For some applications, inconsistent motion caused by excessive friction is simply not an option. BEI Kimco has developed a new Linear Voice Coil Actuator (VCA) that provides extremely low hysteresis/low friction with precise and consistent bi-directional position control. Initially designed to meet the exacting requirements of an anesthesia machine, the new LAH15-19-000A VCA will serve well for many other applications where low friction and high force accuracy are needed.
Key to the VCA’s new low-friction design is a patent-pending symmetrical flex circuit that prevents friction caused by movement to ensure consistent, reliable results. A solid brass ball cage with captured steel balls further reduces friction. These design features combine to deliver an operating performance with a hysteresis of just 10 mN compared to similar style actuators that deliver as much as 50 to 200 mN. BEI Kimco’s low-friction design can also be incorporated into the company’s standard and custom VCAs.
Other outstanding performance attributes of the new LAH15-19-000A VCA include a peak force
of 4.7 N, a total stroke of 7.4 mm and a compact size of just 38 mm in diameter by 48.3 mm in length.
“Friction is typically the culprit when there is an unacceptable level of hysteresis,” says Jim McNamara, BEI Kimco Senior Applications Engineer. “This product development underwent a great deal of material and component testing to achieve the results we now have. Certain bushings and coating types work better than others for minimizing friction. By understanding all the variables that affect friction and incorporating that knowledge into the product design, we were able to achieve a VCA with extremely low friction and thereby extremely low hysteresis.”