Episode #26: What Tools Can I Use To Size & Select Actuators?

Contact Valin today for more information at (855) 737-4716, or fill out our online form.

The Motion Control Show

After all this education and talking about sizing and selecting electric linear actuators, you probably are wondering what tools you have available for you to take a crack at it yourself.  Well, I'm going to show you a few different types of typical tools, but there are a few things I want you to notice:
  • One, they are all manufacturer specific, so you're going to have to go to each separate manufacturer in order to use their tools and ask them questions.  Remember, you can go to a knowledgeable motion control distributor like ourselves who is used to working with a lot of different manufacturers and that helps you to cut through rather than your having to go to each and every one of them. 
  • Also notice here what questions and answers you have to know.  Pay attention to what they ask you, but also pay attention to what they don't ask you because that could be just about as important. 
  • Also remember that, just like an 8th grade math class I knew, you have to know how to use the tools.  This 8th grade math teacher’s students asked all year if they could use calculators and she kept saying no, no, no.  Finally, on the final exam she said “yes, you can use calculators” and guess what?  They bombed the test because they didn't know how to use the tool.  So, make sure you know how to use the tools. 

Reach out to us for help. You can also reach out to us and we can help guide you through some things.  You can reach out to us at Automation Support at Valin.com.  I'm Corey Foster at Valin Corporation.  Let's see what we can learn.

Remember the acrostic I used and talked about in Episode 19 because we're going to be referring to that as we go through here.  Look at this table here.  It gives you a good starting point of how to look through this manufacturer’s actuators by sorting them and looking at the load.  Now notice here it isn't saying anything about moment loading.  This is just normal loading, so it still doesn't tell you everything, but it's at least a place to start.  It gives you orientation because the loading changes for them between horizontal and vertical.  It gives you a speed range, maximum speed, and it gives you a travel range.  And even gives you a precision.  But it doesn't bring into account environment or duty cycle.

Here's a tool that looks promising because it's a filter and you could put in the load and filter that out.  Even has some orientation with the horizontal and vertical.  It has a speed.  You can pick the travel. Again, it doesn't have precision, environment, or duty cycle.

Here's a pretty useful software tool.  Orientation is here, then you hit next and he go on and you enter load here and speed here and travel here and then hit next, and then you get to a duty cycle calculation.  But again, there's no precision or environment.

Here's a tool that is even more promising.  You start by putting in the load.  And then you can change the orientation.  Now notice here the loading actually has some moment loading capability where you can move the center of gravity off into any of the three directions.  Speed.  And then travel.  And you can even put in multiple motion profiles here.  And then you get on to the next page and you can select your precision.  You can even select an environment as an IP rating.  That's not all the environmental conditions you have to worry about, but at least it's a start.  Then the duty cycle is calculated here for you when you put in your motion profile correctly.  Now, if you want to use this tool, go ahead and go to this link here (www.TheMotionControlShow.com/VirtualEngineer).  Also, if you want help in using this tool, reach out to us through Automation Support at Valin.com.  Also, this tool will give you a spit out of all this manufacturers’ products from a budgetary standpoint with the least expensive to the most expensive at the bottom.  So that can be very useful.  Now, again, remember that you have to go to all these different tools, all these different manufacturers, but if you go to a good knowledgeable motion controller distributor like ourselves, then we can really help you cut across the manufacturers.  You have multiple manufacturers at our disposal.  I talked about this back in Episode 1, the difference between manufacturers, distributors and integrators.  I'm Corey Foster at Valin Corporation.  I hope this helps.

If you have any questions or are just looking for some help, we're happy to discuss your application with you.  Reach out to us at (855) 737-4716 or fill out our online form.