Actuator control unit improves reliability and service life

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Actuator control unit improves reliability and service lifeSKF is extending its range of actuator controls with the launch of a new low-cost Versatile Control Unit (VCU). Specifically designed to control up to five actuators at a time, the latest multi-purpose VCU can be used with a combination of telescopic pillars, rotary actuators and linear actuators in a wide variety of industrial and mobile applications. Quick and simple to install, the VCU incorporates a number of integral safety features that offer exceptional end user protection and extend the service life considerably.

The internal configuration of the VCU is claimed to provide significantly better performance than competing devices and simplifies cabling and power arrangements. Compact and reliable, the unit delivers a 24V DC feed to each actuator, using standard DIN8 plugs, from a mains supply or battery pack. The unit can also be used with high-power actuators, with up to 10A per channel, and also features two external limit switches to permit sequential control of actuator movement, while separate control facilities are available for hand, foot or other remote operating devices via standard HD15 connections.

In addition, the VCU incorporates several fail-safe mechanisms to ensure protection against actuator overload in both directions and prevention of overheating by means of a thermal switch. The detection of mechanical errors or short-circuits in the event of a power surge will automatically initiate shutdown of the actuator, providing exceptional end user safety. Furthermore, a relay circuit eliminates potential problems caused by contact corrosion resulting from arcs, which helps to extend service life.

The VCU is compatible with a wide range of SKF actuators including the Runner, Ecomag, Cat and Care series. The Runner series, in particular, features push force capacities of up to 12,000N and operating speeds of up to 7.5mm/s under full load conditions. Backed by SKF's worldwide network of manufacturing, service and customer support centres, the VCU is available in several versions, all of which meet the latest applicable EU standards.

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