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Electric linear actuators ‘have the highest power density’

21 February, 2014

Thomson Industries has announced a new generation of precision electric linear actuators for continuous-duty applications which, it claims, offer the highest power density in their class. It adds that the PC series actuators offer many advantages over traditional pneumatic linear actuators, including simpler machine designs, reduced maintenance, higher performance and much lower energy costs.

Traditional pneumatic actuator systems operate continuously, typically at 10–15% efficiency, and also carry the high maintenance costs of compressors and air leaks. The efficient ballscrews used in the new electric actuators have efficiencies above 80% and use energy only on demand.

Thomson suggests that, for many applications, converting from pneumatic to electric actuation can result in energy savings per axis which, in one year, can exceed the cost of the actuator.

The new electric actuators also offer flexibility to machine designers who need to change set-ups frequently to run different products or processes. Changing end-stops or velocity profiles can be done on-the-fly, maximising productivity and cutting scrap. The actuators are also suitable for food processing and packaging, materials-handling, and factory automation applications where high accuracy and reliability and 100% duty-cycle operation are needed. The IP65-protected actuators have a smooth exterior profile, making them suitable for washdown applications.

The actuators’ high power densities can help machine designers to reduce their machine footprints. In sizes 25, 32 and 40, the actuators have square sizes of 34mm, 45mm and 55mm, respectively, and deliver up to 6kN of thrust force. Stroke lengths of up to 1.2m are available – twice as long as most competitive electric actuators in comparable frame sizes. The actuators conform with ISO 15552 for mechanical interfaces and adapters, making machine upgrades quick and easy.

Thomson's precision elctric linear actuators offer advantages over pneumatic actuators

Users can mount their own motors using Thomson’s RediMount system which allows quick installation with guaranteed alignment. Motor mounting for both in-line and parallel axis versions can be done in less than 5 minutes, ensuring trouble-free installation for more than 600 pre-engineered motor configurations. Online sizing, selection and design tools are available to simplify the selection process and optimise designs.

Thomson is introducing the actuators in a live Webinar on 25 February, 2014, showing how to replace pneumatics with electric actuators.

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