Research These Five Elements To Properly Design Your Machines For Harsh Conditions

Research These Five Elements To Properly Design Your Machines For Harsh Conditions

Machine designers for heavy duty applications know how important it is to select motion control components that can withstand even the harshest conditions. To help with this process, a recent research presented five elements designers must keep in mind that contribute to robust operation:
– Material selection
– Coatings
– Sealing strategy
– Vibration/shock resistance
– Maintainability

Factor One: Material Selection

New alloys and hybrid materials can withstand extreme temperatures, exposure to chemicals or abrasive materials, frequent washdown, and other environmental forces. Stainless steel, hard-anodised aluminium and resistant polymers are among the most popularly deployed materials used to ruggedise motion control components.

Poor material selection will result in premature failures, expensive in-field service and repair, and lost productivity. Maximum protection comes when all motion control components – from the actuator housing to the smallest bearing – are selected with worst case operating scenarios in mind.

Factor Two: Coatings

Durable coating of the actuators successfully protects their internal components

Motion control components used in extremely corrosive environments should also be coated with high-performance materials. This improves operation and reduces downtime, especially in environments where corrosive chemicals, salt spray or submersion will require additional protection. The right coating and material combination can extend component life 200-fold.

Factor Three: Sealing Strategies

Unless a component is adequately sealed, chemicals and particulates can get into internal component mechanisms, causing damage, build-up and clogging, creating fertile ground for microbial growth. Deploying inadequately sealed motion control technology in harsh environments will require additional cost of enclosures and maintenance, and potentially more frequent maintenance.

Every component should be sealed, including motor mounts. Wipers, seals and gaskets are integral to success. The wiper brushes contaminants from the extension tube during operation and prevents water intrusion. The seals back up the wipers. Gaskets provide sealing between housings, cover tubes, motors and rear mounting components.

One of the best indicators of a system’s sealing effectiveness is International Protection Marking, or IP Code. Its ingress protection (IP) rating is the global standard for measuring protection from the ingress of solid objects and liquids. The IP rating specifies the degree of environmental protection an enclosure provides against foreign materials that could impact performance.