Long Stroke X-Y-Z Actuators
Long Stroke systems are created by assembling actuators in X-Y-Z configurations. Cartesian robotics often, in applications such as pick-and-place and feeding machining centers along production lines, have very long strokes, which can even reach dozens of metres in length.
In many cases, these long strokes – which usually involve the Y axis – are tasked with handling considerably heavy loads, often hundreds of kilos, as well as numerous vertical Z axes which operate independently. In these types of applications, the best choice for the Y axis is unquestionably an actuator with a rack and pinion drive, considering that:
- thanks to the rigidity of the rack and pinion system, they are capable of operating along potentially unlimited strokes, all whilst maintaining their rigidity, precision and efficiency
- actuators with induction-hardened steel racks with inclined teeth which slide along recirculating ball bearing rails or prismatic rails with bearings are capable of handling loads of over 1000kg
- the option of installing multiple carriages, each with its own motor, allows for numerous independent vertical Z axes.
A belt system is ideal for strokes of up to 10-12m, whilst ball screw actuators are limited – in the case of long strokes – by their critical speed.