How to select a linear actuator?

How to select a linear actuator?

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A stepper motor is an electromechanical device which converts electrical pulses into discrete mechanical movements which is called steps; it is a good choice for the application that requires accurate motion control such as angle, speed, and position, etc.

A linear actuator is a combination of stepper motor and screw, converting rotary motion into linear movement with the use of screw.

Here are some factors and key tips that need be taken into consideration when we select a proper linear actuator for a specific application

1. Determine and choose one type of linear actuator according to the application

a) External
b) Captive
c) Non-captive

2. Specify mounting direction

a) Horizontally mounted
b) Vertically mounted
If the linear actuator is vertically mounted, is it needed the power off self-locking function? If yes, then a magnetic brake need be equipped.

3. Load

a) How much thrust needed (N) @ which speed (mm/s)?
b) Load direction: single direction, or dual direction?
c) Any other device pushing/pulling load besides the linear actuator?

4. Stroke

What’s the maximum distance the load to be travelled? 

5. Velocity

a) How much the maximum linear velocity (mm/s)?
b) How much the rotation speed (rpm)?

6. Screw end machining

a) Round: what’s the diameter and length?
b) Screw: what’s the screw size and valid length?
c) Customization: drawing needed.

7. Precision requirements

a) No repositioning accuracy requirements, just need to ensure the motion accuracy for each single travel. What is the minimum movement (mm)?
b) Repositioning accuracy required; how much the repositioning accuracy (mm)? What’s the minimum movement (mm)?

8. Feedback requirements

a) Open-loop control: encoder not needed.
b) Closed-loop control: encoder needed.

9. Handwheel

If manual adjustment is needed during installation, then a handwheel need be added onto the linear actuator, otherwise the handwheel is not needed.

10. Application environment requirements

a) High temperature and/or low temperature requirements? If yes, what’s the highest and/or lowest temperature (℃)?
b) Corrosion proof?
c) Dustproof and/or waterproof? If yes, what’s the IP code?

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