Machine Design

Scanning for Ideas: Linear Actuators Measure Their Own Force

The GSX line of linear actuators from Exlar Corp., Chanhassen, Minn. (exlar.com), can now carry an optional built-in force sensor.

This eliminates the extra wiring, linkages, and alignment that goes with placing an add-on sensor between the actuator and workpiece. The sensor, a strain-gage load cell, lets users get electronic data on how much force the actuator is applying. Versions of the GSX30, 40, 50, and 60 models (and I Series 30 and 40 models) also have a separate connector that links to an external conditioner/amplifier needed to excite the sensor. The sensor has ±1% linearity and ±0.5% repeatability and hysteresis.

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