Machine Design

A Belt-Driven Linear Actuator with Speed, Ease of Installation, and Long-Lasting and Accurate Linear Motion

The PLB linear actuator from PBC Linear (, a Pacific Bearing company based in Roscoe, Ill., uses a belt drive that reduces weight and makes installation easier compared to other actuators. The actuator is capable of speeds to 394 ips (10 m/sec) and carries loads up to 450 lbf (2,000 N) in the Y axis. The X and Z axes can withstand loads of 184 lbf (820 N) and 416 lbf (1,850 N), respectively. Repeatability is ±0.002 in. (±0.050 mm). Maximum stroke length is 236 in. (6,000 mm), while the minimum stroke is 1.97 in. (50 mm).

For precision, the entire outer housing is machined using the company’s Simultaneous Integral Milling Operation, a low-cost method of getting tighter tolerances by milling all sides of the actuator at the same time. The anodized aluminum housing resists corrosion and has built-in T-slots to make installation faster and easier. The actuator is equipped with steel raceways to guide the cam rollers, which contributes to accuracy. The actuator can also carry two moving carriages.

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