Engineers with specialized linear motion requirements may still find themselves designing and building custom actuators. But general automation applications usually work just fine with off-the-shelf models. MISUMI USA now supports both approaches to linear actuation.
MISUMI has long catered to the do-it-yourself crowd by supplying the individual components needed to create a custom built actuator. Starting today, the company will also offer a new line of single-axis, ball-screw-driven actuators that should appeal to engineers who want a standard solution.
"If the application doesn’t require a custom built unit, engineers can save a lot of money by purchasing an actuator that’s ready to go," says Chris Blaszczyk, MISUMI’s engineering manager. To quantify those savings, he points to a study that MISUMI conducted in Japan. It shows that a custom built actuator typically costs almost twice as much as a standard product when you factor in not just the price of the individual components but also the engineering, assembly and inspection costs. "It takes time and know-how to design an actuator, especially when you consider all the tolerance stack-up issues," he says.
Blaszczyk argues that only a minority of linear motion applications nowadays truly need custom built actuators. "There are applications in the semiconductor and medical industries where it makes sense to build an actuator," he says. "For general automation applications, it usually makes more sense to buy."
The key to making the standard approach work is configurability. MISUMI’s new line of actuators come in 208 different configurations by the time users specify their desired the ball screw diameter and lead, base width, stroke, table length and load capacity. Blaszczyk says these configurable units ship within 11 days.
Prices for MISUMI’s new line of actuators start at $1,073. Detailed performance specifications can be found here.