The Voice Coil Actuator (VCA) Developer's Kit; The Complete Operational Package

Voice Coil Actuators (VCAs) offer a compact method for the production of linear actuation. VCAs can operate either as an open-loop or closed-loop actuator, with the latter involving an internal sensor. Fully closed-loop control enables the system designer to precisely command speed, position, and force to the VCA.

As the range of VCA designs has expanded, the applications and controllers available to operate them have also expanded. As such, it is now feasible to specify VCAs with the following:

  • Stroke lengths within the range of 0.25 inches to 1.25 inches
  • Actuation force within the range of 3.5 lbs to 340 lbs
  • Frequencies up to 120 Hz

VCAs are particularly well suited for life testing. To validate the use of a flex circuit on one of its own designs, Sensata Technologies built its own life-tester in-house. This led to successive tests and design improvements that provided opportunities for customer applications to life-test designs.

Accelerated life tests usually require the following aspects:

  • Fixed frequency and stroke over the test interval
  • Repeatable and reliable actuation that can outlast the device being tested (pneumatics, solenoids, pick and place operations, fatigue testing)
  • Cycle life measured in billions: One medical application requirement for a heart valve component required these high cycle lives. For example, one billion cycles at 20 Hz requires 1.6 years of testing.

Solution

The VCA developer’s kit from Sensata Technologies delivers a complete operational package, enabling the test designer to get up and running rapidly.

The VCA is self-contained with its own bushing, shaft, and internal feedback sensor. The controller and sample programs are also included as standard, which enables fast set-up and immediate results.

The VCA is low noise, direct drive, can operate to high frequencies, and has a high operational life. The LAS13 VCA has been operationally tested beyond 500 million cycles.

The kit includes a PC-operated microcontroller to facilitate data storage for force, position, velocity, current, and voltage, as well as real-time data, available for analysis and control. It can also accept inputs from other sensors and store macros that allow for a test to be run at the touch of a button.

How Customers Can Utilize This Technology

For one customer in particular, Sensata Technologies programmed two buttons to move the shaft to either end of the stroke, respectively. These commands gave the customer the ability to verify the total stroke. A further two buttons were programmed for operating at 5 Hz and 10 Hz.

The Voice Coil Actuator (VCA) Developer

Image Credit: Sensata Technologies, Inc

Recommended Products

Source: Sensata Technologies, Inc

Reference on Diagram Product Features Function Brand
1
Developer’s Kit
Microcontroller and integrated sensor VCA Complete Operational Package BEI Kimco
2
LAS28-53-000A-P01-12E
VCA with
Feedback Sensors
Linear
Actuation
BEI Kimco

 

Diagram

The Voice Coil Actuator (VCA) Developer

Image Credit: Sensata Technologies, Inc

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sensata Technologies, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit Sensata Technologies, Inc.

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