How to Control Multiple Linear Actuators at the Same Time?

How to Control Multiple Linear Actuators at the Same Time?

Adam Morissette
Adam Morissette
PA Engineer

linear actuator is a versatile product that can be found anywhere. It’s quite common to have a dual linear actuator operating in conjunction in a single application, making it extremely convenient to control multiple linear actuators at the same time using a single or multiple control systems. In this article, we will take you through a few common setups for controlling multiple linear actuators at the same time by listing the control boxes offered by Progressive Automations.

Dual-Channel 30A Parallel Control Wireless Control Box (PA-30)

PA-30 Control box for linear Actuator

 

The most economic control system we have to control two actuators is the PA-30 unit. It has a very compact design, a simple plug-and-play function, and fully functional RF wireless remote capabilities. This control box allows for parallel control of linear actuators. This means the user can issue a command to both actuators with one remote control. The linear actuators will mirror each other’s movement based on the command, which is ideal for moving two objects at a relatively similar speed and position. 

It’s a great solution if your application does not need full synchronization, but has limited space, and can utilize a wireless actuator control solution.

 

Dual-Channel 30A Parallel Speed Control Box (PA-25)

 

PA-25 Control Box for Linear actuator

 

The second control box we are looking at is the PA-25 control box, this unit has the same functionality as the PA-30 unit, but with the added function of speed control. The control box comes with a wiring harness, wireless fob remote, and a connector adaptor for the actuators. It is very simple to operate and easy to set up. There are two knobs on the control box to adjust the speed of each of the channels from 0 to 100.

This control box is usually used in an application where the travel time of the actuator needs to be adjusted, or sometimes only one actuator is needed to extend and retract.

 

Two-Channel Individual Control Wireless Control Box (PA-28)

 



PA-28 Control Box for Linear actuators

 

The PA-28 control box is designed to be able to control each of the two channels individually. Using the RF remote provided, users will be able to extend, stop and retract their actuators separately. This is a great way to control two separate systems with only one control box. It saves the space and expense needed to mount a second control box and still provides the flexibility of issuing a command to the actuators separately with a wireless remote.

To learn more, read our blog on using relays to control high-current actuators with a low-current control box.

 

 

Synchronized Dual Potentiometer Actuator Control Box (PA-39)

 

PA-39 Control Box for Linear Actuator

 

If you are looking for something to truly synchronize two linear actuators, the PA-30A control box is just the thing you need. This control box can take the potentiometer feedback signal from your potentiometer actuator to calibrate the speed of the two units, so they will be moving in unison, and always extend and retract with the same position. This is important when you are controlling multiple linear actuators to move a single object.

If the actuators are not synchronized, the difference in load or speed could cause the actuator to extend at different positions and causing winding issues. If left unchecked, it could completely burn out the actuators’ motor. It is important to know that the actuators you are using do have a potentiometer feedback sensor in them. We currently carry quite a few models that have the option. The PA-14P units we have in stock are fully compatible with the PA-39, you can order them online, and receive them the next day.

 

Synchronized Dual Hall Effect Actuator Control Box (PA-40)

 

 

PA-40 Control Box for Linear actuator

 

The PA-40 control box uses hall effect signals to synchronize two linear actuators, and it provides even higher accuracies than the PA-39 control boxes. You can use the PA-40 to control hatches, doors, tables, the application opportunities are near limitless. Similar to the PA-39, you will need to make sure the actuator you can using have the hall effect sensors installed in them.

We currently provide the PA-04-HS units with a hall effect sensor in stock and many more that can be customized to include the feedback sensor. This control box also comes with a wireless remote, so it will be very easy to install and control this unit. Read our blog to know more about using power supplies and control boxes to synchronize actuators.

 

Wired Individual Control Box (PA-22 and PA-24)

 

PA-22 Control Box for Linear actuator

 

The two-channel and four-channel wire control boxes offer even more options to the users. It is designed to have individual control on each channel. The remote controlled linear actuator is easy to use and are made for customers who prefer the remote to be tethered to the control box. Unlike the control boxes previously mentioned, this one has an AC input and DC output, so you can plug this directly into your wall outlet, and it will be able to power your DC linear actuator directly.

 

 

Hall Effect Control Box With Presets (FLTCON-2, FLTCON-3, and FLTCON-4)

Last but not least, is our FLTCON control boxes series. These control boxes use hall effect sensor signals to synchronize two linear actuators or more. Like the PA-22 and PA-24, the FLTCON series of control boxes also have an AC input and DC output power supply. With a remote control like the RT-11, the user can save up to four different preset positions into the system.

The control box is designed to be used in home automation mostly, like a table lift or standing desk, but users have been using them for other applications as well. They come with up to four channels, which means users can synchronize up to four actuators at the same time. They are compatible with our PA-04-HS-24VDC units. 

Read our blog on applications for the FLTCON control boxes for more information!

We have a wide range of electric linear actuators for any application – click to browse!

 

Conclusion

There are many ways to control a dual linear actuator. At Progressive Automations, we offer many options in linear actuator control systems that can satisfy a multitude of customer need. Please contact us if you have any questions on how to control your linear actuators.

 

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