Linear drives, also called linear actuators, are distinguished by a movement in a straight line, directly obtained or by means of mechanical systems that converts the rotating movement into a linear motion. Linear actuators or systems have been used in machine tools, industrial machinery or equipment construction for decades.
Increasingly, linear actuators are also used instead of pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders, because of the lower maintenance and fault sensitivity and the gains in speed and accuracy offered.
Examples of linear actuators are lead screw or ball screw systems, belt drive systems, but also direct drive motors. Ball screw and lead screw actuators work according to the principle of a screw thread, processed in a long shaft. The rotation of the shaft allows a nut or nut to move up and down over the shaft, so that whether the nut or axle moves linearly, depending on which part is fixed in the application. Belt Drive actuators operate according to the principle of at least 2 wheels with a belt. An engine system (for example, stepper or servo motor) connected to one of the wheels allows through the strap for a linear motion.
- Captive and non-Captive lead screw stepper motors; The captive linear stepper motor rotates the propeller shaft, fixed to one side in the engine and moves a linear long the length of the axle. In the non-captive version the engine serves as a nut and the axle is fixed to 1 or both sides in the application.
- Ball Screw actuators; Suitable for high loads, large forces (up to 12 KN), precision (repeatibility to 5 µm) and stiffness.
- Belt Drive Actuators; Suitable for high speeds (up to 10 m/s), high accelerations (up to 40 m/s2), fluid movements, medium to high loads and long maintenance intervals.
The aforementioned systems are often also incorporated into Multi axis systems, think eg. At XYZ tables or X-Phi solutions.
- Automotive industry
- Pharmaceutical and medical sector
- Laboratory automation
- Printing Machines
- Lithography and pick-and place systems
- Horti-and Agritechniek
- CNC, metal and woodworking
- Material Handling and packaging industry