A jack system is anything from a single jack to eight to ten jacks working in tandem to move a load. Complete jack systems refer to the mechanical components of the jacks as well as their gearboxes and couplings and accessories and shafting; electrical components including motors, the system drive, and encoders; and the motion controls, programming, and panel build. All components form an engineered system that (when fully specified) form a plug-and-play vertical motion design.
There are two common pitfalls when selecting and applying jack systems. First, engineers tend to forget about the additive nature of inefficiencies in multi-jack arrangements. Compounded inefficiencies have significant impact on the sizing of the motor and electrical components.
Second, when applying the system to the machine, engineers tend to neglect alignment of the screws to the linear guides. Sometimes installers also forget to grease the lift shafts. Misalignment and improper lubrication of the jacks can spur premature lift shaft or nut failure.
Some manufacturers employ application and sales engineers trained in sizing and selecting components for complete jack systems. Online sizing tools also aid in jack-system sizing. Templates and application data forms communicate information; look for high-tech distributors that specialize in selling complete linear actuator setups for vertical-lift systems.
In this video, one engineer from Nook Industries based in Cleveland talks with Lisa Eitel of Design World about jacks as complete systems. Also covered are ways to address the inefficiencies associated with multiple-jack arrangements.