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Linear Motor Actuator Offers Alternative to Ball Screws and Belt Drives

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 5:56am

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Linear Motor Actuator Offers Alternative to Ball Screws and Belt Drives

The ACT is a high performance, cost-effective linear-servomotor-driven actuator that is faster and more accurate than a ball screw or belt-drive without the costly, time-consuming maintenance ball screw or belt-drives require. Because the ACT is an integrated, assembled mechanical system, it also eliminates the design complexity and guesswork in choosing and assembling individual components. The ACT is ideal for applications including assembly, pick and place machines, electronic assembly and qualification, packaging, vision inspection, dispensing, life sciences, image scanning and processing, and inkjet printing.

Aerotech’s high-power, cog-free linear motors drive the ACT series to accelerations of 5 g and a top speed of 5 m/s, providing the ideal solution to increase throughput. The stiff mechanical structure gives excellent dynamic performance and reduces settling times. The non-magnetic forcer coil provides high force with zero cogging for smooth velocity and position control, and is ideal for applications requiring outstanding contour accuracy and smooth velocity profiling. The linear motor has zero backlash, no windup, zero friction, and outstanding system responsiveness, and the magnetic field is totally self-contained within the U-channel design. Many high-performance applications cannot tolerate the stray magnetic fields generated by flat motor magnet tracks.

Noncontact linear optical encoders with micron-level repeatabilities are standard on all ACT series actuators. Either a line-driver output or amplified sine-wave output encoder is available for maximum flexibility. Optional factory calibration further increases standard accuracy and repeatability. Aerotech manufactures a wide range of matching drives and controls to provide a fully integrated and optimized motion solution.

ACT actuators consist of noncontact linear motors and encoders, making them virtually maintenance-free. As a result, there is no maintenance that is normally associated with contacting-type systems such as ball screws or belt drives.

The flexible design is offered with multiple cable management and limit options to suit your needs. For applications requiring a complete solution, a cable management chain is provided. For OEM or applications requiring user-defined cable management, both cable pigtail and bulkhead termination options are available. Moveable limits allow easy adjustment of usable travel for varying applications.

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