A new range of electric linear actuators from Inmoco offers machine builders high power density in a compact package
Thomson’s Electrak MD actuators from Inmoco achieve up to 2 kN force in a housing that is shorter than a pencil. Further, the actuators feature a range of onboard electronics which extend control capability in a durable package that also provides IP69K protection.
The new Electrak MD is based on Thomson’s established Electrak HD actuator, so the new model is still designed for use in demanding environments but is more compact. Electrak MD actuators are suitable for small space, mobile applications where the use of larger actuators or hydraulics isn’t practical or possible. For smart packaging applications, the Electrak MD is said to be easy to control while for agricultural they offer durability and energy efficiency too.
The high power density of the Electrak MD actuators allows them to deliver 250 N to 2 kN force combined with a stroke length of 50mm at 1.1kg to 300mm at 1.6kg. Actuation speed is up to 45 mm/s and the 1 kN version is said to possess a 10% higher power density than alternatives.
Easy to use control is achieved with Electrak MD’s onboard electronics, which reduce the cost and footprint of external relays and switches, and also speed up installation. Functions can be used to select end-of-stroke limit switches, with or without potentiometer feedback. Motor speed control can also be achieved using pulse width modulation (PWM). Extending capability, the optional Electronic Monitoring Package improves diagnostics for increased reliability. Functions include current, voltage and temperature monitoring as well as end of stroke dynamic braking to remove coasting.
Control functions can be extended further still with the optional Electrak Modular Control System, which includes J1939 CAN bus connectivity. Analogue output for position and direction feedback as well as end of stroke indication output are joined with low-level switching. Inmoco says that these inputs increase safety, energy efficiency and smoothness of motion.
Designed for demanding environments, the Electrak MD is tested for IP69K statically and IP66 dynamically with the actuator sealed against high pressure water jets, dust and high temperature, so it can undergo rigorous washdown. Inmoco says that the Electrak MD has also passed a 500-hour salt spray test and can operate in temperatures from -40°Celsius to +85°Celsius. The unit meets heavy duty shock and vibration levels and adheres to EMC safe levels.
The actuator has been designed for long life and Inmoco claims it achieves a 25% longer life on the 1 kN 300mm variant than competing models. A strong, reliable motor powers a high quality self locking acme screw, protected by a stainless steel extension tube. Meanwhile, the actuator housing is E-coated for greater protection.
The sealed electric unit also means that the actuator is maintenance free and additional advantages over hydraulic or pneumatic variants include reduced noise and cleaner operation. The electric actuator is also significantly smaller, making it a choice worth considering for applications which demand low footprint according to Inmoco.