New Warner Linear Actuators Provide Optimum Solution For Actuation Tasks On Agricultural Vehicles

November 14, 2010
Linear Actuator for Agricultural Vehicles

Warner Linear's new range of up to IP65-rated actuators provide the ideal solution for rugged to light duty linear motion tasks on agricultural vehicles. The actuators are easily customised to meet individual customer needs, and provide key user benefits such as maintenance-free operation and long operating life.

Electric actuators are rapidly becoming the linear motion technology of choice on agricultural vehicles, being smaller, lighter and cleaner than hydraulic alternatives, and offering benefits of quick and easy installation combined with no ongoing maintenance requirements when compared with either hydraulic or pneumatic actuators. But even among electric actuators there are significant design differences, and the new Warner Linear range offers important benefits over competing products.

Each actuator in Warner Linear’s new range provides the option of up to IP65 ingress protection, clean lines for easy integration and cleaning, and the flexibility of a design suited to light, general or rugged duty applications. This is reflected in the capacities of the actuators, which extend to over 9000N, with higher capacities available upon customer request. Stroke lengths range from 50mm up to 900mm, with equal load capacity in either direction of travel and superb load holding capability without power, thanks to integrated mechanical brakes.

The actuators offer extremely efficient operation, with a high performance electric motor combined with a high efficiency gear train, hardened as standard, and high quality ball screw and ball nut drive. The motor is an ignition-proof design as standard for increased safety, and is fitted with ball bearings instead of sleeve bearings for increased performance. Thermal overload switches are included as standard for motor protection. In line with Warner Linear's policy of simple maintenance, the motor is field replaceable in the event of a problem, whereas competing designs require complex disassembly of the complete actuator.

The high efficiency ball screw is manufactured from rolled 1040 steel, with thrust/radial load bearings delivering increased load carrying capacity. The ball nut is offered in a choice of Delrin, steel or bronze according to application requirements. The actuator mechanism is assembled using stainless steel nuts and bolts as opposed to the more usual self tapping screws, with a threaded nut and threaded end fittings rather than the less effective crimped alternative.

Importantly, the new actuators have been designed from the outset to address the rigours of operation in challenging outdoor environments, typical on agricultural vehicles. The motor cover tube is a 2.768mm thick wall - much thicker than competing designs - to offer maximum motor protection, with an optional hydraulic type Delrin seal delivering IP65 protection. The extension tube cover is also much thicker than on competing products, measuring 3.175mm thick. And instead of the typical crimped joint offered in alternative actuators, Warner Linear offers multiple fitting options, including threaded fitting with high performance thread locking. The housings are all die cast aluminium, finished with powder coated urethane or a Nitrotec process coating. These high performance coatings, combined with the IP65 sealing, delivers a resistance to salt spray in excess of 250 hours.

The actuators also deliver maximum value for users, courtesy of a design and construction that does not require maintenance. High strength, high quality components sourced only from ISO registered suppliers, along with industrial quality synthetic lubricants and high performance motors ensure maximum capability and long, trouble-free service, delivering on Warner Linear's promise of design for zero maintenance. Once installed, the actuators can be relied upon to provide smooth service over long operating periods.

The same flexibility of design that provides maintenance-free, long operational life also enables Warner Linear to modify its actuators in accordance with individual customer specifications. The range of special features available to achieve customisation include: adjustable end limit switches, pin-to-pin lengths and stroke lengths, special end fittings and mounting configurations, special paints and motor lead wire lengths and connectors. What this comprehensive range means for the user and OEM alike, is that Warner can provide a product which is perfect for each individual application.

The actuators are suited to a broad spectrum of applications in agricultural vehicles, including control of seats, hoods, doors, covers, balers, sprayer booms, throttles, seeder discharge spouts, combines and more. On sprayers, for example, they are used to raise and lower the sprayer booms, and sometimes to adjust the ground height of the implement. On fertilizer spreaders, the actuators meet the needs of gate controls to begin spreading, to adjust the amount of fertilizer being spread (fan width adjustment) and the direction of spreading. On smaller manure spreaders, the actuators control the depth of manure injection. On combines, the actuators are used to open/close the spout on the auger, or to control the amount of material that is being fed. They can also be used to position the auger arm over the wagon/storage bin, and as belt tensioners on the pulley to engage the header drive. On rectangular hay balers, the actuators can be used to apply tension on the twine that wraps the bale, while on round balers they can steer the twine as it is wrapped around the bales. Indeed, wherever there is a need for linear motion, the Warner Linear actuators provide a rugged, reliable, simple and low maintenance solution.

Warner Linear complements the actuators with a full range of actuator controls. These range from simple-to-use switch box controls, to state-of-the-art microprocessor-based digital electronic controls.