In the era of highly dynamic automated systems, linear servo motors and electric cylinders provide the necessary linear motion. At the same time, linear actuators based on this construction type fairly well do without mechanical transmission elements and high-wear parts. Thanks to the permanent magnet rotors, the increase in the force of our electric cylinders are five times faster than that of conventional pneumatic cylinders.
What are linear motors?
A linear motor is a variant of a drive that differs from a rotary motor: in contrast to a rotational motor, a linear motor does not create a rotational motion when moves an object, nevertheless moving it straight forward or along a curved line. A linear motor is used in cases where the dynamics created by a rotary servo motor is not enough and when the forward movement (linear motion) implementation is needed instead. This happens, for instance, when a direct drive is required (linear motors) or during precise displacement processes (linear cylinders).
How does a linear motor work?
The 12V actuator is widely popular and frequently used as a solution for cases when the straight forward linear motion is necessary. This one is quite suitable for limited spaces where the heavy-duty linear actuator would definitely be inappropriate. because of high-level adjustability, this technology is implemented in robotics, DIY projects, as well as in manufacturing automation. Actuators with the 12V input voltage are operated by linear motors.
The principle of linear motors operation is derived from the principle of rotary engines work. Unlike rotary motors, a linear motor often moves the active part regularly supplied with current, while the electrically passive part remains stationary. At the same time, “electrically passive” means that the magnetic field is usually created by permanent magnets, that can be arranged in a row in an arbitrary manner.
While rotary engines need transmitting elements like belts, chains, etc. in order to transform the rotational motion into the linear motion, linear drives allow traction efforts and the movement to be realized directly. This is a reason why the linear motors are also called direct (immediate) drives.
Linear motors can develop extremely rapid speeds when accelerating – up to 6G (gravitational constant) with travel speeds of up to 13 meters per second, what is equal to 48 kilometers per hour. Therefore, they are particularly suitable for implementation in machine tools, positioning systems, manipulators and machining centers.
Furthermore, the main advantages of electric motors are their excellent controllability and adjustability. The positioning is provided with the highest accuracy and repetitiveness, while the speed is regulated within really wide limits. Stepper motors can be programmed for complex multistage movement due to a specific algorithm, and servomotors, through the implementation of inversed relationship, allow tracking current motion and position parameters and control them with this information. When necessary, the electric actuator is easily reconfigured to perform new tasks. Therefore, when used in modern factories, automated lines, and robotics, electric drives become the most suitable and practical alternative solution.
The price of electric linear actuators is higher when comparing to pneumatic and hydraulic linear actuators, however operating expenses are significantly lower. The amount of maintenance work at the production equipped with electric drives, as well as its complexity and power consumption required is much less. The importance of the electric linear actuators cannot be underestimated as they are now of a kind of engineering mechanism widely used for modern machinery as the most successful and most effective automation technology at the same time having extremely high cost-efficiency. Electric linear actuators are not just another linear motion technology they are an important milestone on the way of engineering perfection.