If you work with actuators and actuator systems, you need to know how to adjust their speed. There are several ways to do so.
The simplest way to adjust the speed of an actuator is to change the external voltage. The speed of most actuators depends on the voltage applied to them. Thus, by reducing the voltage, you can slow down the actuator’s movement.
Changing the voltage manually would be one of the biggest mistakes you have done. You wouldn’t switch it randomly, would you? Thus, for such operations, a potentiometer is needed. With a potentiometer, you can effectively control the external power and adjust it to make the actuator move at a specific speed. If you need, you can repeat the conditions at any time which would be impossible if you were trying to adjust the actuator speed manually.
But there are more advanced and accurate ways to control actuator movement.
Depending on your budget and purpose, you have the following ways to adjust even the fastest linear actuator accurately:
- Apply a motor controller of a linear actuator control board
- Install an Arduino
- Get an actuator with different gearing
How to use a linear actuator control board
LACs are usually used with actuators with position feedback and mini-actuators. With this device, you can control:
- The actuator end-limits
- The speed of movement
- The sensitivity
This device makes it possible to slow down your actuator to the required speed rather easily. Though once more, you cannot speed up the item more than it can move.
Arduino as a way to control the movement speed of an actuator
Arduino allows controlling the actuator speed more precisely. With this control device, you can adjust the actuator movement speed at any point of the item movement.
Arduino has to be coded, and the code is usually specific to each project. Thus, with this device, you can adjust the actuator movement to the extent you need.
The application of Arduino is common for more complex systems, including the application in robotics. This is one of the most expensive options but also the most precise one. And to use this option, you either need to know how to code or you have to hire somebody who can do it for you. But if you believe that your project is worth the effort, go for this control option.
Thus, the speed of even the fastest actuators can be adjusted based on your needs and specific features of your project. Depending on the project complexity and importance, you might want to use one of the described ways to control the actuator speed. Another option is to combined two or even all the ways to achieve the best result.
When choosing a way to control the actuator speed, pay special attention to the system specifications, your project, and your budget. A reliable actuator manufacturer will for sure have all the options that you might need. And if you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer to clarify everything before you make a purchase.