Linear actuators are essential in manufacturing environments; there’s no getting around it.
And while the decision to use a linear actuator is in most cases an obvious one, matters can get more complicated when it comes to the actuator. This is chiefly due to all the considerations that must be accounted for, including the moving parts, range of motion, weight, movement type, and machine footprint.
In many cases, a designer will be faced with an important choice: whether or not to use an electric rod actuator on proceed with a rodless electromechanical actuator. When faced with such a decision, it’s important to be aware of the key advantages of a rodless electromechanical actuator.
What’s So Great About Rodless Electromechanical Actuators?
There are many benefits to this type of actuator. Including:
Specific load motion. The main difference between rodless and rod-style is that the former carries the load, while the latter pushes and pulls. As such, the rod-style will work best for short and light movements, but may falter for heavier loads over longer distances.
Smaller footprint. One advantage to a rodless actuator is that it’s self-contained; the stroke length is embedded within the body, which can equate to a more compact and space-efficient machine of up to one-third less size.
Longer range of motion. As mentioned, rodless actuators are advantageous when it comes to applications where longer stroke lengths are required. While rod-style actuators are good for small movements, when ranges are just inches, rodless actuators will be the clear choice when having to move loads 10 feet or more. There’s not much limiting the stroke; only the capability to effectively tension the timing belt. So an advantage is that belt driven rodless actuators are more than 90 percent efficient then their counterparts and very easy to maintain.