What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Electric Actuators?

electric actuators aid in food production

Choosing between electric actuators and other varieties can be difficult. Each type of motion has its own advantages and disadvantages. Even more, one type of actuation is seldom a replacement for another. Generally, applications will greatly benefit from one type of actuation over all the others.

To make this choice a bit easier for you, this blog post will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using electric actuators especially in terms of safety and energy savings.

Efficiency & Energy Savings

Electric actuators provide extremely accurate control and positioning. In addition, this type of actuator helps adapt machines to flexible processes and has a low operating cost. This means that an electric system is energy efficient and can provide you with cost savings in many cases.

Electric actuation is the most efficient option when it comes to applications where multiple points of positioning are required. This is due to the fact that pneumatic cylinders need to be coupled with many accessories to perform these same types of motion. This leads to a higher cost and less accuracy and efficiency in the long run.

Another way in which electric varieties beat pneumatic or hydraulic actuators is in their ability to start and stop almost immediately on command. There is no delay and lag.

Pneumatic cylinders require that your compressor runs constantly to maintain pressure. Electric actuators, on the other hand, only need to run when work is required. This means saved electric costs for your business.

The Advantages of Electric Actuators

Electric actuation tends to be your best choice when your application requires speed, accuracy, flexibility, and control. Below are a few more key advantages of electric actuators.

Key Advantages

  • Very accurate control and positioning
  • Able to stop at any point of the stroke
  • Easy to set acceleration and deceleration
  • No external sensors
  • Low operating costs
  • Help adapt machines to flexible processes
  • Superior performance at high speeds
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Low risk of contamination

The Disadvantages of Electric Actuators

It seems like electric actuation has many benefits. However, there have to be some disadvantages, right? Turns out that there are.

One prominent disadvantage can be a higher initial equipment cost. Below, we listed a few more disadvantages for your knowledge.


  • Non-explosion proof
  • Sensitive to vibration
  • More complex technology
  • High speeds, less thrust
  • High thrust, less speed


Electric actuation has many advantages over hydraulic and pneumatic actuators. However, electric actuators have their own disadvantages. For help determining the right actuator for your application needs and requirements, we recommend contacting a specialist for help.