Thomson Industries, Inc.
The Electrak XD linear actuator features a high load handling capability of up to 25,000 N (5,000 lbs.), depending on configuration.

Thomson Electrak XD Linear Actuator Provides High Speed and Control Capabilities

Feb. 15, 2023
The high load and speed capabilities of the Electrak XD actuator provide a viable alternative to hydraulic cylinders.

Linear motion control solutions provider Thomson has introduced the Electrak XD linear actuator. The high-capacity, high-performance electric linear actuator is designed to provide a cost-effective alternative to hydraulic cylinders. 

Key features of the Electrak XD include: 

  • load handling up to 25,000 N (5000 lbs.), depending on configuration
  • operating speeds of up to 75 mm/sec (3 in./sec)        
  • up to 1,200 mm of stroke 
  • brushless motor technology

READ MORE: Comparing Electric and Fluid-Power Actuators

High Power and Speed Enable Hydraulics Alternative

Thomson has developed the Electrak XD linear actuator to be a viable replacement for hydraulic cylinders. The actuator's high load handling capability of up to 25,000 N (5,000 lbs.), depending on configuration, provides a combined power output of more than 450 W  which can meet the motion control needs of various applications.

According to Håkan Persson, Global Product Line Director – Linear Actuators at Thomson, the Electrak XD provides quadruple the load handling and speed of previous solutions from the company as well as a higher level of controllability. All of this benefits the actuator's use in place of hydraulic cylinders which can be space consuming and leak over time. 

The lack of hydraulic fluid, and its potential to leak, makes the actuator a simpler, cleaner and zero-maintenance option which can benefit a range of applications, particularly those related to material handling and factory automation. Potential application uses include automated guided vehicles (AGV), agricultural vehicles, assembly lines and work stations, wheelchair lifts and more. 

A durable design to the Electrak XD ensures reliability in harsher operating environments. The unit is fully integrated, including the motor, drive and control architecture which protects them from potential hazards in the operating environment. The actuator's housing is also IP rated — IP69K (static), IP67 (static) and IP66 (dynamic) — further ensuring its durability. 

This durable design enables the actuator to provide a lifespan of up to 275,000 cycles as well as duty cycles up to 100%. 

READ MORE: The Basics and Benefits of Electromechanical Actuators

Additional Features Benefit Operation

Among the features offered by the Electrak XD linear actuator is its onboard intelligence which the company states in its press release about the actuator provides improved ease of use and programmability compared to hydraulic systems. The integrated electronics enable control and diagnostics via real-time position as well as force feedback and control. They also enable programmable end-of-stroke limits. 

Motion control designers who utilized the actuator can implement applications using CANopen or SAE J1939 CANbus networks which also enables the synchronization of multiple actuators. 

A regen capability is built into the actuator which helps to reduce energy use in battery-powered industrial applications. This is achieved by enabling motor torque to charge the battery. It also extends the time needed between battery charges, benefitting customers' productivity as they can do more work on a single charge. 

Additional features of the linear actuator include: 

  • Shock dampening protects electromechanical components from impacts.
  • Manual brake release and override enable backdrive under load; can be valuable for machine maintenance or situations where emergency lowering is required or beneficial.
  • Stroke capabilities 20% higher than comparably priced hydraulic cylinder options.
  • Brushless motor technology enables high duty cycle by virtually eliminating wear on motor components and contributes to high controllability.        

The Electrak XD is designed to be a plug and play solution, easing installation for design teams.  

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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