Humans are lazy and that is why most scientific and technological inventions are aimed at sparing them as much effort as possible. It is especially noticeable in the fields which are traditionally abounded in manual labor. As a result, industrial automated mechanisms are increasingly replacing people in environments where continuous repetitive operations are required.
Having freed their muscles of backbreaking work at factories and plants, humans started to feel their homes could do with some automation as well. They created motion technology to regulate the height of a desk and hide a TV out of sight when it is not being used. Mechanization of this kind would be impossible without actuators.
Meet an Actuator
Manufacturers of today offer a whole gamut of various actuators. But whatever their type is – be it a heavy-duty rotary actuator or a mini track linear actuator – their function and construction are to a great extent similar.
This device is essentially a mover whose duty is to propel something so that it takes a desirable position within a particular distance or at a specific angle. Actuators are powered by some source of energy (pneumatic, liquid or electrical) and the latter is converted into physical motion (linear or rotational). The most widespread type of this gadget is an electric linear actuator.
This type of actuator comes in diverse modifications and sizes. Thus, there are industrial and miniature actuators employing mechanisms of regular or track types.
Regular vs Track Linear Actuators
The two principal elements of a regular linear actuator are a lead screw (rod) and a nut. When the device is activated the nut rotates and moves along the screw-up and down. In other models, the nut stays put while the screw travels through it. In both cases, the rod extends from the unit sliding in and out when the actuator is operated.
A track actuator has a mounting block (where the load is mounted) attached to the unit. This block slides to and from it without any extension of the rod. Such construction of the device allows it to be used in environments with tighter space restrictions than the regular type. So in your calculations of its future installment, you will have to take into account only its length since it needs no room for the rod extension.
Mini Track Linear Actuator PA 08
Such benefits are utilized to the full in a mini track actuator. Its small dimensions and sufficient force makes it a perfect solution for projects presupposing constrained space margins. Controlling a mini track linear actuator is a breeze if a relay and a microcontroller supporting Raspberry Pi or Arduino software are used. Due to inherent design peculiarities, mini track actuators are more resistant to side loads which imparts them with additional flexibility and expands the range of possible applications.
Where Can Mini Track Actuators Be Used?
Environments necessitating the application of mini track linear actuators are quite numerous and versatile.
- Home automation: The petite size, small-scale stroke (under 30 inches), and lean force (about 50 lbs) of mini track actuators prompt the primary field of employment where the need for space-saving is tremendous – your home.
Since they are foolproof in installment and easily integrated into woodworking such devices are widely applied in various AV projects including pop-up TV displays, computer monitor lifts, and drop-down home theater screens.
In the kitchen, various storage compartments or spice and cookware racks can be equipped with mini track actuators to slide out of sight when you are done with their contents for the time being.
Your bedroom and laundry room can also acquire some futuristic chic with the bed lowering down from the wall or ironing board or clothes hanger swinging out of a hiding place when you need them.
- Yachts, boats, and RVs: This is one more environment type with the dire demand for space-saving. Here mini track actuators can be leveraged to roll away not only TVs, but also beds, seats, desks, ladders, and even hatches.
Automotive industry: Mini track linear actuator applications in cars are so routine that we may even forget that elements that slowly move, stop, and hold in their position (such as windows, windshield wipers, and sunroofs) are controlled through them.
- Agriculture: In most agricultural processes (harvesting, seeding, round baling, plant heading, mill grinding, and the like) heavy-duty actuators are involved. However, mini track actuators have their own say in this field. Their benefits are utilized to the maximum where programmable operations are required. For instance, they can open or close chicken coop doors at definite times and air temperatures. Or trigger sprinklers and open vents in greenhouses when specific weather conditions are met.
- Medicine: Appliances used here can’t do without mini track actuators since cell or tissue sample manipulation, as well as microsurgery equipment positioning, requires minute precision provided by these mechanisms.
An automation drive that is one of the mainstream directions of modern technological progress affects both working and domestic environments. Among the plethora of actuator types that partake in this drive mini track linear actuators have a serious edge since they are compact, affordable, and can be extensively customized for specific usage in a range of settings.