Linear actuators are constructed the way, they are capable to perform the most effective linear motion possible. The construction characteristics must be aimed at converting different forms of energy into mechanical energy to produce the linear motion. Thus, the wise minds of manufacturing companies are always working over the improvement of linear actuators and bringing them to the most advantageous process of developing.
As in any branch of the manufacturing process, when it comes to linear actuators, the first and the foremost important stage of their creation is the designing or drafting of a concrete product. This stage means the evaluating of the velocity, elevating the capacity of the future actuator and the possible extension and retraction, as well as its duty cycle and other important specifications.
If to say what is an actuator in simple words, then it is a mover, which transform the energy of motor and makes things move. It is used in various spheres of the industry: machine tools, industrial machinery, for the construction of some parts of computers like disk drives and printers. To make the long story short – linear actuator can be used everywhere where the linear motion is required.
With the development of linear actuators, the process of their manufacturing became more strict and nowadays every single piece of the whole construction is relevantly tested and reviewed by machines and robots.
To understand how actuators are made it is necessary to learn the basics of their inner construction. An ordinary linear actuator consists of a drive shaft, a guide, and an electric motor. The motor is usually placed at the separate cylinder and located to the side of the actuator. It actually can be both parallel and perpendicular to the actuator, depending on the mechanical characteristics.
As a mechanical drive are frequently used the following moving devices: lead screw (also known as a power screw) screw threads, belt drive (usually made of the soft and flexible material), and the rack and pinion mechanism.
The guide is usually made of one or several telescopic tubes, profile rail guides and various linear guides for sliding or rolling through which the movement may be realized.
The motor of the electric actuator consists of two basic components: the permanent stationary magnet usually called a stator and a rotor, which has to be located in the middle of the stator. The last one, being affected by the magnetic field starts spinning and producing the power later transformed in the linear motion.
So it is obvious that to make the linear actuator the manufacturer needs to collect and assemble all the above-mentioned spare parts. Nowadays manufacturers managed with the time-consuming assembly process and in many linear actuator factories all spare parts are made and joined together in the single mechanism. The production of linear actuators earlier took much more time. However, all this is now automatically made by robotics on the fully automated assembly lines with the minimum manipulations from the side of humans. Every single stage of the creation of the manufacturing of actuators is conscientiously monitored by the most meticulous and attentive quality assurance experts.
As a rule, the linear actuators are a functionally complete device that does not require additional mechanical components for normal functioning. The electric motor, drive shaft and guide are assembled into a single design to perform the linear motion. Nevertheless, all of the parts of linear actuators are made on their own specially adjusted automatic assembly lines and then go further to become the unified mechanism. Despite all the automation, the final touches are made by the hands of assembly workers and then, once again tested by the quality control staff.