In this application, TranTek engineers replaced hydraulic actuators with an electric servodrive, a 4-in. leadscrew, and a polymer nut. The new system is said to boost speed by 30%.

In this application, TranTek engineers replaced hydraulic actuators with an electric servodrive, a 4-in. leadscrew, and a polymer nut. The new system is said to boost speed by 30%.


TranTek Drive Systems Inc. (www.trantekdrivesystems.com), a manufacturer of screw-drive systems, is retrofitting its high leadscrew and polymer-nut assembly into rack-and-pinion systems normally powered by hydraulics. The systems typically move heavy loads such as those found on automotive transfer lines. The Traverse City, Mich., company can refurbish an existing frame and structure of used shuttles by disassembling transfer devices and removing hydraulics.

According to the company, elimination of hydraulics is economic because it banishes the possibility of fluid leaks and the need for environmentally safe fluid disposal. Gone also are downtime and machine repairs to fix leaking. The resulting systems are quieter as well, because the interface between the polymer and screw produces much less sound than multiple pinions engaging with the racks. Finally, use of electronic servocontrol speeds the transfer cycle, thanks to more efficient motion. Ancillary benefits include less wear on mechanical components including bearings, cam followers, and rails.