With each new technological advancement, there is often an evolution of machines to do more with less space, and subsequently the need for smaller components to make up those machines. This is evident in medical diagnostics and laboratory science, as well as robotics and automation industries where small frame sizes combined with higher speeds, torque, and accuracy are increasingly requested.
PBC Linear is continuing to expand its linear actuator product line to meet this rising demand. In addition to our existing lineup of small, medium, and large mechatronics products, we are introducing a more extensive group of compact linear actuator solutions to provide engineers with more flexibility in their designs and budgets.
What is an Actuator?
A linear actuator is a machine that takes the rotational motion of a motor and translates that energy into linear movement. Actuators can be categorized by their drive mechanisms, such as hydraulic, pneumatic, and electromechanical. Electromechanical is the most common drive-type of linear actuator. Examples of drives include rack & pinion, belt, ball screw, or lead screw. Belt and rack & pinion drives are typically used in heavy or long travel applications, while screw drives utilize their pitch and lead to help determine speed and precision in shorter applications.
The product summaries below represent the newest additions to our compact actuator product line. These electromechanical actuators are comprised of either a ball screw or lead screw, along with a wide variety of motor and screw configurations that offer their own unique solutions.
The L Series: Powered with Lead Screws and Stepper Motors
The L Series linear actuators combine lead screws, nuts, and hybrid stepper motors into three different configurations: Captive, Non-Captive, and External Nut. Each of these types provides high precision and exceptional efficiency within compact applications. Additional advantages include:
- 5 frame sizes: NEMA 08, 11, 14, 17, 23
- Multiple motor length options for each frame size
- PowerPlus motor technology for 25% - 40% more torque
- Constant Force™ Anti-Backlash Nuts
- Multiple integrated solutions (Encoder, Brake, Step-Servo)
The LE Series Stepper Actuators combine lead screws and the popular external nut design with motors that are typically fixed in position. In this configuration, the shaft of the stepper motor is replaced with a lead screw that, when rotated, drives the nut along the length of the screw. This design is useful for a wide range of applications, but can be susceptible to flex and vibration issues with longer length lead screw designs. Main features include:
- Simple and compact design
- Greater acceleration and speed
- Highly customizable lead screw (length and pitch)
- Numerous mounting options
- Most cost-effective option