electric linear actuator

Electric Linear Actuator Industry Applications

What Is an Electric Linear Actuator?

An electric linear actuator is a machine that transforms the rotation of an electric motor into a linear push or pull movement. Linear actuators are powerful devices that can last for years with little or no maintenance.

While hydraulic and pneumatic systems are available, electric linear actuators offer a number of advantages over their competitors. Some of these advantages include:

  • Precise position control
  • No temperature drift
  • Fast settling time
  • Flexible / programmable
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Lower operating cost (TCO)

Electric linear actuators have revolutionized the worlds of automation, robotics, manufacturing in several important ways:

  • Electric linear actuators reduce the risk of environmental problems because they don’t leak hydraulics, operate quietly, and don’t give off any emissions.
  • Electromechanical actuators offer greater position control by decreasing cycle times and allowing for variable rate application.
  • Linear electric actuators are significantly safer to operate than their hydraulic or pneumatic counterparts.

How does an electric linear actuator get used?

Here at Creative Motion Control, we supply electric linear actuators for these and many other industries:

Custom Machine Tool Applications

CMC products are commonly used in high performing custom machine tools. The incredible force density of the CMC roller screws and Groove Roller Bearings put them on par with similarly sized hydraulic units, but provide a number of advantages: higher precision, much faster changeover, zero maintenance (CPD actuators), much smaller footprint, and maybe most of all amazing cost savings in dramatically reduced energy consumption.

Here are just a few examples of applications in custom machine tools using CMC products:

  • Bending
  • Broaching
  • Thermoforming
  • Stamping
  • Crimping
  • Pressing
  • Molding

Automation Applications

To avoid the high energy costs, extensive maintenance costs, and fluid leaks of hydraulic solutions, the manufacturing industry is using electric actuation to automate the factory floor. Where high loads, high speeds, and/or long life are required, CMC’s actuators are the perfect solution to move, insert, pull, carry, stamp, crimp, rivet, weld, etc.

Forestry, Lumber, and Wood Processing Applications

Traditionally these industries have used hydraulic solutions. But the mills and factories have had challenges with the EPA due to leaks, they’re frustrated at the high energy consumption of hydraulics, their processes are getting more and more precise, and their hydraulics experts are retiring and difficult to replace. And these processes are heavy duty, dirty environments that are tough on equipment.

CMC’s actuators are the most robust actuators in the business and are successfully operating in saw mills and wood processing plants all over the world.

Aerospace Applications

Again, the incredible force density of the CMC roller screws and Groove Roller Bearings put them on the front line of aerospace applications, both in UAVs where reduced weight is critical and in manufacturing processes where extreme forces are often required to process exotic materials.

Oil and Gas Applications

In most oil and gas applications, there is a limited amount of space (drill casing for example) and a desire for a lot of force. Because of CMC’s Groove Roller Bearings, the size to force ratio of our products is unmatched. We have our products in many ‘down-hole’ applications where there was literally no one else in the world that was able to match the requirements of the project.

Simulation Applications

Simulations require the use of precise, smooth, and programmable actuators. While simulators of the past had to rely on noisy and inaccurate hydraulic actuators, the simulations of today are able to take full advantage of quiet and accurate electric linear actuators.
The electric linear actuators produced here at Creative Motion Control are ideal for multiple kinds of simulators, from environmental simulations to amusement rides and animatronics.

Electric Linear Actuator used for Simulations

Simulations require the use of precise, smooth, and programmable actuators. While simulators of the past had to rely on noisy and inaccurate hydraulic actuators, the simulations of today are able to take full advantage of quiet and accurate electric linear actuators.

The electric linear actuators produced here at Creative Motion Control are ideal for multiple kinds of simulators, from environmental simulations to amusement rides and animatronics.

Environmental Simulations

Sometimes it is necessary to test various structures to see how they hold up against earthquakes and wave erosion. An easy way to test this is to build a simulated environment where linear electric actuators are used to create the sinusoidal motion of an earthquake or to create waves. Electric linear actuators provide:

  • High speed / frequency response
  • High stiffness
  • Long life
  • High force density
  • Low energy consumption

Electric actuators will enable you to simulate real-world environmental conditions with little-to-no maintenance cost.

Hexapod Simulations

Linear electric actuators are instrumental to hexapod simulators. Hexapods use six actuators to achieve 6 degrees of freedom, allowing them to move in any direction. Creative Motion Control’s electric actuators are frequently used in these hexapod applications:

  • Driving and flight simulations
  • Wind tunnel testing
  • Electronics and optics testing

Our linear actuators are quiet, have a high force density, high stiffness, and will provide your hexapods with a long-lasting source of 6 degrees of freedom.

Amusement Rides & Scenery Moves

3D amusement rides and animatronic scenery are becoming more advanced and popular each year. Here at Creative Motion Control, our CPD and LPD actuators and naked roller screws offer these advantages to motion simulators:

  • High stiffness
  • Low energy consumption
  • Low noise
  • High force density
  • High speed /frequency response
  • Clean
  • Long life

From 3D rides at the mall, to animatronic dinosaurs in amusement parks, electric linear actuators are the best way to achieve smooth, real-life movement.

Material Testing Simulations

Electronic linear actuators are a powerful component when it comes to material testing simulations. By using the actuators produced here at Creative Motion Control, you can create simulations that test the following properties of a material:

  • Compression
  • Tension
  • Torsion
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Strain

Our electric linear actuators are accurate, extremely compact, have high force density, with high stiffness and will provide you with a clean source of material testing for years to come.

Defense Applications

Defense applications depend on robust components that can withstand harsh environments, including extreme weather and even warfare. Linear actuators are a critical component in defense machineries’ need for motion control and torque and here at Creative Motion Control, we pride ourselves on supplying defense systems with the rugged and dependable actuators they need.

Linear Motion Applications on Land – Military

Linear electrical actuators provide land-based defense applications with efficient, clean, and long-lasting support. We create specialized CPD and LPD actuators that are used in the following applications:

  • Weapons Positioning / loading
  • Door / hatch actuation
  • Gun Elevation
  • Turret control
  • Autonomous vehicle control

In contrast to hydraulic systems, which carry the risk of flammable hydraulic fluid, our electric actuators reduce combat susceptibility and are extremely compact and lightweight.

Linear Motion Applications at Sea – Military

Naval defense relies on accurate and low-maintenance components in order to preserve a state of readiness. Our CPD and LPD actuators and naked roller screws are a dependable source of motion control and are frequently installed in the following applications:

  • Jet blast deflector operation
  • Door / hatch actuation
  • Towed array handling system
  • Cargo conveyors
  • Load ramp positioning

While hydraulic systems come with a list of risks, including fluid leaks and regular maintenance, our electric actuator systems are energy efficient, completely sealed, and require little-to-no maintenance.

Airborne Military Applications

Electric linear actuators provide airborne military systems with efficient, clean, and long-lasting support. At Creative Motion Control, we create specialized actuators and naked roller screws that are used in the following applications:

  • Fuel & bleed valve control
  • Inlet guide vanes
  • Door / hatch actuation
  • Test stands

Our electric actuators provide a safer and more reliable source of motion control than given by hydraulic actuation. Hydraulics increase combat susceptibility by depending on flammable hydraulic fluid to operate. Electric linear actuators solve this dilemma by relying on clean, electric power.

Automotive Industry Applications

The automotive industry is rapidly growing and evolving, and vehicle manufacturers are constantly looking for improved motion control systems at lower costs.

At Creative Motion Control, we create heavy duty electric linear actuators that can be used in a variety of automotive applications, from the assembly line all the way to car enthusiasts’ modifications.

Typical Automotive Applications

Reliable, programmable, and low-maintenance linear actuators are crucial to the vehicle fabrication and assembly process. We meet this need by supplying the automotive industry with powerful, high speed and high force electric linear actuators. Our actuators are commonly used in the following applications:

  • Clamps & pivots
  • Dispensing
  • Clenching, joining, fastening
  • Pressing
  • Product transfer
  • Boring / honing
  • System testing

The following sections will demonstrate in depth how our actuators meet the unique demands of these automotive industry applications.

Boring & Honing

When it comes to boring and honing, electric linear actuators are a more efficient and safer alternative to hydraulic actuation. Our electric actuators provide:

  • Precise depth control
  • Precise velocity control (surface finish)
  • Higher system stiffness (surface finish)
  • Flexible / programmable
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Lower operating cost (TCO)

Robotic Welding

Robotic welding is a delicate process requiring precise motion control and compact actuation. Electric linear actuators are superior to pneumatic and larger actuator systems because they provide these advantages:

  • Lighter weight
  • Extremely compact
  • No water cooling required
  • Force control
  • Consistent gap (repeatable)
  • Extended weld tip life
  • Reduced expulsion
  • Stronger welds
  • Flexible / programmable
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Quiet

Clamps and Pivots

While your pneumatic actuators may be providing sufficient clamp and pivot services for now, the cost of maintaining a pneumatic system quickly outweighs any benefits. Electric actuators are a long-lasting solution that require little-to-no maintenance and also offer these benefits:

  • Flexible / programmable
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Lower operating cost (TCO)
  • Quiet

Assembly/Trim Presses

Essential applications of the automotive assembly process are assembly and trim presses. These large machines handle a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and rubber, and require programmable and extremely repeatable actuators to run properly. At Creative Motion Control, we produce heavy duty electric linear actuators that offer these advantages to your company:

  • Higher system stiffness
  • Precise velocity / position control
  • Extremely repeatable
  • Flexible / programmable
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Lower operating cost (TCO)

Fastening & Joining

Powerful actuators are needed to ensure that clenching, riveting, and piercing is done correctly. The electric linear actuators created here at Creative Motion Control are the best available solution for your fastening and joining needs. In contrast to bulky pneumatic and hydraulic systems, our electric actuators offer these benefits:

  • Force monitoring
  • Flexible / programmable
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Lower operating cost (TCO)
  • Quiet