Electric cylinders can also be referred to as electric linear actuators. These devices convert electrical energy into mechanical energy that is used for linear motion. Electric cylinders are more accurate, are more work efficient, are easier to install, and have a longer service life than pneumatic or hydraulic varieties. Finally, they offer the advantage of more fluid motion control, and more precise positioning points.
Electric cylinders are ideal for applications that involve close tolerances. These applications include wastewater treatment, electrical testing equipment, industrial automation processes, die bonding, lowering and raising tractor attachments, and the automatic sliding of a TV into a cabinet. Electric cylinders can be used in applications that involve very small spaces, like inside a CD player. The electric cylinder enables the door of the CD player to slide in and out smoothly, enabling its user to easily and safely open and close it. Recent research has led to electric cylinders improving in dynamic response, environmental parameters, and force. As a result, electric cylinders have become more energy and cost efficient. They have improved in terms of controls and flexibility, and have become capable of performing multi-positional functions. In addition, they come with no health or environmental risks, and have been reducing energy consumption within manufacturing facilities, These advances have led to electric cylinders even being more favorable in certain applications than hydraulic and pneumatic linear actuators.
Electric linear actuators feature valves, and a sliding rod or screw that causes the valve to open and close. Electric cylinders can utilize a variety of valves, such as pinch, angle, diaphragm, gate, and globe valves. Electric cylinders provide linear motion with the help of three possible screw assemblies: motor driven ball screw, lead screw, and ACME screw. The first, motor driven ball screws, are a combination of a power screw and a ball nut. They contain ball bearings that ride in a recirculating track between the nut and the screw while the actuator is in motion. The most simple form of screw assembly is the lead screw assembly, which features a drive nut and a lead screw. In a lead screw assembly, the load is unsupported and attached to the rod ends, or the end of the lead screw. The rod ends and the nut on the screw are attached by a thrust tube that uses a guide bearing to stop the rotation. The screw is self locking and can be powered by a drive, which connects the electric cylinder to the motor. Different types of drives can be used. The types of drives include direct drive, geared drive, or belt drive. The motor can be connected to either the top of the guide cylinder—which contains the screw assembly—or to the side of the electric cylinder housing. A variety of different motors can be used as well, such as brushed DC, stepper, or brushless servomotors. ACME screw assemblies are defined as screws that feature identical threads on both the screw and the nut. Like lead screws, ACME screws can be manufactured by thread grinding, thread milling, or thread rolling processes.
Manufacturers worldwide have taken note on the versatility of new and improved models of electric cylinders, and how they are beginning to outperform hydraulic and pneumatic actuators within certain applications, especially those that utilize operations that allow for high thrust. Part of the versatile aspect of electric cylinders is their compatibility with different types of motors, each of which have a certain set of advantages depending on the applications and conditions for which it is used. It has become the goal of manufacturers and researchers to make electric cylinders as usable as possible. Therefore, innovative breakthroughs have been made in changing the functionality and user interfaces of electric cylinders as we know them. The greater the versatility of the machine, the more they will benefit customers and businesses alike.
The newer models of electric cylinders are more favored due to the cycling processes being improved by their smooth operations. For instance, hydraulic cylinders have its drawbacks. They can leak fluids, which forces manufacturers to carve out downtime for cleanup. However, electric cylinders do not utilize fluids, and therefore require no cleanup time. Most applications that utilize electric cylinders have a tolerance of up to 3 tons. Electric cylinders allow for a wide range of speed and load attachments, and in addition, they have a long service life and allow for easy installation and maintenance. The many benefits of electric cylinders have led to their increase among countless consumers.