Electric Rod Actuators vs. Hydraulic Cylinders: Comparing Performance and Cost

Sponsored by Tolomatic

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  • On-Demand Webinar


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Aaron Dietrich 
Director of Marketing
Tolomatic, Inc.

Aaron Dietrich, director of marketing, Tolomatic, Inc., has an extensive background in the motion control industry, including several years of experience as a design and application sales engineer in drives and controls. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.


Electric rod-style actuators can achieve high-end hydraulic forces and are viable candidates for replacing hydraulic systems in many applications. Hydraulic cylinders have been widely used in factory automation equipment for decades because of the combination of high force and affordable cost. Hydraulic cylinders are rugged, relatively simple to deploy and provide a low cost per unit of force. Their drawbacks include a larger space footprint, regular maintenance and manual system adjustments for optimal system performance. In recent years, advancements in electric rod actuators (cylinders) have allowed engineers to create motion control systems with smaller footprints and that are flexible, precise and reliable with increasingly larger force capacities. Electric servo systems can be more costly to initially implement than hydraulic systems. However, total cost of ownership over the life of the equipment may be lower compared to hydraulic systems due to increased efficiency of operation with little or no maintenance. This webinar will help engineers consider how each technology can provide the best overall solution for the same application.

Engineers will learn how specific factors affect the performance and cost of each technology, including:

• Motion control capabilities
• System components and footprint 
• Force capabilities 
• Speed capabilities 
• Temperature 
• Life and maintenance of device 
• Data collection 
• Efficiency/utility costs 
• Leaks and environmental concerns 
• Additional factors: noise, shock loads and side loads

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