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FEATURE BEARINGS & LINEAR MOTION


HANDLING THE DEMANDS


of off-highway applications


additional testing to IP69K, the device not only handles dust and dirt effectively but is also suitable for high pressure, high temperature wash down. Minimum backlash and a vibration resistant design further make it ideal for mobile off-highway and other harsh environment applications. Thanks to its corrosion resistance,


the actuator is ideal for use on utility vehicles in such applications as adjusting the chute opening for road salt spreading. Here, accurate and fast operation of the actuator along with non-contact position feedback enables a high degree of consistency to be achieved in the volume of salt relative to the speed of the vehicle. The non-contact position sensors maintain the high accuracy and precision of the actuator. Of benefit for such applications, the unit can operate reliably in temperatures from -40 to +85˚C. In all spreading applications the greater accuracy in control provided by an electromechanical actuator offers the potential to reduce ongoing costs and make sure of correct coverage. The Max Jac is also tolerant of dust,


For OEMs looking to install reliable, high performing and efficient components in their machinery, Thomson has developed a new compact and maintenance-free electric linear actuator. This has been designed to suit the requirements demanded by mobile and off-highway applications where a long and trouble-free life in extremely harsh environments is essential. Hakan Persson, global product line manager, industrial linear actuators, explains


D


riven by an electric motor, electromechanical actuation systems


provide a simple, reliable solution which offers high precision, rapid movement. They are also easy to design into a machine, providing smooth, quiet and efficient operation with high accuracy and complete control over the motion profile – including the velocity and position. Adding to this are the benefits of being a fully encapsulated, permanently lubricated solution, and it’s no wonder these are becoming increasingly popular in mobile applications in areas such as agriculture, marine, military, construction, utility, road maintenance and rail. One example is the new Max Jac


electric linear actuator from Thomson. This was created in response to customer demands for an actuator that operates in highly demanding applications and provides efficient, high speed linear motion without the need for any significant maintenance. Being


24 SEPTEMBER 2014 | DESIGN SOLUTIONS


compact and with a short total length compared with the stroke, it can be easily installed in the tightest of spaces.


VEHICLE DESIGN In off-highway vehicles, electromechanical actuators such as the Max Jac enable easy implementation of computer generated physical movement instructions. The units have built in position feedback, which is contact-free to ensure no wear or re-calibration is necessary over the lifetime of the actuator, and enable easy implementation of the mid-range positioning required for more sophisticated operation. In addition, simple yet robust in construction, they can be easily integrated into machine design and there is no need for valves or a fluid reservoir required by hydraulic systems. The actuator features stainless steel


components and a hard coat anodised aluminium cover tube, which has been designed and tested for use in corrosive environments. Being rated to IP66 with


/ DESIGNSOLUTIONS


dirt, mud and water as well as more aggressive substances such as fertilisers, acid, oil and cleaning agents. Its true off-road design makes it ideal for agricultural applications such as the precise adjustment of harvesting systems on combines or intelligent fertiliser spreading systems. For fertiliser spreading, for example, it provides the vital robustness and reliability required but also the speed and precision to enable exact coverage and boundary spreading without slowing the speed of operation. Its tolerance to the corrosion of


seawater also makes Max Jac suitable for marine and offshore applications where the control of hatches, doors, operator chairs and remote movement of devices such as antennae or radar is required. Another area which can benefit is vehicle


Electromechanical actuators are


increasingly being used in mobile and


off-highway applications


throttle control. Here, not only can it be placed for easy installation with no direct access needed for maintenance, but it offers a long-life solution that is tolerant to heat, vibration, moisture and oil within the engine compartment. It also gives a


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