What is a Moving Magnet Actuator?
A moving magnet actuator is a linear single phase actuator that consists of a magnet assembly attached to the payload and a coil assembly connected to the static world. Moving Magnet Actuators are targeted as low cost pneumatic cylinder replacements. Moreover, the technology offers Voice Coil Actuator (VCA) comparable functionality and force levels. However, the moving magnet actuator (MMA) excels over VCA’s with respect to durability, efficiency and achievable stroke length. Particulary, the moving magnet technology lacks any mechanical gear or other reduction and transfers force from a coil assembly (stator) to magnet assembly (mover) only by means of the magnetic field generated by the coil assembly. Therefore, the MMA accomplishes zero mechanical wear, backlash or mechanical friction and potential particle generation.
Advantages of a Moving Magnet Actuator
In general, the technology utilizes only a single electrical phase to control the force and position of the magnet assembly. Therefore, it is not needed to utilize a position measurement system for controlling and driving the current. As a result, driving a moving magnet actuator is similar to driving a linear BLDC motor. Therefore, the MMA reduces system cost, improves robustness and reduces control complexity.
- Cost optimized solution
- Ease of use
Applications of a Moving Magnet Actuator
The moving magnet actuator is usable in a wide range of applications from replacing pneumatic technology in medical applications to replacing VCA's in oscillatory applications. Moreover, both magnet assembly and coil assembly of the MMA technology are suitable to be encapsulated or sealed in potting compound or metal sheets, like stainless steel or Titanium to prevent outgassing and to comply with aggressive chemical environments or enable explosion proof units. This offers possibilities in numerous applications ranging from vacuum compatible solutions for semiconductor applications, space, PVD processes etc. to create explosion safe solutions.
- vacuum applications
- high precision applications
- pneumatic applications