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.

Asahi/America Expands Series 19 Actuation Line

Asahi/America, has recently expanded their Series 19 electric actuation line to include a multiturn unit capable of operating on diaphragm and gate valves.

Babcock Valves passed the inspection of gate valve

Spanish valve maker Babcock Valves clears an inspection with Iberdrola and SGS teams, certifying a nuclear-qualified gate valve's hydrotest.

Limitorque for mains replacement project

Acrodyne built Limitorque actuators were recently specified with AVFI DN750 Plug Valves complete with 2-meter extensions also supplied by AVFI Pty Ltd.

PetrolValves completes major overhaul project in Norway

PetrolValves' Services Team successfully completed a complex valve overhaul on Norway, using specialized equipment for disassembly and reassembly.

CORALINK supports with plant modernisation

In June, AUMA Iberia has carried out the preventive and/or corrective maintenance of the electric actuators installed in the ENCE Biofactory in Navia (Asturias)....

Allied Valve partners with AUMA Actuators Inc.

In a quest to expand their product offerings, Allied Valve and Allied Instrumentation are proud to announce they are now representatives of AUMA products....

AUMA-USA’s swift response to aid Palmdale, CA

During Hurricane Hilary, Palmdale, CA, faced severe flooding, which critically impacted the LA County Sanitation District's sedimentation vital operations.

Australian built Limitorque for bray knife gate

Two Bray Controls Pacific valves prepared in-house for Limitorque MX05 actuators, including valve adaptation and stem tube cover installation.

MRC extends enterprise framework agreement with Shell

MRC Global Inc. (MRC) has announced that its subsidiary, MRC Global (US) Inc. has extended its Enterprise Framework Agreement with Shell plc. until 2028.

Bosch Rexroth opens new hydraulics training center

Bosch Rexroth has announced the grand opening of a new "Hydraulics Training Center" in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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.