Linear Actuator Customization: Progressive Automations' Capabilities

Linear Actuator Customization: Progressive Automations' Capabilities

Guest Writer
Guest Writer
PA Engineer

Progressive Automations is a manufacturer and distributor of electrical linear actuators. The range of use for linear actuators is staggeringly high, which is why we keep more than 1000 various models in stock, ready to ship out the same day. However, if our variety of stock options doesn’t quite meet your needs, we are able to offer you customized units.

Find out exactly what we can do for you! Our sales team will work with you to find your perfect solution.

As we oversee the manufacturing process, we can build custom linear actuators tailored to most industrial and medical needs. The purpose of this article is to explore some concrete examples of the level of customization that we can provide using two past customer examples. We hope that these examples demonstrate the ability of our customization options and that they can be successfully implemented, regardless of your requirements!

Our custom options have practically no minimum order quantity restrictions with few exceptions – contact our team to discuss your order and confirm you are eligible!

Custom Linear Actuator Feedback Options

 

Past Customer Project #1

Progressive Automations offers one of the most sophisticated linear actuators on the market – the PA-12. It has a compact design and offers precise control over the actuator’s movement. There is a built-in PCB inside this actuator where a user can send standard servo PWM, TTL and RS-485 signals. These signals get decoded and processed into movement commands for this actuator. In order to achieve the precision and accuracy necessary for some medical devices, the PA-12 has a high-quality potentiometer inside.

Micro Precision Servo Actuator - TTL/PWM

 

One of our customer’s utilized the PA-12’s effectiveness when they required a 500 Hz refresh rate on the position data coming from the potentiometer. This would mean that the PA-12’s internal controller must make 500 readings per second and transmit them over TTL communication protocol to the customer’s control system. 

This was a tough engineering challenge as increasing the frequency of position readings would also increase the amount of noise in the data. That is, the more often you sample, the lower quality your data becomes. We were able to resolve this challenge through adding direct feedback from the potentiometer to the customer’s control system, giving them a suitable custom linear actuator for their project.

A custom linear actuator for a project

 

The direct connection between the built-in potentiometer and the controller on the customer’s application would allow for the 500 Hz refresh rate on the position data. The internal computer in the PA-12’s would not get bogged down trying to service and transmit the position requests, and the customer would get straightforward analog readings that they can process!

Custom Actuator Length, Connectors & Safety Features

 

Past Customer Project #2

The mini industrial actuator is one of the most popular Progressive Automations linear actuators. It has an excellent balance between force, size, quality, and price. Our aim is to make our products as useful as possible right out of the box. For this reason, we offer as much value to your product at the manufacturing stage. Examples of the customization we can do at this stage include rotating the mounting holes 90 degrees, making your actuators the exact required length, and even adding features such as in-line fuse and custom connectors.

Mini industrial actuator by Progressive Automations

 

One of our customers came to us with an old actuator nearing end-of-life. The challenge was to find an exact drop-in replacement while providing higher force and speed. We worked with the customer’s engineering team to nail down the exact manufacturing parameters they were interested in and finally came up with a custom linear actuator that would fit.

A custom linear actuator for a project

 

Modifications made to our standard actuators:

  1. Rear-end mount rotated 90 degrees.
  2. Actuator length customized to their required dimensions.
  3. In-line fuse added to the M- motor wire.
  4. Custom DT04-2P connector.
  5. Front-end mount rotated 90 degrees.

With these changes to our standard PA-09 model, the customer was able to proceed with manufacturing their product without the costly redesign of the system around a different actuator. Plus, as the connector and the in-line fuse were installed at the Progressive Automations facility, the customer also saved on labor and processing times!

Conclusion

Progressive Automations is an agile and versatile manufacturer. While we strive to meet our customer’s needs with our standard stock units for optimum price and lead time advantages, in special circumstances these need to be deviated from. In some cases, the design of the actuator must be changed in order to perfectly fit to the customer’s application, and Progressive Automations has a proven record of being able to meet those demands. We will work with you to design your own custom actuator products, ensuring they suit your application and needs perfectly.

To find out more about our custom capabilities, speak with one of our expert engineers and we will gladly help!

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