Thomson Industries has announced the availability of new synchronisation capabilities for its Electrak HD heavy duty electromechanical linear actuators. Designers of equipment in which large or awkward loads must be moved repeatedly and evenly, such as large solar panels or heavy hoods on construction equipment, can now simultaneously distribute that load using up to four actuators.
Traditional methods for synchronising multiple actuators can be inflexible. Gas spring technology, for example, is limited in application, while hydraulic cylinders can be prone to leakage and costly to maintain. Non-integrated electronic systems have more flexibility and are cleaner but require external devices such as encoders and potentiometers to track position and send feedback to an external PLC or other logic solver.
Thomson achieves its synchronisation by embedding all load handling technology into a single electromechanical actuator, which is then wired in sequence with up to three other similarly equipped actuators. Designers install these wherever linear movement is needed without the need for external assemblies. Once the actuators are installed, customers synchronise them instantly by wiring them together and operating a single unit with a simple switch. During operation, system electronics detect speed changes that indicate load imbalances, thereby eliminating bouncing or other effects of imbalance.