Actuation

Actuation refers to the process of converting energy into motion in various systems and devices. It’s a crucial component in a myriad of technologies, ranging from simple mechanisms to complex machinery.

Actuation is the mechanism of initiating and controlling movements in various systems, which could be mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic, among others. This concept is widely used in industries like robotics, automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. It encompasses a wide range of components and techniques designed to convert various forms of energy into physical motion.

Mogas awarded a contract to support TC2C new technology

Mogas awarded a contract to support TC2C new technology

Mogas Industries secures multimillion-dollar contract for S-Oil Shaheen Project, supplying severe service valves for TC2C technology commercialization.
AVA Launches New 1000-2000Nm Torque Electric Actuators

AVA Launches New 1000-2000Nm Torque Electric Actuators

AV Actuators launches a series of 1000 to 2000Nm torque actuators with integrtated pressure, temperature and flow sensors
Survitec unveils containment device

Survitec unveils containment device

Survitec has launched their Gauntlet, a device that will reduce the risk associated with catastrophic valve actuator failure.
Bosch Rexroth and Petrolvalves sign MoU

Bosch Rexroth and Petrolvalves sign MoU

Bosch Rexroth and PetrolValve signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reduce cost of ownership on CCS and H2 transport systems.
AUMA actuators add Scottish water framework

AUMA actuators add Scottish Water framework

AUMA deploys a framework to service, maintain and replace actuators, and build a knowlegde base, for for Scottish Water
Smart control valve for minimal flow rates

Smart control valve for minimal flow rates

Schubert & Salzer have extended their portfolio with low-flow valve type 7042, with top-mounted positioner type 8049
Asahi/America introduces larger series 19 actuator size

Asahi/America introduces larger series 19 actuator size

Asahi/America unveils S400 actuator, expanding Series 19 line for 8” and 10” Type-57 butterfly valves. High torque, versatile options.
Warren Controls ARIA actuator

Warren Controls ARIA actuator

Warren Controls introduces their ARIA actuator to be used with electrically actuated globe control valves.
Valworx expands stainless steel product line

Valworx expands stainless steel product line

Valworx is expanding their stainless steel product line, offering valves assembled together with their actuator line.
Innovative piston machine turns waste heat into power

Innovative piston machine turns waste heat into power

Andyn Omanovic granted Empa Entrepreneur Fellowship for pioneering valve control system, advancing energy efficiency.

Actuation

The primary devices that carry out actuation are called actuators. These can be categorized as:

  1. Mechanical Actuators: Convert rotary motion to linear motion or vice versa, often using gears, rails, or screws.
  2. Electric Actuators: Utilize electric motors to generate motion, controlled by varying voltage, current, or electromagnetic fields.
  3. Hydraulic Actuators: Use the pressure of a liquid (usually oil) to induce motion, often to generate high forces in heavy machinery.
  4. Pneumatic Actuators: Operate using compressed air or gas to create motion, often found in industrial automation setups.
  5. Thermal or Magnetic Actuators: Leverage thermal expansion or magnetic fields to generate motion, usually in micro or nano-scale applications.

2. Control Systems

These systems are essential in regulating the functioning of actuators, often utilizing feedback loops to maintain precision and efficiency. They may include:

  1. Manual Controls: Simple interfaces like levers or switches to control actuators.
  2. Automatic Controls: Utilize sensors and microcontrollers to automatically control the actuation process.
  3. Software Interfaces: Complex control setups involving software platforms integrated with hardware components to enable sophisticated control strategies.

3. Power Sources

Different actuation systems require different power sources, which could range from electrical batteries, hydraulic pumps, or pneumatic compressors.

Applications

Actuation finds its application in various fields:

  1. Robotics: In the control of robotic arms, legs, or other appendages.
  2. Aerospace: Utilized in the functioning of various components like flaps, landing gear, and engines.
  3. Automotive: In control systems like power steering, braking systems, and throttle control.
  4. Industrial Machinery: In machines used for manufacturing, packaging, and other industrial processes.
  5. Healthcare: In devices like prosthetics and other healthcare equipment.
  6. Consumer Electronics: In gadgets and appliances, for functions like zooming in cameras or adjusting settings.

Future Trends

With advancements in technology, actuation systems are expected to become more sophisticated, incorporating features like:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT): Integration with IoT for smarter and more connected control systems.
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Incorporating AI for predictive maintenance and automated control strategies.
  3. Miniaturization: Development of smaller and more compact actuators for use in micro and nano-scale applications.

Conclusion

Actuation is a dynamic and evolving field, playing a critical role in modern technology and industry. It encompasses a wide range of components, systems, and techniques that convert energy into physical motion, finding applications in a variety of sectors and continually evolving to incorporate new advancements and innovations.