Electromagnetic Linear Actuator vs Scotch-Yoke Shock Dyno: Which One To Choose?

When it comes to shock testing, choosing between a Scotch-yoke mechanism and an Electromagnetic Linear Actuator shock dyno can have a noticeable impact on the results of your projects. Both options have unique advantages and capabilities, but it’s essential to understand their differences to make an informed decision.

Here, we will explain the distinctions between an Electromagnetic Linear Actuator and a Scotch-Yoke Shock dynamometer. We will identify the ideal use cases for each and provide an overview of both systems. So, without any delay, let’s delve into each system to determine which one is best suited to your needs.

Table of Contents:

What Is a Shock Dyno?

A shock dyno is a specialized tool used to evaluate and analyze the functionality of shock absorbers, which are essential components in vehicle suspension systems. This mechanism is designed to mimic the real-life conditions that these absorbers face during diverse conditions, providing valuable insights for the improvement and optimization of suspension systems.

Due to implemented advanced data acquisition systems, shock dynos are capable of gathering precise data points across a range of frequencies. For example, the LAB7 Shock Dyno software generates detailed shock dyno graphs, which helps engineers analyze the test results effortlessly.

While various types of shock dynos exist, the Scotch-Yoke shock dyno stands out as a popular choice. Known for its precision and reliability, this type utilizes a Scotch-Yoke mechanism. 

However, there’s another worthy opponent on the market: the Electromagnetic Linear Actuator. This innovative system promises additional accuracy to what a Scotch-Yoke shock dyno can offer when developing and evaluating suspension systems.

Electromagnetic Shock Dyno

Electromagnetic Shock Dyno, also known as EMA, is a state-of-the-art damper testing technology, which stands out as an extremely accurate mechanism in identifying even the slightest flaws in force application. At LABA7, there’s a selection of four types of electromagnetic dynos with varying suspension strengths ranging from 30 to 120 kW.

With integration of an in-house data logger, EMA features thrilling position resolution and a digital sampling rate of 50 nanometers at 20 kHz. Similarly, the load cell resolution and sampling rate are remarkable, standing at 20 bits at 20 kHz. Furthermore, the control unit and data logger have been designed to seamlessly collaborate, providing a real-time evaluation of the damping forces produced by the shock absorber.

Power and accuracy of Electromagnetic Shock Dyno

The power unit of the Electromagnetic Linear Actuator dyno ensures accessibility for any workshop setting. Its compact design and compatibility with a smart power supply unit enable operation on a standard 220 V outlet. Except for larger EMA models that require a 380 V 16-32 A connection.

Price of an Electromagnetic Shock Dyno

The Electromagnetic Linear Actuator dynamometer is still a rare catch on the market. At LABA7, its prices vary between €50,000 and €160,000, depending on the dyno’s capacity. Below, you can find the prices identified separately for each EMA damper tester:

Shock dyno modelEMA 30 kWEMA 60 kWEMA 90 kWEMA 120 kW
Price€50,000€75,000€110,000€160,000

While this tool may come with a higher price tag compared to the commonly used Scotch-Yoke shock dynos, it provides approximately 30% more capabilities. EMA delivers lightning-fast results, allowing you to test noticeably more shocks in one sit. Instead of assessing sinusoidal waved only, it also works for triangular, impulse, sine-on-sine, and custom ones as well. Overall, it’s necessary to ensure damper quality, particularly during the suspension system development phase.

Electromagnetic Shock Dyno: Pros & Cons

Although new to the market, EMA already stands out in the number of benefits it can provide you with. However, it is no secret that every mechanical tool also comes with its drawbacks. Here, we outline the main pros and cons of the Electromagnetic Linear Actuator damper tester:

Pros:

  • High sampling rates
  • Staggering force and accuracy
  • A significant amount of velocity and acceleration
  • Top-notch data resolution
  • Includes in-house built data logger and control unit
  • Provides real-time feedback on the damping forces produced by the shock absorber
  • Budget-friendly energy consumption
  • Quickly produced results
  • Supports Ethernet, Wi-Fi, HDMI, and USB outputs
  • Utilizes specialized in-house software to exploit the potential
  • Runs on the smart power supply unit

Cons:

  • Pricier than a regular Scotch-Yoke shock tester

Scotch-Yoke Shock Dyno

For now, Scotch-Yoke dynos stand out as a leading choice among shock dynamometers due to a combination of reliability, ease of use, and affordability. As the name suggests, these shock testers run on the Scotch-Yoke mechanism known for precise control over motion and force.

Scotch Yoke

This type of dyno has a simple mechanical design that easily converts rotary motion to linear motion. They are highly reliable, produce consistent feedback, and require minimal maintenance. LABA7 Scotch-Yoke dynamometers, specifically, include proprietary data loggers that can process thousands of samples per second.

Scotch-Yoke shock dynos are commonly used for various vehicle shock absorbers, such as MTBs, trucks, and race cars among others, to evaluate the performance, durability, and compliance of a diverse range of shock absorbers with industry standards and regulations. These dynos’ versatility makes them an essential tool for engineers, manufacturers, and mechanics engaged in designing, developing, and testing shock absorbers for various applications.

Price of a Scotch-Yoke Shock Dyno

The affordability of a Scotch-Yoke shock tester is subject to the supplier you select. Nevertheless, at LABA7, we guarantee a reasonable price-to-quality ratio. The cost of these dynamometers begins from as low as €7,950 and can go up to €19,000. This is how much each LABA7 Scotch-Yoke shock dyno costs separately:

Shock dyno modelFeatherlight Shock DynoLight Shock DynoMid Shock DynoHeavy Shock Dyno
Price€7,950 €10,950€15,000€19,000

However, it’s important not to hastily assume that a Scotch-Yoke dynamometer is significantly more affordable than an EMA. Although the priciest Scotch-Yoke tester is €19,000, nearly three times less expensive than an Electromagnetic one, the EMA’s ability to assess a larger number of dampers in a shorter timeframe makes it a superior value proposition.

Scotch-Yoke Shock Dyno: Pros & Cons

A Scotch-Yoke damper dyno is an excellent option for various needs, considering its all-around usability and other advantages. Yet, there are some limitations to point out as well:

Pros:

  • Supports multiple types of shock absorbers
  • Consistent results delivered using a linear motion
  • User-friendly tool management
  • Runs on an in-house Shock Dyno software
  • Prices start at only €7,950

Cons:

  • Limited replication of force profiles and road conditions
  • Lower load capacity compared to an Electromagnetic shock tester
  • Slightly slower delivered results compared to EMA

Electromagnetic Linear Actuator vs Scotch-Yoke Shock Dyno: Overview

While both types of damper dynamometers ensure only top-notch possibilities for assessing suspension systems, different applied technologies make them the best for different use cases. Here, you can see the final differences between an Electromagnetic Linear Actuator and a Scotch-Yoke damper dynamometer:

  • Mechanism – EMA employs an Electromagnetic Linear Actuator technology for precise force application detection and an overall advanced suspension system development. Meanwhile, a Scotch-Yoke dyno operates on a Scotch-Yoke mechanism, valued for reliability, simplicity, versatility, and the ability to ensure top-notch shock absorber quality.
  • Capacity options – Both types of shock testers come with four models separately, varying in their capacity. An Electromagnetic shock dyno is available with different abilities to transport a certain amount of energy over time. A Scotch-Yoke tester varies in the speed of strokes and the maximum force.
  • Data logging – The Electromagnetic damper dyno (EMA) features an outstanding position resolution and a sampling rate of 50 nanometers at 20 kHz digitally, along with an impressive load cell resolution and a sampling rate of 20 bits at 20 kHz. In comparison, the sampling rate of a Scotch-Yoke shock dyno is notably lower at 2000 times per second.
  • Use cases –  If you need precise and rapid testing for mass suspension systems or motorsports, you should opt for an EMA. On the other hand, if you operate a small or medium-sized mechanic workshop and need to maintain shock absorber performance, a Scotch-Yoke dynamometer is a suitable choice. 
  • Price – Initially, you may find the LABA7 Electromagnetic Linear Actuator Dyno to be more expensive than one driven by a Scotch-Yoke mechanism. However, one EMA can replace three Scotch-Yoke damper testers. Meaning, it provides you with essential results faster and without unwanted noise, allowing you to test more shocks in a short time.