New workhorse ServoTube linear motor from Copley Controls

Copley Controls announces the new workhorse ServoTube linear motor. The motor provides compelling productivity advantages over ballscrews, belt drives and pneumatic positioners. (See table). Linear motors are used in pick-and-place and other applications that require linear travel.

No Optical Encoder

The new ServoTube motor replaces delicate, costly, and difficult-to-align optical encoder with integral Hall position sensor. ServoTube motors consist of two basic components: Thrust Rod and Forcer and are intrinsically very robust mechanisms.  Eliminating the encoder—the weak link—re-establishes the motor's natural ruggedness, enables it to meet international IP67 environmental specifications.  The motor's restored simplicity permits use with standard industrial fittings, removes installation difficulties, and paves the way for widespread integration into automation systems.

Owing to the motor's symmetrical configuration, its electrically powered forcer is surrounded by cooling air, permitting quiet operation without need for water or forced air cooling. ServoTube motors are also free from the deep crud-accumulating channels of conventional U-Channel linear motors, and can be washed down regularly.

Two Forcers—Opposite Travel Directions

ServoTube motor users can double or triple drive force by using two or three Forcers on a single Thrust Tube. More subtle: the two Forcers can be controlled independently for different productivity enhancing functions. (Forcer A loads, Forcer B unloads, for example)

Key Specs

Eight ServoTube motor models span a wide range of force, acceleration and travel. All motors are highly responsive to feedback control. Specifications for four versions with 25 mm diameter thrust rods include 11.5 pounds to 23 pounds continuous force and 70 pounds to 175 pounds peak force. Dynamic specification are 8.7 meters/second maximum velocity and 256 m/s2 peak acceleration. Maximum travel is 1186 mm. All 25 mm models provide 12 microns repeatability & resolution, and 250 microns accuracy. Four larger models, with 38 mm diameter thrust rods, are roughly three times as powerful.


ServoTube motors enable packaging, assembly, fabrication, and other automation systems to achieve new levels of productivity and uptime.  The motor's combination of simplicity, dependability, integration ease, high speed, and rapid acceleration, provide compelling reasons for equipment builders to make the transition from traditional pneumatic, ballscrew, and belt drive positioning mechanisms.

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