Electricity is a relatively new player in the actuation market. Where hydraulic and pneumatic motion has existed for centuries and came into prominence in the early 20th century, electric motion only started to develop at the onset of our modern technological era.
How Electric Actuators Work
Electric actuators most commonly pair with motors to provide linear or rotary motion. Together they convert electricity into kinetic motion, much the same way compressed air or oils are used to create motion in pneumatic and hydraulic actuators.
Benefits of Electric Motion
Thanks to their programmability, electric motion offers incredible accuracy and repeatability with little maintenance. Preset electric impulses create acceleration, motion, and deceleration with zero start-up time, and can be employed continually without issue.
Electric actuators also don’t rely on cushions, shock absorbers, or other physical controls to moderate their motion profiles – stops and starts come at pre-programmed instances, not when the rod hits the end of the body. The precise electric actuation causes less friction along with linear motion profiles as well. Together, all this extends the life of electric actuators by creating less wear and tear on the internal mechanics.
Electricity is very quiet compared to other media. Compressed air and hydraulic fluids create a noisy manufacturing environment, but electricity is silent – the only sounds a well-functioning electric actuator will make are the belt or ballscrew zipping back and forth.
Paired with programmable controllers, electric actuators are ideal for more complex motion profiles and integrated robotics. Linear robots can provide XY and XZ motion easily, with more complex options offering three dimensional XYZ profiles.
Additionally, electric actuators eliminate leakage and waste – electricity can be stopped and started instantly and cannot leak into the environment the way compressed airs or oils can. This saves customers money on excess media usage and reduces time spent cleaning machine spaces.
Electric actuators are less common due to their comparative newness, lower familiarity in manufacturing design, and higher cost of entry, but can provide unbeatable mechanical benefits to those willing to take the plunge.
Want to find out if electric motion is right for your application? Speak to one of our experts today to learn more!