A cylinder is a form of linear actuator that moves a load in a straight line, either horizontal or vertical. This load can be a product, its components or a whole assembly. The cylinder works by converting potential energy into force or motion, and it can be powered by compressed air or gas, water or electricity. The driving force of an electric cylinder is an electric motor, which converts its rotary motion to linear displacement. Heavy duty electric cylinders provide stable and reliable lifting power for such applications as forklifts, wheel loaders and dump trucks, while lighter versions are found in custom robotics, automotive applications and industrial automation.
Electric cylinders convert the electrical energy from a motor into torque. The motor is connected mechanically to turn a lead screw, which rotates to drive a nut along the cylinder threads. The directional movement of the nut depends on the direction in which the screw rotates and can be designed also to return the nut to its original position. Linkages are connected to the nut, which converts its motion to viable linear displacement.
Electric cylinders are versatile in performance and produce robust power, requiring low maintenance. They allow enhanced control, even in demanding or harsh environments, are continuously reliable and can be engineered to supply large amounts of force with extreme precision. When considering an electric cylinder for use in a particular application, the critical factors to specify are speed, accuracy, travel, force and lifetime.