Thursday, 5 April 2018

Stepper Motor Linear Actuators - New Products Coming Soon!


Over the years, we've built our micro linear actuator offering to more than 160 unique models. Like most companies, we act on feedback from our customers and try to develop products that will suit their needs.

Today, I'm going to give you a look at our latest product in development - a new line of rod stepper actuators and track stepper actuators.


What Is A Stepper Linear Actuator?


A stepper actuator is simply a linear actuator that uses a stepper motor instead of a standard DC motor. Stepper motors are a different type of DC motor that is capable of far higher accuracy than standard DC motors. 

Normal DC motors will spin until the power to the motor is switched off somehow. This can be via a standard button or rocker switch or an end limit switch. The key is that it will turn until it is deenergized.

A stepper motor can be commanded to an exact position. When commanded, it will go to that position and then stop.


Basically, it takes the full rotation of the motor and breaks it down into hundreds of steps. Each step is a position that you can command the motor to.


Why Stepper Actuators?


Stepper actuators are not a new concept. There are lots of companies out there that produce larger or much more expensive stepper actuators. 

Over the years we have found that one thing our customers ask for regularly is more precision. Though it's possible to achieve reasonable precision from a DC motor, many medical, robotics or other positioning applications require higher precision than our DC actuators can offer. This is why we started developing this new line.

The Actuonix line of micro stepper actuators will be unique in that the cost (though not yet released), will be lower than anything previously available.


How To Control A Stepper Actuator


We have decided that rather than building our own stepper control board/software solution, we will be offering a control board from Pololu, a trusted brand in micro-electronics. The Pololu Tic T825 will be available for purchase in our store at the same time as the stepper actuators.


When Will This New Line Be Released?


At this time, we can't say exactly when our stepper actuators will be available, though it will be sometime this year. Product development takes time and as with all of our models, the stepper line will be the result of thorough testing and revision to ensure that we're putting out the absolute best product that we can.

That said, if you have a project that you feel would be a good fit for this new line of actuators, feel free to reach out to mikeg@actuonix.com and we will see what we can do to get you an early release model in exchange for some feedback on the product and photos of the actuator in your application.