Creating a High Frequency Motion Simulator using Linear Servo Actuators

Companies use motion simulation to prepare people’s bodies and minds for the stress and strains brought on by high speed/high force situations. Like most automation applications, it requires a high level of precision and accuracy.

In this entry we learn how Tolomatic, a manufacturing partner of Electromate, helped create a high-frequency motion simulator using their linear servo actuators.

When a manufacturer of motion simulators needed to recreate the vibrational frequencies (30-50Hz) experienced in aerospace and defense applications, they looked to Tolomatic and their linear servo actuators. The company already had a hydraulic system installed able to achieve the aggressive high-frequency motion, but the system presented a number of issues. It was prone to leaks and required continued maintenance. It was generating a lot of noise within the training environment. Finally, the manufacturer required an electric actuator solution that did not need an external liquid cooling system to remove heat from the actuator.

Tolomatic specializes in electric linear actuators. Tolomatic’s solution was to utilize their IMA linear servo actuator, a design that eliminates motor coupling by utilizing a roller screw and servo motor which couples the two components. This enables high-frequency moves into one assembly. They chose this solution because traditional rod style actuators require a motor coupling or a belt/pulley systems, and can’t achieve the required high frequency moves due to mechanical compliance issues.

The results were well-received. In addition to achieving the goal of providing a high performance electric actuator that met the 30-50Hz cycle rate, the solution provided:

  • A more compact design, allowing the customer was able to displace the hydraulic cylinder without major mechanical design differences.
  • A longer life span than traditional electric actuators by utilizing roller screws and rigid screw / servo motor coupling.
  • Reduced noise, minimized maintenance, and elimination of leaks, all by replacing the hydraulics.

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