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Choosing linear motion technology for high precision applications

01 August 2019

When manufacturing processes require high precision, high-speed repeatability and flexibility for applications such as CNC, robotics and material handling, production engineers often specify linear motion technologies.

A basic linear motion system integrates a power component, such as a motor; a thrust mechanism, such as an actuator; and a guidance infrastructure, such as a rail. There are numerous subsystems within these categories and understanding your options will help determine the ideal linear motion technology for your application.

Power components overview

The power components of the linear system include its motors, drives and controls. These convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and assist in positioning the device. 

The mechanical energy can be rotary-to-linear or direct-to-linear motion. Rotary-to-linear drives will convert the rotary torque of a motor into axial travel through a gearhead/gearmotor or actuator connection. Electrical linear motors produce direct linear motion without rotary components. The motor driving the system can be controlled to provide the desired velocity, acceleration, torque and position to yield optimal performance. 

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA

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