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Bridging the performance gap

06 March 2023

LEADING PROVIDER of linear motion control solutions, Thomson has introduced a high-capacity, high-performance electric linear actuator that bridges the performance gap between electric and hydraulic actuators for loads up to 25kN.

Among the many new features of the Thomson Electrak XD linear actuator are load handling up to 25,000N (5000 lbs), depending on configuration, for a combined power output of more than 450W. The Electrak XD can also achieve operating speeds of up to 75 mm/sec (3 in/sec), and duty cycles up to 100%.

“Machine designers who are looking to eliminate messy, space-consuming hydraulic systems, while also adding high controllability, can now do so for an expanded set of material handling and factory automation applications,” said Håkan Persson, global product line director – linear actuators at Thomson. “Compared to our previous offerings, the new Electrak XD actuators more than quadruple the load handling and speed, while delivering other benefits that would have previously required hydraulic systems or purchase of ultra-high-precision electric actuators.”

Electrak XD linear actuators offer a high-power, zero-maintenance alternative that is simpler, cleaner and more controllable than hydraulic alternatives. In addition to the capabilities mentioned above, the new actuator features or has options for:

  • Shock dampening to protect electromechanical components from impacts common on warehouse and factory floors as well as other mobile applications in which hydraulics are traditionally used.
  • Manual brake release and override, which enable backdrive under load and can be valuable for machine maintenance or situations where emergency lowering is required or beneficial.
  • Up to 1200 mm of stroke, which is 20% more than comparably priced hydraulic cylinder options.
  • Regen capability, which reduces energy consumption in battery-powered, industrial applications by enabling motor torque to charge the battery. Regen also extends the time between charges, allowing more movements from a single charge.
  • Brushless motor technology, which enables high duty cycle by virtually eliminating wear on motor components. Brushless technology also contributes to the Electrak XD’s high controllability.

Complementing these performance benefits is onboard intelligence that enables ease of use and programmability far greater than hydraulic systems can provide. The electronics also enable control and diagnostics through real-time position feedback, force feedback and control, and programmable end-of-stroke limits. Designers can implement applications over a CANopen or SAE J1939 CAN bus network, which, among other things, simplifies synchronization of multiple actuators.

Electrak XD linear actuators are available immediately as a compact, fully integrated unit, including the motor, drive, IP-rated housing, control architecture, diagnostic features and more. The end result is a "plug and play" actuator that saves the designer money and time.