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Silverson has employed an Origa linear actuator as the lift mechanism on its laboratory scale high shear mixer, replacing a complex chain-drive built in-house with a mechatronic unit.

The Origa linear actuator acts as a structural member, the column to support the shear drive-head above its base.

High shear mixer-heads can be used for applications such as toothpaste, downhole slurry, bitumen and feedstocks for the brewing and distilling industries.

Silverson makes high shear mixers for processing and manufacturing industries.

Silverson began to worry about the supply of the square section tube used in the main columns of stands.

Getting these square section tubes chromed, a necessity for clean room environments, was becoming harder as specialist chroming is a dying art and causes pollution.

The upright acts as a housing for the lift mechanism, which raises and lowers the shear head into the mixing vessel.

Silverson used to use a chain drive to do this, which it built in-house, but this arrangement had a high component count and build time.

The chain drive always gave an overrun of 20-30mm, making fast and accurate lowering of the shear head difficult.

The chain was also subject to wear so had to be re-tensioned or replaced under a regular service pattern.

Parker-Origa’s OSP-E range fitted all of Silverson’s criteria for a linear actuator: it supported the mixing head and provided vertical drive; it was fully enclosed and had smooth lines for hygiene purposes; it could drive the load at 100mm/s; it could resolve the overrun issue of the chain drive; and it had integral limit switches, which removed the need for trailing leads or cable management.

Parker-Origa’s OSP-E range is available in a range of sizes and with a choice of various screw and toothed belt-drives.

A trapezoidal screw-drive was identified as best suited to the Silverson application and a size 32 unit was able to satisfy all of Silverson’s technical requirements.

It also had considerable static and dynamic load-bearing capabilities.

Silverson put several units through extensive test programmes, carrying 20kg loads at 200mm/sec (double the specification) for 24 hours a day.

The laboratory mixer requires capability for 4km of linear motion if it is to reach its 10-year design life.

The Origa actuators reached 18km with no sign of wear.

For Silverson, the OSPE is coupled with a reversing motor from Oriental, with the limit switches flicking it into reverse at the end of stroke to act as a brake and minimise overrun.

Parker-Origa, a division of Parker Hannifin, is a leader in the innovative design and manufacture of pneumatic and electric actuation and control solutions for industrial automation.

The Origa System Plus range of rodless pneumatic cylinders provides a modular approach to linear automation with the easy integration of guides, controls, position sensing equipment and other accessories. An extensive range of electric linear drives capitalises on this system modularity and extends the scope of application with respect to loads, speeds, precision, positional accuracy and path control.

With annual sales exceeding 12USD billion, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of commercial, mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 62,000 people in 48 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 52 consecutive years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index.

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