How To Program An Actuator For Any Routine Task

How To Program An Actuator For Any Routine Task

Nowadays, more and more people think to bring a certain comfort to their lives. This is related to the automated home, and we want everything around to obey (not thoughts yet), but already just a voice or a button press.

The latest trend of customers purchasing TV lift system forced us to tell you the principle of operation of moving furniture and not only, in which one of the essential roles is played by actuators.

Actuators act as devices that set an object in motion, not on their own. This will require a power source and some extra equipment.

Actuator In Action

Take for example the same tv lift that we mentioned above. The telescoping design, which allows for a small footprint, makes it easy to integrate into any project and is ideal for furniture installations where the mechanism will be visible from all sides.

Also, the elevator is equipped with a clamp protection system, which works if, in the process of returning the mechanism to its original position, something gets into the opening between the cabinet and the TV. In the event of its operation, the elevator will drive back. But this whole process needs to be programmed.

You have also heard that the sofa can change positions, the blinds and windows can open and close without your physical influence, and the table “grows” so that you can work while standing and lower to work while sitting. The most expensive part of all these designs is, of course, the actuator.

Make Actuator Move

There are many different ways to implement the movement of an actuator. The most common option is with the help of a retractable and retractable rod (slider) moving along the guide. Applications for these linear actuators vary widely, and they can be used in almost any application – for adjusting the position of a TV (including retractable and retractable structures), for raising and lowering wheelchair ramps, in industrial equipment, in toys, and even in aviation. -space technologies.

In the design of a linear actuator, a screw (or, more correctly, a screw gear) is most often used to create linear movement. The screw rotates clockwise or counterclockwise, its rotation causes a linear movement of the stem connected to the nut, which moves along the screw.

The motors used in linear actuators are in most cases classic 12V or 24V DC commutator motors. If you want to change the direction of movement of the rod of a linear actuator, you need to change the direction of rotation of its motor. In the case of using a DC collector, you may need to change the polarity of the power supply (swap two motor power wires). A typical solution is using an automatic switch that reverses the polarity of the power connection.

Existing linear actuators differ in their possible stroke lengths. Concerning the design of the actuator, this means that the actuators are available with different stem and body lengths. In addition to the stroke length of the actuator, speed and force on the stem are important characteristics. To achieve the required speed and effort, a mechanical gearbox is installed between the motor shaft and the screw. The gearbox at a constant engine power changes the ratio of its rotation speed and torque, which ultimately affects the final speed of linear movement and the force on the actuator rod – the greater the gear ratio, the bigger the force and the lower the speed. The screw is also a mechanical transmission that affects the ratio of speed and effort – the smaller the pitch of the screw, the greater the force and the lower the speed of the rod. In any case, without the use of special motor speed control devices, the relationship between force and travel speed is always respected: the higher the rod travel speed, the lower the force (and vice versa).

How To Program Actuator

To program the actuator, you can rely on time. Knowing the speed is easy to measure the time it will take to complete the act. The speed of movement with an axial load of around ten percent slows down but increases the resistance until it will stop completely. If this condition matches the scenario, then you can calculate the operating time.  But do not forget to track the stability of the power supply.

To precisely control the position of the actuator you will need the assistance of magnetic, mechanical, or optical limit switches. You can install them in the amount of one or more in those places where it is necessary, then in the program for a controller, you register the necessary reactions to their operation.

And also based on the load control, you can amperage during drive operation. In this case, it will be possible to get the pressing force or pull required for programming.


You must monitor the load. If will happen unexpected jamming of the mechanism, then you will avoid damage to both the actuator itself and other devices, as well as overheating.

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