Potentially explosive environment?

Our range of explosion proof and ATEX rated motion control equipment

Micromech offers a comprehensive range of explosion-proof motion control components, which meet the requirements of European or American standards for use in potentially explosive and hazardous environments.

Our explosion proof range includes:

Please contact our technical sales department on 01376 333333 or sales@micromech.co.uk for more information on these products.

The new Parker HLR high load rodless linear actuators are available from Micromech Now!

Parker HLR


The HLR is a linear actuator specially designed for the use in high quantity OEMs applications. This is a belt driven / linear guideway equipped actuator offering a very high load capacity at an extreme small form factor.
Its compact outside dimensions and stroke capabilities makes it ideal for a wide variety of standard applications.
With its technical data the HLR family fits to the most popular requirements in industrial applications. Combined with a wide choice of accessories it offers a very quick and easy way to build multi-axis solutions The predefined drive train simplifies the sizing and selection process and reduces the development time.

Parker HLR


  • Two available sizes, 070 and 080 with compact outside dimensions of 69 x 64 mm and 82 x 76.5 mm respectively.
  • Strokes of 2500 for 070 and 3500 for 080
  • Rigid aluminum extruded profile, ideal for self-supporting solutions
  • High load capacity up to 3847 N (based on a theoretical lifetime of 8.000 km)
  • Motor can be mounted on four sides
  • Last generation linear guide and timing belt provides minimal noise emission
  • Stainless steel cover for the use in harsh environments
  • Easily accessible lubrication bore for reduced maintenance effort
  • High accuracy straight movement over the complete stroke for building up reliable multi axis solutions
  • High repeatability for highest application demands.
  • RoHS compliant

Parker HLRTechnical Overview:

  • Belt drive
  • Travel per rev: 105mm 070 and 125 080
  • High thrust force up to 900 N
  • Max load 3847N
  • Max thrust force: 500N 070 and 900N 080
  • Acceleration up to 50 m/s2
  • Velocity up to 5 m/s
  • Repeatability – 0.05mm
  • IP rating IP40

Pareker HLRMarkets:

  • Factory Automation
  • Machine Tools
  • Packaging Machinery
  • Food & Beverage
  • Medical


Click here for more details on the Parker HLR series (Follow link to PDF for detailed specifications…..)

For further information or assistance specifying the optimum HLR product for your application contact Micromech on 01376 333333 or Email sales@micromech.co.uk


Licensing for these images came with permission from the Parker Hannifin Media Manager collection.
Article reposted with Parker Hannifin’s permission.

Success Story from Kollmorgen – To get the casting die oscillating

What’s new in continuous casting: SMS Concast develops actuator-driven oscillation with direct drives by Kollmorgen

Success Story from Kollmorgen - To get the casting die oscillating

Achieve greater quality with KBM motors while also reducing maintenance costs

Billet, bloom, slab: Shape is given to the molten steel by the casting die in continuous casting. The casting die can be compared to a mold made of water-cooled copper in which targeted extraction of heat causes the steel to form an outer skin – at first as delicate as a raw egg. So that the freshly formed strand shell does not adhere to the copper wall during this process, the casting die oscillates along the casting plane. An oscillation mechanism helps with this. For the operation of these oscillation mechanisms, SMS Concast developed an electromotive solution with direct drive in an intensive co-engineering process with KOLLMORGEN. CONDRIVE is based on winding-optimized KBM motors – and has what it takes to revolutionize the form process in continuous casting.

Continuous casting represents the second revolution in steel production, after the discovery of the oxygen steel-making process. The discovery of the oscillating casting die was ground-breaking in the economic success of the process, explains Dino Kabosch, technology developer at SMS Concast AG: The Zürich-based company has been inextricably linked with continuous casting, more or less from its inception. It was Irving Rossi, steel pioneer and father of strand casting, who founded Concast AG in 1954. The SMS Group, to which Concast AG now belongs, achieves a global annual turnover of approx. three billion euros.

Nothing is allowed to adhere

With CONDRIVE, SMS Concast has brought a solution onto the market which makes the oscillation of the casting die more effective and easier to regulate. The basis is formed by the direct drive technology from the KBM motor kits by KOLLMORGEN. A technically demanding joint phase of engineering took place beforehand. The result of this was the development of a drive solution which could create highly flexible oscillation profiles. The current electromechanical drive systems allow the frequency to be regulated online alone, while the amplitude is provided by the mechanical system.

The significance of the patented process will become clear when taking a closer look at the continuous casting process. The molten steel is delivered in batches in pans to the strand casting system. The steel, under the exclusion of air, flows from the pan into a tundish. This tundish is there is distribute the steel into different strands and also to act as an interim buffer when changing pans. The steel is dispensed via the tundish into one to eight strands and flows over the control device into the casting dies. This is where the molding process takes place. Either a casting powder or an oil is added to the surface of the molten steel in the casting die. The casting powder or oil, which is melted to a slag, amongst other things has the important task of ensuring lubrication between the strand shell forming on the wall of the casting die and the water-cooled casting die. Because of this lubricant effect and the relative movement between the strand shell and the casting die due to the oscillation, the soft, delicate strand shell does not continue to adhere to the casting die and can be continuously pulled out of the casting die “in a strand”.

This area is crucial for the high quality and, above all, operationally safe continuous casting. The oscillation generated by the KOLLMORGEN direct drives must be created with such polished a movement such that while pulling off the strand, there must be sufficient casting powder drawn into the gap between the strand shell and the wall of the casting die to minimize the effect of friction on the strand shell.

In addition to this, the tensile force resulting from the movement profile must not lead to the just-formed shell being torn up again. If this were the case, molten steel would pour out into the system – leading to immediate interruption of casting and subsequent production outage.

As a rule, a sinusoidal oscillation process is employed. What is crucial for this is the time window in which the oscillating, downward-moving, casting die overtakes the steel strand which is also moving downwards, before the forming unit at the lower peak travels back up.

This overtaking process is known as “negative strip time” and defines the time in which the casting powder is able to lie on outer wall of the steel while being pulled off. The oscillating movement of the casting die requires that the fine waves form on the surface of the strand, known as oscillation marks.

Adjustable oscillation heights

Success Story from Kollmorgen - To get the casting die oscillatingThe ideal frequency at which the casting die should be oscillating in the continuous casting and, above all, at which amplitude, depends on factors such as the quality of the steel, the formulation, the production speed or even the casting die form. The negative strip time typically lies in a time window between 0.08 and 0.18 seconds. “If we don’t have this time, we cannot continue to cast. Then the entire mechanics fail to function – that is the friction characteristics between the copper and steel,” explains Kabosch, and he likens it to liquid chocolate cake sticking to the baking sheet and, when removed from the tin, it breaks apart. The interplay between friction force or friction coefficient and the ferrostatic pressure, which acts vertically on the inside of the casting die due to the molten steel, is fragile. “At this point, we use the direct drives by KOLLMORGEN,” explains the SMS Concast developer. The transfer of mechanical processes into a software-based Motion Control opens up possibilities of effectively implementing new movement curves and being able to very flexibly and individually adjust the movement to the differing casting conditions.

The particular advantage is that the frequency, the amplitude and the wave form of the oscillation can be changed. The amplitude is crucial for distance covered within a time window. “Converting a mechanical eccentric shaft for this is only possible during shutdown and takes a long time,” notes Dino Kabosch. Also compared to hydraulic drives for oscillation, the CONDRIVE scores highly since the actuator solution does not require a hydraulic infrastructure and also comes with significantly lower maintenance costs.

Direct drive technology by KBM motors: Compact size

The torque motors specially adjusted by KOLLMORGEN to the needs of this application originate from the KBM kit. In the 118 installation size, the drives deliver torques of 660 Nm and a peak torque of 1000 Nm. The drive is thus in a position to precisely get the oscillation bulk, weighing between 3.5 and 7 tons, into oscillation. On the control side, SMS Concast also opts for KOLLMORGEN – in this case in the design of the S700 servo amplifiers.

KBM Direct Drive MotorWhat is unique about the production of oscillation is the fact the oscillation is not generated by a revolving eccentric shaft in a rotative continuous operation, but by the recurrent reversing motions of the motor. What may seem simple at first glance, has brought about very demanding challenges for engineering. The constant reversing leads to questions such as how the heat loss is effectively diverted. Other questions relating to lubrication also emerge.

Since the motor is no longer making complete revolutions, the grease for standard lubricated-for-life bearings is inevitably suppressed by the rolling elements. The effect of the lubrication is thus no longer guaranteed.

Finally, these three basic conditions have contributed towards KOLLMORGEN equipping the KBM motor with a water cooling system so that the heat loss can be effectively diverted. For the long-term effective lubrication of the few bearings of the gearless direct drives, stators and rotors are completely enclosed in an oil bath – which ultimately also securely protects the encapsulated unit against metal dust.

Another advantage results from the eradication of the drive – namely with an eye on continuous condition monitoring of the system and processes. By the KBM motor driving the process without the influence of disruptive gear effects such as play or friction, this ensures an extremely precise control of processes while also very directly and precisely monitoring the process due to the motor data. It is above all key motor data such as power and revolutions which allows the processes to be precisely analyzed – up to and including the incorporation into IoT systems.
Potential for modernizations

“The work has been worth it” – with regard to the findings garnered from a continuous casting machine at Swiss Steel AG, Dino Kabosch is delighted about this new oscillation process. “Two years of development have gone into this – the CONDRIVE is operating very well. Almost too well. We are still looking for faults in the mechanics, but we can’t find any. It’s a great feeling.”

Currently, CONDRIVE is being developed into a sought-after series product which, thanks to its simple integration and high availability, is very well suited to the modernization of existing continuous casting machines.

Contracts in Spain, India and China mark the success of the solution with the actuator direct drive technology by KOLLMORGEN inside.

With CONDRIVE, SMS Concast has developed a system which, due to the encapsulated direct drives from the KBM motor kit by KOLLMORGEN, is virtually maintenance-free. The innovation offers an excellent precision for controlling the oscillation of the casting die. In contrast to the other drive systems for oscillations (including hydraulic booster cylinders), CONDRIVE combines a simple design with online settings and monitoring of the oscillation curves.

Author: Martin Zimmermann, Key Account Manager, KOLLMORGEN Switzerland



The use of this news article and images came with permission from Kollmorgen.

Choose the Right Screw Drive Train With Actuator Performance Calculator

Article Posted by Parker’s Electromechanical Team on Monday, July 1, 2019 on the Parker Motion & Control Technology Blog

Parker ETH CylinderThere is no “one size fits all” drive train linear actuator technology for every application. In reality, the selection of different types of linear motion systems depends entirely on what is most critical to a specific application. While choosing to use a lead screw seems straight forward, choosing between ball and roller screws can be daunting. You can simplify the linear actuator selection process by approaching the application systematically and applying an actuator performance calculator.

To choose the proper technology, consider quantifying metrics rather than relying upon product labelling and initial perception.

An application example

This chart represents an application requiring 1000 lbs of continuous thrust, over a 10-inch stroke, moving at 12 in/sec at 100% duty cycle. In this application, the objective is to maximize the life of a particular actuator. Given the high duty cycle of this application, this analysis will focus on electric cylinder screw options of similar pitch and packaging.

Parker ETH Cylinder

These proposed actuator solutions will be evaluated:

Ball screw: Parker ETH 80 M10 with a 95 mm square frame

Roller Screw: “Competitor A” with a 102 mm square frame

The load-versus-life comparison demonstrates that the ball screw actuator, though slightly smaller in size, actually has a longer expected life than the similar roller screw actuator. This is largely due to the optimized packaging of the ball screw within the actuator body. The ball screw design advantage is also greater when cost is considered.

This kind of analysis makes the choice of a ball screw linear actuator selection over a roller screw straightforward.

Follow this engineering approach to choose the right linear actuator for your application:

Parker ETH

Step 1 – Identify relevant actuator performance metrics

Performance metrics are quantifiable outputs that measure the appropriateness of one technology (in this case, actuator) over another for an intended application. Metrics that benefit your application—such as actuator life—should be maximized; metrics that hinder your application—such as cost—should be minimized.

In the application example, three metrics were examined: actuator life, actuator frame size and cost.

 Step 2 – Apply the actuator performance equation for each solution

Parker ETH

A simple performance calculation is useful for quantifying the relative performance of each actuator solution. Characteristics that are ideally maximized, such as actuator life, are input in the numerator. Characteristics that are ideally minimized, such as cost, are input in the denominator, with the minimum across all actuator solutions input as the numerator.

Step 3 – Score it

This calculation takes into account each critical aspect of actuator performance and quantifies it. Weights can be applied to each of the metrics by assigning the coefficients A, B, C and D a relative value. Using this equation with no weights, the best solution should yield the score closest to 1.

This calculation can also be used to weight one metric higher than another. Given this model, the higher the performance score, the more ideal the actuator. Using the application example, as well as the metrics of life, frame width, and cost with even weight, results in the following calculations:

Parker ETH

Although these screws might seem to have similar performance on paper, once their relative performance is weighed using the actuator performance calculator as selection guide, the collective differences become evident.

Other considerations

Aside from performance and cost issues, consider the ease of sourcing. Ball and lead screws are readily available, but there are very few manufacturers of roller screws. When designing a motion system application in a global market, availability may be a deciding factor. With few manufacturers in limited locations, look for a reliable manufacturer with a global footprint.

Learn more

View our short video comparing linear drive train technologies or view the entire series on how to select a linear actuator.



Article contributed by Electromechanical and Drives Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.

Much of this content was first published in April 2016 as “As the Screw Turns” on Design World’s website.

Licensing for these images came with permission from the Parker Hannifin Media Manager collection.
Article reposted with Parker Hannifin’s permission.

The perfect alternative to pneumatic actuators, the Thomson PC precision linear actuator

Changing from pneumatic to electric actuators has many advantages and benefits. Not only can a design be simplified but it can be more cost effective too.

Thomson PC SeriesThe PC series of electric linear actuators from Thomson delivery outstanding performance while saving time and money with easy product sizing and selection, speedy installation and reduced maintenance and therefore downtime.

The Thomson PC range boasts the longest stroke lengths available in the industry today, and utilise a plug and play mounting system that allows more than 600 motor types and sizes to be fitted easily.

The exceptional power density of the PC Series allows you to build a quieter, more compact machine.

PC-Series Benefits:

  • Quick and easy maintenance
  • High side load capability
  • Smooth, quiet operation, reduced noise
  • Suitable for heavy loads and harsh environments
  • High repeatability, positioning accuracy
  • Built in anti-rotational of rod end
  • High power density and long life
  • IP 65 rating suitable for harsh environments
  • No collection points during washdown
  • Simple mounting of ISO standard accessories
  • Corrosion resistance


Converting & Containers

  • Blow & Injection Molders
  • Bottle, Can Manufacturing
  • Paperboard, Box Folding

Meat & Poultry Graders

  • Egg Graders
  • Fruit & Vegetable Graders

Form, Fill and Seal Equipment

  • Food/Beverage Processing
  • Chemical Processing
  • Rinsers & Sterilizers
  • Grading


  • Torque, Tightness Testers
  • Seal Checkers
  • Volume, Weight Sensing

Marking and Printing

  • Ink Coders, Printers, Labelers
  • Stampers, Imprinting Equipment
  • Thermal Transfer Machines


Conveying, Sorting, Pick/Place

  • Accumulators & Buffers
  • Conveyor Sorters, Diverters
  • Cranes, Gantries, Hoists

Primary Packaging

  • Blister, Skin, Vacuum Packagers
  • Capping, Lidding Machines
  • Case and Tray Sealers

Secondary Packaging

  • Wrapping & Cartoning
  • Strapping & Banding
  • Stacking & Palletizing

Automated Storage, Retrieval

  • Case Lifter
  • Vertical Lift Module
  • Fixed-Aisle AS/RS

Valve Control

  • Paper & Pulp
  • Food/Beverage Processing
  • HVAC

For more information on Thomson products contact Micromech sales on 01376 333333 or sales@micromech.co.uk


The use of this news article and images came with permission from Thomson.