Each linear actuator application has its own unique requirements, so it’s important to determine which type is best suited for the job. Manufacturers must consider various characteristics and calculate the many variables – the most important being the linear actuator’s force. The force value will reveal how much the actuator can move and how well it can perform the operation.

Firgelli Automations, founded in 2002 in Ferndale, Washington, as a manufacturer of linear actuators, control systems, TV lifts, column lifts, slide rails, mounting brackets, and accessories, has launched its Force Calculator for linear actuator calculations.

The calculator allows clients to determine the exact force required before they finalize linear actuator purchases. By using the tool and seeing it graphically, people learn the importance of leverage. The leverage impact can be massive, and the results can save people a lot of time and money.

“The online calculator tool will help customers find exactly what they are looking for by entering their parameters into the calculator,” says CEO Robbie Dickson. “The results are then displayed instantly, telling the customer the exact force of the linear actuator purchase required. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.”

To use the calculator, input weight in pounds, length in inches, distance from hinge in inches, and angle of thrust in degrees (Figure 1).

“It’s common for most customers to be unsure of the force required to push or pull their applications – we encounter this setback every single day,” Dickson says. “Since every application is unique, no one size fits all either. With this new calculator, we are hoping to provide some much-needed assurance and peace of mind.”

While the Actuator Force Calculator is popularly used for linear actuator force, it can also be used for truck tonneau cover lifts, ceiling access panels, and many other cases.

The same principles used in this force calculator are applicable to any application. The calculator does not distinguish between applications, so it considers weights and measurements that can apply to anything.

Firgelli Automations

ATI to host Automation Expo at expanded headquarters

ATI Industrial Automation will host an Automation Expo May 9, 2019, at its recently renovated headquarters in Apex, North Carolina. Attendees will get a glimpse into the heart of ATI’s main operation and can tour the new facility.

The one-day event features keynote speeches and presentations from industry experts on various automation and manufacturing topics. An exhibition area will feature new products and live robotic displays, demonstrating how end-effector technology can improve productivity.

Attendees will network with speakers, other attendees, and personnel from partner automation companies and can discuss their specific automation challenges and possible solutions with ATI account managers and engineers.

The Automation Expo should benefit those considering robotic automation and those looking to upgrade or enhance existing robotic lines.

ATI Industrial Automation https://www.ati-ia.com

Motion controls library

Improved industrial device control and motion control components are available over Profinet networks in the Automation Library. Add-on instructions (AOI) enhance the capabilities of Schneider Electric Motion’s Lexium MDrive (LMD) products by providing executable code blocks to speed interface with Profinet programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

AOIs reduce communications overhead by decreasing the work of integrating Lexium MDrive all-in-one motor and electronics products into new and existing PLC programs. Motion is controlled using networks with relative move, absolute move, jogging, homing, read input, and write output functions.

Lexium MDrive products integrate 1.8°, 2-phase stepper motors with onboard drive electronics, controller, and encoder. Products with a programmable motion controller may be operated in several modes including closed-loop, torque control, and variable current control for energy savings and reduced heating. Rotary and linear stepper motor versions are available.

Schneider Electric https://motion.schneider-electric.com

Wire rope hoist

NEC-approved, Class I, Division 2 explosion-protected Stahl CraneSystems brand SH Ex wire rope hoists are available in five frame sizes with 26 load capacities from 1,000 lb to 30 tons. They come in deck mount, monorail trolley, and double girder trolley models for standard, customized, or special crane applications.

Explosion-protected models are offered with ATEX and IECEx approvals for EX Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 21, or Zone 22 hazardous locations. Spark-resistant features including coated hooks, brass wheels, and trolley brass drop lugs are available.

Columbus McKinnon Corp.