Linear actuators are the core component of many production, machine and automation systems and as such; reliability, accuracy and repeatability are often the prerequisites of any actuator system. Here at Matara UK, we have the capability and expertise to design and manufacture a range of actuator system solutions, including pneumatic actuators, to suit the requirements of your industrial setting. Read on to find out more about actuator systems.
What is an actuator system?
An actuator system consists of a number of key parts; all of which work together to move a load from one area to another. These key components are:
One or numerous belt, ballscrew or electric linear actuators
Motors, gearboxes and control units to move the actuators along X,Y or Z axes.
Internal and external linear guide systems, using linear rail and carriages
These all work tougher to convert the control signal, powered with the hydraulic or pneumatic motor, to move items from one area to another. For any actuator system to perform consistently at its optimum level, it needs the correctly specified motor, gearbox, couplings and control system to accompany it.
What are the key types of actuator
There are predominantly three main types of actuators, all of which are defined by the source of power that they use to control the movement of objects from one place to another. These are:
Electric actuators rely on electrical energy to move objects in a straight line. They operate by moving a piston back and force based on electrical signals and are often used for movements such as pushing, pulling, lifting, ejecting, clamping and descending.
This type of actuator operates similarly to an electric actuator in that it generates a mechanical movement in a straight line. The difference here, however, is that hydraulic actuators do this through an unbalanced pressure that is applied with hydraulic fluid on a piston in a hollow cylinder that will lead to torque strong enough to move the object.
Often considered to be one of the most cost-effective and simplest forms of actuator available on the market, pneumatic actuators work by using compressed air to create movement, either through extending or retracting a piston. However, pneumatic actuators also use a carriage that runs on a driveway or cylindrical tube to move an object. The retraction of the piston is either done through a spring or through the use of a fluid to build up pressure.
What should you consider when selecting an actuator system?
When you are looking to implement an actuator system within your industrial application, there are a number of key things that you must take into account. These are:
The movement that is required, and whether it is linear or rotary
The energy input that you will be using
The level of precision that you need the actuator to achieve
The amount of force required to move the item from one area to another
How far the object or item needs to move with the assistance of the actuator system
The speed at which you want the actuated movement to move
The operating environment and any external factors that may affect the actuator systems operation such as corrosive environments
The mounting style you would like to implement.
All of these factors are important when considering which actuator system is most suitable for use in your application. If you are interested in learning more about how to choose the correct type of actuator for your individual application, why not read our technical article on the subject?
Buy actuator systems from Matara
Here at Matara, we are proud to have worked extensively with industry-leading brand Yaskawa for more than 10-years. We are one of their preferred systems integrators, and together we work to provide all aspects of an actuator system; from single components right the way through to complete packages.
Whether it’s a servo motor, inverter drive unit or coupling; our engineers can offer the technical support and product recommendations you need to support your application. All of this is backed up by technical experts at Yaskawa. We can also work with you to find the correct gearbox for your application through Wittenstein.