FAQ Friday: The Top 11 Linear Actuator Questions Answered Here

Christopher Nook by Christopher Nook

Linear actuators have a variety of applications depending on the industry. Helix Linear's actuators can be used for any application requiring linear motion. Our actuators are pre-engineered, assembled, tested and ready to use making it the best economical and time sensitive approach to low cost automation. While we’re sure you’re thinking, “That’s great!” And it is, we’re sure there are many more questions to answer so keep scrolling below to find your answers.

Linear actuators have a variety of applications depending on the industry. Helix Linear's actuators can be used for any application requiring linear motion. Our actuators are pre-engineered, assembled, tested and ready to use making it the best economical and time sensitive approach to low cost automation. While we’re sure you’re thinking, “That’s great!” And it is, we’re sure there are many more questions to answer so keep scrolling below to find your answers.

1. Can I Run the Linear Actuator into a Hard Stop?

This is not recommended on the finer pitch resolutions due to the high forces generated which may cause lock-up. It is possible however under reduced power input.

2. Will I Need to Re-Lubricate the Lead Screw or Shaft on the Linear Actuator?

The linear actuators are lubricated by the factory for the life of the product and do not need re-lubrication under normal operating circumstances.

3. What Can I Do to Extend the Life of the Actuator?

Reducing the load, avoiding side loading, PTFE coating the screw, and proper mounting will all help extend the life.

4. What Could Be the Problem if an Actuator with a Brake is Not Holding the Load?

Verify the holding force of the actuator is not being exceeded. Check to see if any moment loading is being applied to the brake. Moment load prevents the wrap spring from fully engaging, and the load will coast. Ensure the power to the unit is being fully cut.

5. What is the Difference Between Static Load and Dynamic Load?

Dynamic, working, or lifting load is the force that will be applied to the actuator while it is in motion. Static load, also called holding load, is the force that will be applied to the actuator when it is not in motion.

6. Can Linear Actuators Have Limit Switches?

Linear actuators can be supplied with limit switches. The type of limit switches available varies with each product range.

7. Can Two or More Helix Linear Actuators Be Synchronized?

Synchronization of standard linear actuators is not recommended without the use of a connecting shaft. Small differences in motor speed may cause the actuators to get out of synchronization. Use of clutch models allows alignment when actuator is extended or retracted.

8. What's Duty Cycle and How is it Calculated?

Duty cycle is measured as the total on time vs. the total time period. Duty cycle is generally measured as a percentage of the total time in the periods. Helix recommends a duty cycle of 25% at the rated load. Max total on time should not exceed 5 minutes.

9. Can I Adjust the Speed of a Helix Linear Actuator in the Field?

No, load vs. speed graphs are provided in the actuator catalogs. Should you need to vary the speed of the actuator, the proper electrical drive should be selected.

10. In What Direction Can Loads be Applied to Helix Linear Actuators?

Helix linear actuators can be used in either tension, compression, or a combination of the two. Side loading should using any of our permissible in certain applications.

11. How Often Should I Lubricate my Miniature Profile Rails? When Should I Lubricate my Bearing?

Frequency of lubrication is highly dependent on the application load, speed, and environmental conditions. It is not possible to over lubricate the bearings, as excess lubricant will merely exit the bearing under the seals.

Have a question that's not answered here? Call us. Our number is 1-855-435-4958. You can also reach out by email at sales@helixlinear.com. For additional reading, check out these related posts on our blog: