Motion Control Resources
Actuators serve surprising purposes
LINAK Posted 11/05/2020
A linear actuator from LINAK can be used almost anywhere that requires linear movement. Actuators have many uses, particularly in industries where some of them serve a rather different purpose. On this page, we have highlighted some of the applications where an actuator has been used as a smart solution to some unusual challenges. Prepare to be surprised – and inspired!
Smart brick cutter
All bricklayers face a common problem – cutting a brick is usually a manual and very tough job. But the company Smart Cutter has come to their rescue with an application for cutting bricks. The machine uses two LA30 actuators from LINAK.
Many bricklayers struggle with shoulder and collarbone pain from manually cutting bricks. The man behind Smart Cutter spotted a need to develop an electric cutter to improve the working environment for bricklayers. By using a Smart Cutter, bricklayers avoid putting as much strain on their bodies when cutting bricks. This means fewer injuries and improved efficiency.
The brick cutter
The cutter cuts a brick using two parallel LA30 actuators and a TR-EM-339 third-party control with a special program – all supplied by LINAK. The cutter is intelligent in that it remembers the size of the actual type of stone and retracts a couple of millimeters more than this position after each cut. The cut is made with the simple touch of a button. The cutter can be manually adjusted if the stone type changes.
Watch a video of the brick cutter in action at the Smart Cutter website.
Cleaning robot for pigsties
Cleaning out a pigsty is a dirty job. WP Production, a sub-contractor of Washpower A/S, has produced a cleaning robot with an LA12 actuator from LINAK.
You may think that cleaning a pigsty is a pointless task. But this is far from the case! For pig production all over the world, keeping the sties clean is a high priority, even whenever the pigs are moved. The cleaning process has always been a manual job using high pressure washers. But thanks to the new cleaning robot, this is no longer the case. The results are a much easier job and a higher standard of cleaning – both to the benefit of pigs and employees alike.
WP Production and Washpower A/S are behind the cleaning robot. It works by entering the pigsty and washing down all the surfaces with a powerful water jet. An LA12 IC actuator from LINAK is used on each robot to move the spray nozzle, depending on where the water jet needs to aim. WP Production has created its own PLC control.
Read more about the cleaning robot at the Washpower website.
Basket lifter for supermarkets
Do you ever find that shopping baskets with wheels to be much heavier than you expect? The company ACCA-Instore has designed a basket lifter with a linear LINAK actuator inside. This helps customers elevate the basket to the height of the checkout belt.
When we go grocery shopping, we often end up filling our baskets to the brim. And when we reach the checkout, we have to lift the basket onto the little shelf at the belt if we want to avoid endlessly bending down to fetch all our items. ACCA-Instore has come up with a smart solution that relieves all the heavy lifting, making the shopping experience much more ergonomic.
The basket lifter
ACCA-Instore's basket lifter is simple but smart. When you run the basket onto the lifter's bottom plate, a sensor registers the basket and activates the LINAK actuator to run upwards and lift the basket to the height of the checkout belt. It only takes around nine seconds and is done in one smooth movement.
Watch the video of the basket lifter at the ACCA-Instore website.