Sometimes one small component can make a major difference in production operations. An actuator is an element that is used to convert energy into movement. The part can also be utilized for the application of force. Typically, the mechanical device receives energy created by air, liquid, or electricity before it converts it to motion. The motion can take on one of several forms, such as ejecting, clamping, or blocking.
Most actuators are used in industrial or manufacturing applications. The device can also be used for encouraging movement in switches, valves, pumps, or motors. One of the more common type of Worcester actuators is powered by air and is referred to as an air cylinder or pneumatic cylinder. This type of actuator is traditional in design and is usually made from metal. The device stores the energy of compressed air in order to facilitate the movement of a piston when the air in the component is released.
Worcester actuators of this kind are often used for assembly or manufacturing operations. Without an actuator or reasonable facsimile, you would not be able to operate parts such as grippers, which serve as fingers in processing applications and are driven by compressed air.
The actuator can also be operated by hydraulics or electricity. Electric cylinders or hydraulic cylinders are able to convert hydraulics or electricity into movement. Instead of being used in industrial applications, hydraulic cylinders—which utilize liquids—are frequently used for operating a motor vehicle.
The movement created by an actuator can be oscillatory, rotary, or linear in nature. In other words, actuators can produce a motion that goes in opposite directions, moves in a circular pattern, or goes in one direction at constant intervals.
You might liken actuators to muscles. Both actuators and muscles convert energy into movement. With muscles, however, the motion is in the form of kicking, dancing, or running. What type of “muscle” do you need for your business? Make sure you can refer to a resource that features both actuators and valves.