Motors are needed to control or move a system. These motors are termed as actuators, which helps to control a machine. For their operation, actuators need a source of energy. This source can be electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic. For their operation, either of these energy resources is converted into motion.
Along with energy, the actuator also requires a control signal. The actuator converts the energy into the motion only when it receives the control signal. An actuator can be termed as the mechanism through which a full control system acts onto an environment. An actuator is often used in engineering where they are a means of initiating motion. They can also be used, sometimes, as an option to stop the movement.
Types Of Actuators
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There are multiple types of actuators which are widely used. The most common types are the following:
Hydraulic power is used to produce the mechanical operation through a hydraulic actuator. The mechanical motion that gets generated further creates rotary, oscillatory, or linear motion as per the requirement. This type of actuator is capable of extracting tremendous force as the liquid cannot be compressed. While the force is high, there are some limitations for acceleration and speed.
This type of actuator has a hollow cylindrical tube. This makes smooth sliding of a piston plausible. Single acting is when the pressure is only applied to the piston on one side. It is also possible to apply pressure on both sides where it would be ‘double acting.’
A type of actuator where the energy is formed from a high-pressure vacuum or compressed air and then converted into linear or rotary motion is termed as pneumatic actuators. This is a sought out choice for engine controls as this type of actuator responds swiftly in both shopping and starting the operations as it does not depend on ant reserved power. There can be desirable changes made to the forces using even slight pressure changes.
The actuators that work on electricity are termed as electric actuators. These are actuators that convert electrical energy info mechanical by using a motor. The equipment is actuated by this energy. Out of the various actuators, an electrical one is the most common, available and also very cost-efficient type. It costs less due to not using oil in the actuator.
These are some of the types of actuators which are commonly known and used around. This tells us the basics of what an actuator does and how is it used. They are instrumental and come in handy as well.
5 Ways To Check Your Actuators
As they are continually working, actuators are prone to damage. There are numerous reasons an actuator can give up or stop working altogether. While we cannot discuss all, it has been seen that these can be addressed. Through the following ways, you can make sure that there are fewer chances of issues with the actuator. You can even spot the issues right away if any comes up.
For most problems, it’s been discovered that they’re actually a valve issue and not an actuator issue. This means that the actual problem lies with the valve while the actuator is being checked. Before spending your time and money on disbarring and testing the actuator, check the valve first. Also, to reduce the risks of valve problems, you should get durable valves from a top industrial valve manufacturer.
If there is no problem with the valve itself, then also check the link that leads to the valve. This might be worn and will most likely move the valve stem inadequately. Hence, causing issues. This can be checked by pulling out the center volume cover and checking down on the stem.
A valve stem does the way to close and open a valve in an actuator. This is the job a central column drive needs to perform. This drive can break down and hence should always be checked. While it is not a common occurrence, it must still be tested.
An electrical actuator has a motor contactor for the open-and-close mechanism. This means that the motor contactor exists so that it can convey to the actuator to close or open the valve by giving the input signal. For this reason, if it fails, the actuator will not function either. Check the contactor and the fuses it is protected with to check the working of your actuator.
The motor is the life of an electrical actuator. It is the motor that provides the torque which eventually operates the valve. There is no way the valve will work if the motor stops working. If you want to check the motor, double check that the insulation class and the duty cycle are sufficient for the application.
These are the few ways in which you can check if the actuator is giving you any problems. These can help to tell you the root cause, and then find the best fix for it. Once the cause is known, there might be a possibility that the actuator is fixed without removing it. As a result, there will be no disruption to the operations.