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Warner Linear supplies actuators for all-terrain vehicles

Warner Linear supplies actuators for all-terrain vehicles
Engineers at Warner Linear, part of Altra Industrial Motion, have developed a completely new digital CAN (controller area network) actuator control, so that an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) manufacturer can maintain a fully integrated bus architecture for all the functions in its in-vehicle control system.  

The ATV builder needed reliable actuators to raise and lower a dump box on a range of medium duty work vehicles, designed for landscaping, golf course maintenance, turf repair and similar applications. The vehicles have an integrated control system that monitors multiple functions and provides feedback which is displayed on an on-board digital screen; the new actuator was required to interface into this.

However, the customer's bus communication network was such that standard interfaces could not be used. 

CAN is a signal bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other. CAN was originally designed for use in top-of-the-range cars, where there are many electronically controlled devices. It replaced multi-wire looms with a single or dual-wire networked data bus and offers substantial advantages over traditional wiring harnesses, including the elimination of vast amounts of wiring, reduced weight, simplified installation and servicing. Because it is a digital technology it eliminates all mechanical and analogue functions: simplifying design, build, operation and maintenance of the vehicles.

CAN, which was first used on the upmarket BMW 800 series, is now widely used throughout the car sector and has become very popular for other types of vehicle and mobile equipment. It is also used in aerospace, maritime, industrial automation and medical applications.

To meet the application requirements, Warner Linear engineers developed a completely new digital CAN actuator control that is compatible with the customer's bus communication network. The microprocessor-based controller mounts directly onto the back of the actuator's motor and provides feedback on load levels, position, speed, etc. The controllers feature Zener diode suppression on the input and output for protection from electrical noise, which could be an overwhelming problem in ATV applications if it were not addressed properly. Another major consideration for the design team was that the vehicles may well be used in extreme temperatures, so they set themselves the objective of ensuring an operational temperature range of -30°F to +140°F (-34ºC to +60ºC).

Warner Linear K2X actuators were selected for the ATV dump box application, based on their exceptional performance over competitive models as demonstrated in life-cycle and wash-down tests. They are a ball screw and nut type actuator with integral DC drive motor. 

Units are completely sealed and designed for tough, high-load applications. They are able to perform in harsh environments, providing years of trouble-free service in applications such as paving outriggers, commercial mowers, spray booms, engine cover lifts and construction equipment. They are also often used as a modern, low-maintenance alternative to hydraulic cylinders in industrial plant and other equipment.

The operating performance of the K2X range is rated at a load up to 2,800lb (1270kg) and a travel speed up to 2.1in (53mm)/sec. Stroke lengths is user definable to a maximum of 24in (610mm).  

Warner Linear make the K2X range available with a number of standard control interfaces including CAN bus communication, SAE J1939 or CAN Open. Alternatively, as with the ATV manufacturer, a bespoke interface can be developed to match customers' exact needs.

Warner Linear is a part of the Altra Industrial Motion group of companies and is a global designer and manufacturer of electromechanical actuators and controls. Its extensive application knowledge, innovative design and exhaustive testing ensure the production of the most technically advanced and durable actuators, which can be standard units or designed to meet users' specific requirements.
Warner Electric Ltd

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