In the world of industrial automation, corners can no longer be cut. The speed of progress across global manufacturing and production industries means businesses who rely on standardised components within their production systems and setups, are putting their competitiveness at risk.
And this is no truer than for businesses who rely on heavy duty or industrial linear actuators day-to-day. For increasing reasons, these critical components must be designed and manufactured for precise purpose to avoid risk of breakages, repeat purchases and production downtime that can cost your organisation significantly.
Here we outline the main arguments for customisation when it comes to industrial linear actuator reliance.
One of the most compelling advantages of having industrial linear actuators custom-designed is their ability to meet precise performance demands. Unlike standardised, off-the-shelf alternatives, your own, specially-made, actuators can be optimized for any number of variables - including translation speed, repeatability, and range of movement. If your component performs exactly as it is required to, you are more efficient and less likely to need replacements or break-fix work carried out over the long term.
Standardized linear actuators are designed to fit a wide range of applications and industries. As a result, they often have generic dimensions and specifications that may not be optimized. This can result in more space, resource and modifications being required to accommodate them in existing systems.
Custom-designed actuators, on the other hand, can be tailored to the exact space requirements needed. Standardised features, such as additional sensors, mounting brackets, or protection mechanisms can potentially be omitted to deliver a more compact design – perfectly moulded for the space and function required.
Industrial environments can be harsh and demanding, subjecting equipment to extreme temperatures, heavy loads, and continuous, repetitive motion. It is rare to find a standardised actuator design that is robust and reliable enough to survive the demands of any operating condition.
However, when you commission a custom actuator, you can take all necessary requirements into account. You can specify the materials, dynamics and contingencies for installation, operation and maintenance. For example, you can design your component for deployment under water, in clean room environments or utilisation in extreme temperature conditions. You can even incorporate protective coatings and sealing mechanisms to withstand demanding challenges, ensuring longevity and reliability.
Reliance on standardised linear actuators can often lead to energy inefficiencies. Most off-the-shelf products are designed to cover a wide range of applications and requirements and as a result, they may have higher power capabilities than what specific applications need. And when an appliance has excessive capacity, it often consumes more energy than necessary.
When you have a custom design manufactured, however, you can fine-tune it to match the exact energy requirements of your application and utilise advanced control features that reduce energy waste - making a huge impact to your bottom line over the long term.
As you are fully aware, safety is paramount in industrial settings. Unfortunately, if you deploy standardised components within your system, you can inadvertently create unnecessary risk. Standardised actuators are unlikely to have optimised load capacity and if it's relied on to deliver more than it is built for, mechanical breakdown is more likely. Also, if your system requires complex synchronisation, a standardised product is more likely to result in misalignment or uneven movement - again compromising safety.
Custom industrial linear actuators, on the other hand, whilst being made for the exact load capacities needed, can be designed with whatever built-in safety features are required, such as fail-safe mechanisms, redundancies and collision detection systems. These safety measures help protect both equipment and personnel, reducing the risk of accidents and potential liabilities.
While the use of standardised linear actuators can seem like the more cost-efficient option in certain instances, reliance on them can often be a false economy. They are more likely to break, require maintenance or require frequent replacement entirely.
While the initial investment in custom industrial linear actuators may be higher than off-the-shelf alternatives, the long-term cost savings are often substantial. Custom solutions are engineered for exact purpose which can lead to lower maintenance costs, fewer equipment failures, and increased overall productivity. Over time, these advantages can more than offset the initial investment.
Custom linear actuators are the key to unlocking enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness in industrial applications.
Their ability to provide tailored performance, optimize space, withstand harsh conditions, integrate seamlessly, conserve energy, enhance safety, and offer long-term cost savings makes them an invaluable asset to any operation. By investing in custom components like this, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of automation and gain a competitive edge in today's rapidly evolving productivity landscape.
If you have a need for a specialist linear actuator or actuation system, talk to Kelston Actuation today about our custom design service. No matter you precise need, our UK-based design team have a solution for you.