Since they were launched, hydraulic actuators have dominated the field of automation in agricultural and construction equipment. However, hydraulic actuators have been dominating these industries with the previously unavoidable costs of slow speed and messy operations. The industry has evolved over the years, and electric actuators have now started to push similar loads at a better speed, without having to worry about any oil leaks.

Linear actuators are constantly being used in all kinds of application nowadays, ranging from automated windows to automated sit/stand desks. Linear actuators were initially only able to handle small loads, but within the Progressive Actuators’ range, they can push up to 3,000 lbs of force and hold 10,000 lbs of load without any issue. Here we will solely focus on our high-speed linear actuator PA-13 as we have identified it as the best high-speed hydraulic replacement in our entire range.

High force linear actuator PA-13 dimensions

PA-13 Technical Features

Our PA-13 actuator, which is capable of 3,000 lbs of push force normally, is now being launched with a 700 lbs force option, running at almost 1 in/s at full load. This electric linear actuator with 700lb force comes in stroke sizes ranging from 1 inch to 40 inches. This industrial grade actuator has a stainless-steel rod and steel gears to withstand the loads it advertises and comes with internal limit switches, so you do not have to worry about turning the power off when the stroke reaches its end as it cuts it off automatically. It can also be equipped with positional feedback sensors like HALL and Potentiometer, which gives you better control of the stroke movement to tackle tasks that need precision and control. And to top that off, if for some reason something goes wrong with the application and the actuator senses it is pushing more than it should, it automatically shuts off. 

Swapping from Hydraulic to Electric: The Right Decision?

Switching over to an electric linear actuator might not always be the correct choice, but as the PA-13 features such a range of force and speed, we do believe it is the correct decision. It makes more sense both economically and timewise, as electric actuators do not need any maintenance and offer a clean environment with a simple movement. Hydraulic actuators also require a larger space as they need pumps and hoses to run the oil: this is not the case with electric actuators. Also, hydraulic actuators require maintenance and do not offer as precise position control as electric. With all the added benefits of the electric actuators, they still cost you less when it comes down to price. And when talking about industrial-grade heavy-duty actuator, I believe you cannot go wrong with our PA-13 especially in applications with environments that can be tough on the actuators.

Advantages of the PA-13 Electric Actuator Over a Hydraulic Actuator

Advantages of the PA-13 Over a Hydraulic Actuator:

  • This is an electric linear actuator which means it does not create an oil mess, unlike hydraulic units – it still offers the same load capacity, however.
  • The PA-13 can provide positional feedback which, in turn, can be used to learn the position of the actuator at any given point in time.
  • It will not require as much space as a traditional hydraulic unit.
  • PA-13 will require little to no maintenance over the course of its lifetime, as opposed to a hydraulic actuator.
  • There is higher precision control in electric actuators.
  • The PA-13, and electric actuators as a whole, can be cheaper and more cost-effective.
  • With an IP66 rating, the PA-13 has a high environmental rating and can protect against dust, water, and harsh environments.
  • This is a high-speed linear actuator.

Challenges of Implementing an Electric Actuator

The only significant inconvenience that could arise from replacing a hydraulic system with our PA-13 unit is the redesigning and rewiring of the application. Aside from that, there are no additional challenges to this change.

Given the benefits of the PA-13 unit, this small amount of time spent on redesigning and rewiring will eventually help with saving more in time, effort, and spending in the long run.

Applications of PA-13 high force linear actuator

Applications of PA-13

The PA-13 has proven it is a high-speed hydraulic actuator alternative as it can be implemented into a variety of applications thanks to its range of features. Such applications include automating augers in combines, plowing angles in snowplows or land ploughs, automating lawn tractor equipment or construction equipment, and so on. This range of applications demonstrates just how adaptable the PA-13 can be to its environment!

Successful Hydraulic to Electric Replacements

An alternative actuator that is suitable for hydraulic to electric replacements is our PA-17.  This high-force actuator is being used in a harvester combine auger by one of our customers, which eliminates the need to constantly climb up and down the combine just to turn the auger. This also eliminates all the hazards associated with the manual folding of the auger when jumping into a grain-filled tank.

High force actuator PA 17 application in harvester combine

PA-13 is a superior replacement for such applications if a faster speed is required.

Final Word

The PA-13 is our highest high-speed linear actuator recommendation when replacing a hydraulic unit. The benefits of installing this actuator into your application far outweigh any challenges, giving you a cleaner, lower maintenance, and more cost-effective operation.

To find out more about swapping your hydraulic actuator for a high-speed electric actuator, contact us and our experienced engineers will help you determine whether this is suitable for your application.