element. In electric linear actuators, an electrical motor typically
rotates a gear. For actuators driven by gears, the gear size and thread width influence the function.
Consider the gears on a bicycle or in a car’s transmission.
A linear actuator must have a component that is capable of moving in a straight line, from side to side,
or up and down.
High speed linear actuator must typically be mounted securely to a stable structure so that the actuator
itself remains fixed in place while in operation. In some cases, like with a car jack, the weight of the
actuator keeps it stable. However, for precision control, mounting and other stabilization processes might be necessary.

Applications of a Linear Actuator (High Speed)

Recent trends toward automation and the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) have allowed the
digital world to have a direct physical impact. Automated factories, robot surgery, autonomous vehicles,
and several other systems operate under computer or computer-assisted control. Software must be able
to move real-world objects precisely and rapidly to accomplish many tasks. Here are just a few examples
of practical applications of high speed linear actuator technology.
● NASA’s rovers depend on actuators for precise control of sensors and instruments for analyzing
mars, asteroids, and other locations in space.
● In robot and remote surgery, linear actuators generate precise movements of surgical
instruments.
● The United States Postal Service uses linear actuators for high-speed automated sorting of mail.

The Power Source of a High Speed Linear Actuator (12V)

Actuators are often powered by electricity but can be powered by other energy sources, such as steam
or compressed gas. Piezoelectric actuators generate linear motion by using specialized materials that
produce mechanical energy (in other words, they push) in response to an electrical current.
The P-15 High Speed Linear Actuator uses a 12V power source so that it can run on a conventional U.S.
power outlet, eliminating the need for adaptors, transformers, or alternative sources of power.

Generation and Transmission of Rotational Energy in a High
Speed 12 Volt Linear Actuator

Linear actuators can convey rotational energy in different ways. For example, gears and belts can
transmit rotational energy. Gear-driven actuators are called rack-and-pinion actuators, with pinion being
another word for gear.
The P-15 High Speed Linear Actuator uses a 12 volt DC motor that imparts energy to a steel alloy gear,
which generates rotational energy that must be converted into linear motion. The motor has a 20% duty
cycle, meaning it can be on up to four minutes within a twenty-minute time frame.

Conversion of Rotational Energy to Linear Energy in a High
Speed 12 Volt Linear Actuator

For a linear actuator to function, it must effectively generate linear motion of some component from the
rotational movement of the belt or gear.
In the rack-and-pinion actuator, a gear (the pinion) contacts a linear structure with cogs called the rack.
As the gear turns, it slides the rack sideways.

A lead screw linear actuator consists of a threaded screw and a nut that encircles the screw. As the nut
rotates, the screw moves relative to the nut and anything attached to it. In some actuators, the nut
moves sideways, and the screw is fixed. In others, the nut is fixed, and the screw moves.
In roller screw actuators, rollers are placed between the screw and the nut surfaces to reduce friction. In
ball screw actuators, ball bearings are placed in grooves between the screw and the nut to produce the
same effect.
In the PA-15, the linear motion is achieved by the motion of a screw, like in the previous examples.

Mounting of High Speed High Force Linear Actuators

There are two common ways to mount an actuator: stationary mounting and dual-pivot mounting.
Stationary mounting is particularly suitable for situations where allowing the actuator housing to move
exposes it to vibration or makes precise control difficult. If the actuator is moving delicate equipment or
controlling precision movements, stationary mounting could improve performance and extend the life
of the equipment.
Dual-pivot mounting connects each end of the actuator with a pin or other connector and allows the
actuator to swivel. This gives the actuator freedom to move while remaining attached to the power
source. Clevis mounts and trunnions are common mounts for dual-pivot mounting.
If you need to pivot along more than one axis, a spherical mount is an appropriate choice.
Many factors must be considered when choosing a mounting style, such as speed, type of rotation, the
nature of the equipment being used, the need for stability, and other factors. It is critical to be aware of
the stresses that motion could place on the actuator and other components. The mount should allow
motion in desired directions while preventing unwanted movement and vibration.
The PA-15 is mounted using BRK-15 mounting brackets that are compatible with dual-pivot mounting.

Control of High Speed Linear Actuators

Linear actuators can be “smart” technology. They can be connected to the internet for remote operation
or controlled by a computer system. The actuator could be controlled by a human operator, a remote-
control device, a Wi-Fi signal, or an internal computer.
Automation and autonomous control of devices is a developing field. New advances in machine learning,
neural networks, and other forms of digital technology enable increasingly sophisticated autonomous
control.

The P-15 High Speed Linear Actuator is designed to work with control boxes that easily plug into the
actuator for computer control. Creative Motion Control staff can help to find a control box to suit each
customer’s needs.

Customization of High Speed Linear Actuators

Depending on the application, high speed linear actuators can have additional features. High Speed
Linear actuators like the PA-15 are durable. However, some applications exceed the limits of what most
linear actuators are designed for. High speed linear actuators can be customized to be waterproof,
shielded from radiation, or capable of working in other extreme environments.
● A lock can prevent the actuator from moving in one or both directions.
● A stop block prevents the actuator from moving beyond a certain range.
● Feedback from a motion sensor could allow for adaptive control of the actuator that takes into
account its own motion. For example, an actuator with a motion sensor could use the positional
feedback to stabilize an instrument moved by the wind or an impact. It could also send an error
signal if the actuator is stuck.
High Speed Linear Actuators stocked by Creative Motion Control have anti-rotation capability, are IP65
compliant, and can be customized in many ways. Please consult Creative Motion Control to find out
what options are available. The staff will work with you to create a high speed linear actuator ideal for
your application.

Which High Speed Linear Actuator Is Right for You?

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of high speed linear actuators, contact Creative Motion Control to
discuss how to integrate linear actuators and other precision components into your projects. For long
life and efficient operation, it is essential to choose components that are the most appropriate for a
specific task.
The team at Creative Motion Control is driven by innovation. For nearly two decades, they’ve built a
thriving company, and now, they rank among the top suppliers of linear motion control products,
including high speed linear actuators. They have the expertise to help you select the best option from
their stock of high quality, high speed linear actuators, mount it properly, and integrate it seamlessly
into your system.

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