Stepper motor actuators are more complicated than standard DC actuators and require a stepper controller to drive the motor. Generally, stepper motors are used in applications that require high-precision speed and position controls at the expense of a lower possible drive force. If you require very precise movement and are not as concerned with force, a stepper motor actuator may be the best choice for your application.
What is a stepper motor actuator?
Linear actuators are controlled through a variety of methods, typically involving electronic signals. Covering every possible control method is outside the scope of this article, but we will touch on the more common ones below.
- DC Control. DC voltage is applied directly to the motor through a switch, relay, or other mechanism. Changing the polarity of the voltage supply allows the actuator to change direction.
- Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). Switching a digital signal on and off produces the equivalent of an analog DC signal, which can command an actuator to move to a certain position. Varying the signal’s on-time vs. off-time (pulse width) will command the actuator to different positions. This is a common control method when using microcontrollers in embedded systems.
- PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). PLCs are popular control systems in many fields, including industrial automation. They can drive linear actuators with a variety of control signals, including 4-20mA current loops.
- Servo Control. Some actuators operate as direct plug and play replacements for standard rotary servos. This type of control is compatible with arduino as well as most hobbyist radio control systems.
Some linear actuators integrate feedback sensors, such as encoders or hall-effect sensors, which provide real-time information about the actuator's position, allowing for closed-loop control and enhanced accuracy.
Why use a stepper motor actuator?
Stepper motor actuators are more complicated than standard DC actuators and require a stepper controller to drive the motor. Generally, stepper motors are used in applications that require high precision and low force. If you require very precise movement and are not as concerned with force, than a stepper motor actuator may be the best choice for your application.
Actuonix stepper motors
In recent years, we have seen an increasing demand for actuators with a higher accuracy than standard models can achieve. While different brands have offered stepper actuators for some time, they tend to be high-cost, high volume products that are less accessible to product developers, entrepreneurs and OEMs.
We saw that there was room in the market for a highly accurate actuator that could be shipped within a day and wouldn't break the bank. This is why we designed the S20 and more recently, the P8 stepper lines.
The S20 is based on our popular L12 actuator. Similar in appearance, we have replaced the L12 DC motor and gearbox assembly with a NEMA 8 stepper motor.
Our newest stepper line, the P8 is an entirely new design from the ground up. With a body that is slightly smaller than our PQ12, it is our most compact actuator. We wanted to design a product that would meet the evolving needs of OEMs and product designers.
Choose Actuonix Stepper Actuators
We take pride in the development of high-quality products that are cost-effective. We test every single actuator we sell before it leaves our facility and that helps us keep our quality and customer satisfaction high. If it doesn't meet our standards for quality, we don't ship it. It's that simple.
Our sales staff are available five days per week to assist you with your questions and help you find the right actuator for your next product or project.