Pneumatic actuators use air power to produce rotary and linear motion. In the broadest sense, an air cylinder is a pneumatic actuator. For the purpose of this article, pneumatic actuators that are intended to produce rotary motion for operating valves , for automating manufacturing, for clamping work, etc. Their use in linear applications such as valve operating and positioning is also discussed.
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The debate surrounding the pros and cons of electric and pneumatic actuators has been raging for years and still no easy answer exists. Here, with the help of Bimba Manufacturing, we focus on the core differentiators to help narrow your decision.
If there is any significant performance differentiator, it is that electric actuators are better known for their high levels of precision. Though this is not to say pneumatic actuators cannot deliver very precise motion.
Again, the issue here revolves around how much precision you really need. For help on this issue, we referred to information from Bob Kral at Bimba Manufacturing Company, a supplier of pneumatic, electric and hydraulic actuators. According to Kral, the choice of pneumatic or electric actuators involves an evaluation of performance, component costs, system costs, and productivity gains. The two technologies are so different that one cannot be a drop-in replacement for the other.
Each has inherent advantages and disadvantages. The case for pneumatic actuators Pneumatic actuators provide high force and speed at low unit cost in a small footprint.
As a matter of fact, pneumatic cylinders provide more force and speed per unit size than any other actuator technology except hydraulic.
Force and speed on pneumatic actuators are easily adjustable and are independent of each other. Pneumatic actuators are most economical when the scale of deployment matches the capacity of the compressor. Small compressors are efficient and economical when used to power a small number of pneumatic devices. Large compressors are efficient and economical when powering a large number of pneumatic devices. While pneumatic component costs are low, maintenance and operating costs can be high, especially if a serious effort has not been made to quantify and minimize the costs.
Maintenance and operating costs include replacement cylinder costs, air line installation and maintenance, and electricity for the compressor. According to the Department of Energy, 24 percent of the annual cost of compressed air is due to maintenance, equipment and installation while 76 percent is due directly to the cost of electricity for the compressor. Determination of the operating cost per pneumatic device deployed in a facility can be eye opening, especially if cost calculations have not been done for a while and the scale of operations has shrunk.
The case for electric actuators In contrast to pneumatics, electric actuators provide precise control and positioning, help adapt machines to flexible processes and have low operating cost.
They are most economical when deployed in a moderate scale in processes where their performance advantages can be a benefit and when the electronics are separate from the actuator to segment and minimize replacement costs. Electric actuators consist of a ball, acme or roller screw connected via a coupler to an electric motor. As the screw turns it moves a piston, which is connected to the rod or carriage. The rod or carriage moves the load.
Performance varies depending on materials used. Commonly used motors for electric actuators include steppers and servos. Brush dc motors and ac motors are sometimes used with limit switches when positioning accuracy is less critical. Step motors are an economical choice for accurate positioning at lower speeds. However, steppers may lose synchronization with the controller when employed open loop without an encoder or if they are undersized for an application.
Servos, by definition, are closed loop and provide superior performance at high speeds, albeit at a higher cost.
High precision screws and anti-backlash mechanics can provide accuracies to ten-thousandths of an inch. Standard precisions with standard components range from a few hundredths to a few thousandths of an inch. Components of an electric actuator include the mechanical actuator that translates motor rotation to linear speed and thrust, the motor, an electronic driver or amplifier to power the motor, and a controller to control motion. Operating costs of electric actuators are largely due to motor power draw.
While component costs of electric actuators are high, operating costs are low. High component costs often deter the use of electric actuators because savings in operating costs compared to pneumatics are often not adequately considered or are outright ignored.
Cost comparison To better compare actual costs between pneumatic and electronic actuators, consider this example: Manual changeovers adapting a production line to a different product can be expensive in terms of both lost production and man-hours required to implement the change.
Because electric actuators can substantially reduce changeover costs largely due to the fact that they can retain condition settings , the annual cost savings associated with changeovers must be considered as part of the implementation decision. See the complete Bimba Manufacturing Company white paper comparing pneumatic and electric actuator options, which provides in depth details on operating cost calculations.
Home Products Motion How to Decide Between Pneumatic and Electric Actuators The debate surrounding the pros and cons of electric and pneumatic actuators has been raging for years and still no easy answer exists.
David Greenfield. Examples of pneumatic left and electronic actuators from Bimba Manufacturing Company. Schmidt Couplings Connect Offset Shafts Zero-Max Schmidt offset couplings provide machine designers with a proven method to ensure that machines operate with constant phase accuracy and constant speed throughout the rotation and cycle.
Zero-Max, Inc. XZ-Axis Motorized Linear Positioning Stages The XZ series of motorized m linear motion positioning stages feature 1 micron repeatability and 10 micron positional accuracy. Carlo Gavazzi. Discover the Secrets of a Successful Automation Project Learn about planning and project management, building your machine or automated system, and technologies to improve manufacturing outcomes. ANCA Motion. Anne Marie Mohan. Schneider Electric. Pneumatic Function Integration on One Controller Though Festo first released its Motion Terminal two years ago, it continues to develop software upgrades that expand its range of capabilities.
Aaron Hand. Stephanie Neil. Festo Corporation. Applied Motion Products. Rotary Lobe Pumps Alfa Laval OptiLobe 10 and OptiLobe 50 pumps are now available in four new sizes to meet the requirements of lower flow rates and higher production capacities. When it comes to selecting encoders for motion control applications, the terms resolution, accuracy, and precision are often used interchangeably.
However, they mean very different things and understanding the difference can be critical to your application. How OEMs Can Improve Their Machines' Material Handling Capabilities In this podcast, sponsored by Beckhoff Automation, we learn how new automation technologies for material handling offer significant advantages to machinery OEMs targeting packaging, assembly, sorting, and order picking operations.
Rotex is a leading manufacturer and exporter of fluid control. Having started off in with one modest industrial building, Rotex now has 4 state-of-the art. Through constant innovation and providing. Rotex caters to clients come from a wide spectrum of industries like steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas,. Through a dedicated and highly experienced team of agents and a global network of local offices,. Rotex has secured.
Welcome to Airwork, an Italian manufacturing company specialized in the designing, manufacturing and selling of standard and customized solutions in the pneumatic automation industrial field. A strong passion for products, push our Company towards a continue development and innovation process in a field which is continuously changing. In our catalogue you can find pneumatic cylinders and actuators, valves and electrovalves, air treatment units and fittings; these are the four product families that lots of new customers are choosing and are appreciating. AirWork is part of a big and consolidated Group, with UNI EN ISO and certifications , who is operating from 25 years in many industrial fields and boasts a modern and proven designing system, an always up-to-date and powerful machinery, dedicated lines for products assembling and testing thanks to the highest standard of detection and quality control.
All About Pneumatic Actuators - Types, Applications, and Uses
Intelligent Actuator For 60 years Rotork has used innovation for designing reliable, flexible and robust valve actuators and control systems. Continuing our ethos of evolving design, IQS is the 1-phase version of the IQ actuator. Direct torque range from 10 Nm to Nm 7 lbf. With second stage gearboxes, multi-turn output torque up to 9, Nm 7, lbf. IQD actuators are direct current powered versions of IQ actuators. Direct torque range 11 Nm to Nm 8 lbf.
The 10mm wide C10 pneumatic solenoid valve was thoughtfully designed for use in confined spaces, tailored to your needs as a single valve or as multiple valves in a complex system. Integrate CSV yourself, or let the Humphrey Engineered Solutions Group design a specific manifold package ready for plug and play into your device or equipment. Controlling compressed air or inert gas has never been so easy. When versatility, size, performance and value are paramount, let Humphrey 10mm CSV work for you. The iDP Series of aggressive media solenoid valves has expanded. The diaphragm isolated series 2-port proportional valve delivers a variable output flow of aggressive chemicals and cleaning fluids … from a corresponding variable input current to its solenoid. Available as inline Series or as manifold Series and to upstream pressure settings of 10, 20 and 40 psig.
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Industrial Automation Products. Pneumatic and electric automation products from actuators to servo motors to sensors and valves. Process automation Products. Process products from automated process valves to actuators to pinch valves and positioners. See the industries we serve and discover a new level of expertise for your applications. With online product finders, intelligent sizing software and engineering tools offered by Festo, you're able to find the right products for your tasks. Reliably, quickly, and without complex calculations. The digital version of the complete Festo product catalog: this smart software brings all of Festo's online tools within one easy to use platform. Configure an industrial robot, from a single-axis solution to a 3D gantry, quickly and easily with the Handling Guide Online.
Festo at a glance
The Company was founded by experienced professionals who had worked for decades as senior managers within leading multinational companies in the valve automation market. They started by developing and manufacturing a short range of electric actuators for the increasing demand of valve automation in various industrial markets. Elfor Controls offers a profound knowledge and hands-on experience in the field, flexibility in a continuously changing market, problem-solving capabilities, customized products and services to meet Customer needs. Our vision serves as the framework for our Roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth. People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
Linear Actuator Products for Manufacturing Automation
SMC has a range of 12, basic models and over , variations to respond to day-to-day automation needs. Our experts are always on hand to provide the necessary technical support and guidance. With european stock to give a quick response to our customer's requirements. SMC supports various industries with specific solutions and teams of experts who keep up to date with the laws, regulations and precise requirements for each industry. Here we have gathered all the information you need in order to stay on top of everything happening at SMC. SMC is pursuing worldwide customer satisfaction and supporting automation through the most advanced pneumatic technologies. The healthcare industry is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing industries.
OMAL offers a complete range of valves, types available - free axis, with lever or activated by our actuators. The OMAL valves are designed and manufactured to meet most of the applications, in all sectors of the industry.
How to Decide Between Pneumatic and Electric Actuators
We bring together highly specialized companies that develop and manufacture control valves to meet all requirements, from forged ball valves to bypass valves installed in steam turbines. A s a result, we are able to provide the entire control technology from a single source to comply with the requirements set by complex projects and unusual control challenges.
SAMSON Manufacturing Group
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