Actuators

Actuators are mechanical or electro-mechanical devices that enable movement and/or control within a mechanism or system. Actuators require a controlled signal to operate, which may be either an electric voltage or current, pneumatic or hydraulic pressure. When an actuator receives this signal, it responds by converting it into a mechanical motion. Actuators are considered a cleaner and more efficient alternative to hydraulic and pneumatic solutions.

Actuators can be used in devices such as motors, pumps, switches and valves and are typically used in manufacturing and industrial applications including:

  • Agricultural machines and equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Factory automation
  • Material handling

Actuators a can be distinguished between two primary types based on their motion; linear and rotary.

Linear actuators move an object or piece of equipment in a straight line and work by converting rotary motion from an electric motor into linear motion via a ball screw or a belt. Linear Actuators can be designed to move an object extremely accurately and repeatably if required.

A rotary actuator produces a rotary motion via a shaft to control the speed, rotation and position of any attached equipment. Rotary actuators are not restricted by the distance they can travel, whereas linear actuators are. They can be specified to suit a variety of industrial environments such as:

  • Semi-conductor manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food production.