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Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions on using Linear Actuators

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions on using Linear Actuators

Loureal Agustin
Loureal Agustin
PA Engineer

At Progressive Automations, our team of experienced engineers is hands-on to address all our customers' needs, concerns, and questions. We take pride in not just the quality of our linear motion products but also in the quality service we strive to provide. 

In order to ease your ordering process with us and to provide you with more clarity on choosing the right product for your application, we have listed below a few commonly asked questions.

1. What does stroke mean? How am I supposed to know which size to choose?

The stroke size is the difference between the fully retracted and fully extended lengths of the actuators. All the actuators we carry have datasheets that illustrate hole-to-hole measurements of the unit when fully retracted/extended.

2. Can I get a larger force rating with a faster speed?

There is a trade-off when choosing an actuator with a larger force rating – this would be a slower speed.

3. Is the duty cycle important?

Yes, duty cycle is important. This reflects how long an actuator can be ON compared to how long it should be OFF. Here is an in-depth article that explains what duty cycle is: Understanding Duty Cycle

4. Do you have an actuator that can be controlled continuously?

If you require an actuator with 100% duty cycle, the PA-14 Mini Linear Actuator or PA-14P Feedback Linear Actuator is available to be customized to have a brushless DC motor. With this type of motor, you can use the LC-241 for the ability to control the actuator continuously.

5. Which control box can I use with my actuator?

The control box you can use depends on the actuator itself. For example, if you were to use the PA-04 actuator, you would need a control box that is rated for at least 12 A of current, such as the PA-31 control box.

6. Can I use an actuator with a high current draw (PA-17/PA-13) with a control box that is rated with a lower current?

Yes, you can. Although, you would require the use of relays. This article may help you understand how the system should work: 

Controlling High Current Actuators with a Low Current Control Box

7. Can I use your actuators to replace the one that I already have

Of course, you can. Most actuators have labels that indicate the specifications needed for your application. If you let us know the voltage rating, force rating and stroke length needed, we will be able to give a recommendation for a replacement actuator.

8. How do I know which force rating is right for my application?

We always recommend purchasing an actuator with a higher force rating than what the application requires. Here is an article that may help you calculate force: Find the Right Actuator for your Application

9. Can I use my own power supply as a source for my actuators?

Yes, you may. However, it is important to have sufficient voltage and current to be applied to your actuator. Here is an article that may further help you: How to Choose the Right Power Supply for your Linear Actuator

10. How can I control actuators to travel at the same time?

You would need some sort of feedback, such as a potentiometer or hall effect sensor to achieve synchronous motion control. Here is an article that shows different ways of controlling your actuators at the same time: Controlling Multiple Linear Actuators at the Same Time.

We hope the above information gives you a better understanding of using linear actuators with your application. If you have any additional questions on shipping, delivery and payment process you may also refer to our FAQ page.

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