Precision linear actuators are powerful yet compact

Paul Boughton
Thomson is extending its range of ball screw linear actuators with the powerful T60 Precision Linear Actuator (PLA). The key feature of the T60 is its compact dimensions that enable it to be installed even when the available space is limited. The width and height of the linear unit measures a mere 75 x 60mm so it can be easily installed in smaller machines and units - for example, to activate valves, move components or to position mechanisms.
Despite its compact dimensions, the T60 offers the same high performance characteristics as the larger units in the PLA range. The T60 drives static loads of up to 10kN over a stroke length of 1.5m and permits Y and Z axis loads up to 100N. High travel speed of 2.5m/s, combined with repeatability of +/-0.05mm and low 0.11mm backlash are particularly suited to installation in pick-and-place systems.
The T60 is also said to be suitable to use in harsh environments such as food packaging, with IP65 protection against dirt ingress. In addition, the standard unit can be subjected to extended rinsing processes without compromising the reliable operation that customers expect from Thomson products. Special lubricants are also available for hygienic applications. An operating temperature of -20 to +70 degrees C makes the T60 equally at home in a food processing environment such as for thermoforming applications.
Like its two larger cousins, the T90 and T130, the new T60 is rugged and reliable, and caters for a broad range all industrial applications from packaging and process automation to food production, electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The high power and generous stroke length of these actuators also lends itself to use in place of pneumatic or hydraulic drive systems. Electric actuation offers a number of advantages over conventional fluid-based systems that can be prone to high levels of noise and potential contamination as a consequence of hydraulic oil leakages. Furthermore, Thomson says that more precise control is achieved by using electrical drives. Electrical actuation is also more efficient because electrical drives only consume power on demand and do not consume energy in 'standby' mode due to the need to keep compressors running.
The T60 is designed to share the same long service life and capacity enjoyed by the rest of the PLA range. A central lubrication service point contributes towards its easy maintenance. In addition, a comprehensive range of flanges makes it possible to use a wide range of available drive motors. A belt gearbox is also available in place of a conventional gearhead if there is insufficient machine space to install the motor on the end of the linear actuator.
Thomson is committed to helping deliver this new product in just two weeks ex-works to help customers meet their demanding manufacturing schedules.
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