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.
Industrial workplaces are governed by OSHA rules, but this isn’t to say that rules are always followed. While injuries happen on production floors for a variety of reasons, of the top 10 OSHA rules that are most often ignored in industrial settings, two directly involve machine design: lockout/tagout procedures (LO/TO) and machine guarding.
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