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Simple solution found for heavy duty linear actuator

Simple solution found for heavy duty linear actuator When a manufacturer of mobile maintenance machinery needed a linear motion assembly for a new design of swing arm, it found a simple solution in the form of combined roller bearings. Based in California, Pacific Tek is a leading manufacturer of industrial and municipal valve operators and vacuum excavators. With over 50 years of field experience, the company's founders have used their unrivalled knowledge to create innovations such as the swivel mount valve operator - designs that are frequently imitated but never duplicated.

The company provides a range valve operators which are mounted on vehicles and used for the maintenance and operation of underground water valves found in streets below manhole covers. The valve operators consist of a high torque hydraulic motor fitted to one end of a swing arm, mounted on the back of a pickup truck. The motor can be easily positioned over a manhole, and used to safely open or close a valve found a few feed below the road.

Pacific Tek usually mounts the valve operator either across the front or across the back of the vehicle, but were looking for a means to mount the machine lengthways across the truck bed and then slide it in and out of the vehicle. This presented a number of engineering problems. The based of the 13 ft long swing arm would need to be mounted onto a carriage that could slide a distance of 8 ft and adequately resist the loads generated by the weight of the arm and the motor, as well as the high torque loads generated by the operation of the machine.

To address these requirements, Pacific Tek turned to Euro-Bearings for a simple but heavy duty linear sliding system. The solution was based around combined roller bearings and a mating steel profile channel. Euro-Bearings helped to select the correct size of steel profile and bearings based upon information provided by Pacific Tek, and then shipped the products directly to Pacific Tek in California. Pacific Tek have now fabricated a carriage fitted with two pairs of combined roller bearings running within a pair of steel channels which are bolted to the bed of the truck. The base of the swing arm's pivot is bolted to the top of this carriage. The valve operator can now slide to the back of the truck before being extended out for operation. Pacific Tek has chosen to powder coat the steel channels to protect them against corrosion, as this machine will spend most of its life outdoors.
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