A new linear actuator system from Alpha Gear consists of a high-precision, rack-and-pinion unit (positioning accuracy: greater than 12 microns) and a rotary actuator which moves the load on this unit. The system was originally developed for high-end, machine tool applications such as feed drives, workpiece handling, machine tool positioning and Cartesian axes or load/unload systems. These applications have traditionally been solved using a ball screw drive or a planetary ball screw, and linear motors are not commonly used due to higher costs. According to Alpha Gear, the linear actuator system can provide up to five times faster travel speeds and up to three times better positioning accuracy in these applications. A high level of constant rigidity in the mechanical system provides consistent performance over the complete travel distance, and energy efficiency saves on electricity costs. For more information on the TPM Linear Actuator System, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4922-509.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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