This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Where tubular linear motors blow away pneumatics

31 July 2020

For factory operators looking to save energy and costs, an obvious first place to look is compressed air. Compressed air is highly useful in many industrial applications, and some sites spend up to 30 percent of their electricity bill generating compressed air.

Pneumatic actuators, which run on compressed air, have been around since the Second World War. They are well understood, cheap and suited to harsh environments. However, they also come with their penalties. Compressed air must be generated to power them. Depending on the expansiveness of a factory, this can mean numerous compressors and/or a complicated reticulation system. A reliable level of pressure must be maintained, or pneumatics will work poorly or not at all. 

Air leaks can be expensive. According to Kaeser Compressors, a leading compressor technology company, one leak in one unit costing 15 cents/kW/hr to operate will represent well over $2,000 a year to a power bill. With a single point of failure – for example, air leakage at one location – the air pressure of the whole plant will drop, and operations will be affected. 

Then there is the noise

“If you are working in or visiting a factory, you will usually hear a lot of noise – that’s one big advantage servo-controlled linear motors have [over] pneumatics,” explains Heng Luo, Product Manager, ANCA Motion. 

Linear motors – for example, screw-driven and tubular linear kinds – are newer than pneumatic or hydraulic options but are preferred for certain applications. Instead of a piston in a cylinder, driven by compressed air or incompressible fluid, tubular linear motors use magnetic flux to create motion. They are not as cheap in upfront costs compared to pneumatics, but offer vast benefits in accuracy, cheaper operating costs, and flexibility.

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA.


Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page