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New range of compact actuators deliver high force

07 January 2021

A new range of electric linear actuators provides high power density in a compact package.

Thomson’s Electrak MD actuators achieve up to 2kN force in a housing shorter than a pencil. The actuators feature a range of onboard electronics which extend control capability in a highly robust package with IP69K ingress protection. 

The new Electrak®Electrak MD is based on Thomson’s established Electrak HD actuator. This means that the Electrak MD is still designed for use in demanding environments but is more compact. Electrak MD actuators are ideal for small space, mobile applications, such as AGVs, where the use of larger actuators or hydraulics aren’t possible. For smart packaging applications, the Electrak MD is easy to control while for agricultural use the actuators are highly robust and energy efficient. 

The high power density of the compact Electrak MD actuators achieves 250N to 2kN force, combined with a stroke length of 50mm at 1.1kg to 300mm at 1.6kg. Actuation speed is up to 45mm/s and the 1kN version has 10% higher power density than the competition. 

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. These inputs increase safety, energy efficiency and smoothness of motion. 

Designed for demanding environments, the Electrak MD’s IP rating is tested for IP69K statically and IP66 dynamically. The actuator is sealed against high-pressure water jets, dust and high temperature, meaning that it can undergo rigorous washdown. The Electrak MD has also passed a 500-hour salt spray test and can operate in temperatures from -40 to 85°C. The unit meets heavy-duty shock and vibration levels and adheres to EMC safe levels. 

The actuator has been designed for long life and achieves 25% longer life on the 1kN 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 the better choice for applications which demand low footprint.

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