Friday, 4 August 2017

Can I Modify My Actuator?


For some customers, a stock unit will not do the trick. Integrating our products into your designs can take some level of customization. 

Our actuators are not meant to be disassembled or heavily modified by customers. There are however some basic changes that you might want to make to help integrate our products with your design. Below are a few examples of alterations you can make to Actuonix micro linear actuators.

Please be advised that any alterations you make to a stock actuator may void your warranty. If you're unsure, please contact us for details.

Paint

Yes - you can paint your actuator. I know there are some RC enthusiasts out there who like to spray their actuators in Caterpillar yellow or John Deere green. Painting the exterior of your device will not affect it's functionality whatsoever so long as you follow these guidelines.


You can only paint the plastic housing and outer (square) shaft. Do not paint the circular actuator shaft. Painting this part could impede it's ability to retract into the device. This could also result in bits of paint chipping off inside the actuator and damaging the drive nut, lead screw or motor assemblies. You can also paint the clevis end-tip so long as you remove it first or make sure to protect the actuator shaft.

End Tip

Custom end tips are a popular way to customize a linear actuator. All of our rod actuators come with a clevis end tip attached to the device and a threaded end tip in the hardware bag in case you want to mount it that way. Note - do not remove your end tip before watching this video. The video shows you how to do it without damaging your device.

We have several customers who build their own end tips for custom mounting solutions. Some of them use plastic and even aluminum. The internal threads on our actuator shafts are an M8x1.25. 

Plug

All of our devices come with a plug mounted at the end of the cable for your convenience. If you prefer, you can remove the stock plug and replace it with a custom plug that is more suitable to your application.

Stroke

It is possible to customize the stroke of your -S or -P series actuator using an external limit switch kit. The kit comes with two limit switches. You can choose to use just one to limit only extension or retraction or you can utilize both switches to set a completely custom stroke. This can also be accomplished with our LAC board and a -P series actuator.

Related post: Choosing The Correct Linear Actuator For Your Application.

Speed

It is not possible to increase the speed of stock actuators. If you require a faster actuator we can build a custom device for you. Typically there is a MOQ of 500 for this type of modification. If you just need to reduce the speed of your device, we recommend using a -P series actuator with our linear actuator control board. You can dial the speed down by simple turning a pot on the board.
Linear actuator controller

If you have any other questions about custom actuator solutions or how to modify an actuator to suit your needs, give us a call. Our product specialists will be happy to work with you to help find a device that will integrate smoothly into your project.

You might also want to check out our FAQ page to see if your question has been addressed there.
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