Engineers at Ultra Motion, Mattituck, N.Y. (www.ultramotion.com), use off-the-shelf components as much as possible to build accurate, timing-belt-driven linear actuators. The actuators are clean, reliable alternatives to hydraulic and pneumatic systems for low-to-moderate power applications. The actuator's modular design lets it be powered by steppers, brush and brushless servomotors, or smart steppers; use ball, Acme, or zero-backlash screws, and be mounted in almost any orientation. And a choice between five Kevlar drive belts gives ratios ranging from 1:1 to 5:1.
The actuator is available with 2, 4, or 8-in. strokes, speeds to 20 ips, and thrusts to 500 lb. Bidirectional repeatability is ±0.0003, and unidirectional repeatability is ±0.0001. It operates in temperatures ranging from -40 to 150°F, and special units can operate at cryogenic temperatures (down to 77°K). Moving parts are permanently lubricated, making the actuator maintenance-free for 1 million strokes.