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What is an electro-pneumatic actuator and what are its benefits?

Pneumatic actuators are regularly used across a variety of industrial applications. Pneumatic actuators provide controlled and limited movements, or positioning of items, within an application with a push and pull function. With this in mind, actuators generally operate via one of two basic motions. These are linear and rotary actuator motions. 

Actuators come in various different types and can assist your production and positioning processes to ensure a smarter workflow. Read on to find out more about electro-pneumatic actuators and how they might be suited to your industrial application. 

How does an electric actuator work?

Put simply, an electric actuator is a device that creates movement of a load or generates an action that requires some form of force to take place. Using an electric motor enables the electric actuator to make the force necessary for this to take place. This electric motor creates a rotary or linear action that drives the actuator forward to create movement. 

In order to do this, the electric motor is controlled by an electric drive which allows for the speed at which the motion takes place to be controlled. Thus, controlling the linear or rotary speed of the actuator. A feedback system is put in place to provide feedback on the position of the actuator, which enables the actuator to move the item into position, stop and then move on or alternatively return to its resting position. 

With this in mind, electric actuators are quite intuitive and can be easily programmed to meet a variety of application requirements. 

What is a pneumatic actuator?

Pneumatic actuators are a highly reliable, efficient and safe way to control motion within an industrial application. Pneumatic actuators operate by using pressurised air or gas to convert energy into a rotary or linear motion. As a result of this, pneumatic actuators are often selected for use in the repeated opening and closing of valves or other industrial applications. 

One particular area in which pneumatic actuators excel is for use in areas with flammable or ignitable materials in which an electric actuator may cause a spark to ignite. 

In order to work, pneumatic actuators rely heavily on some form of pressurised air or gas, which enters a chamber and builds up in pressure. When it has built up enough pressure this results in a controlled kinetic movement of a device, such as a piston or a valve. The resulting movement can be directed through linear or rotary motions. 

What is an electro-pneumatic actuator?

Manufacturing environments of today demand precise movement and control. By implementing actuators into your manufacturing process, precise control of movement can be quite easily achieved. 

Electro-pneumatic actuators combine the best of both worlds and are often considered a cost-effective alternative to electromechanical and electrohydraulic actuators. This makes them best suited to lower-power applications. Electro-pneumatic actuators are widely used to automate a number of areas of industrial applications, from production to assembly and packaging systems. 

With electro-pneumatic actuators, the pneumatic components are controlled by electrical components including sensors, switches and industrial computer systems. The use of electric components replaces the manual control that was traditionally used in pneumatic systems. 

What are the benefits of using an electro-pneumatic actuator?

Implementing an electro-pneumatic actuator system into your production process can unveil a number of clear benefits. The primary one being that they offer greater reliability as the moving parts are generally subjected to less wear compared to mechanical control systems due to the electrical control of the actuator system. 

Furthermore, the electrical control system, including sensors and switches, can be easily changed and modified compared to replacing mechanical components. An additional benefit of electro-pneumatic actuators for position systems is that they enable dynamic positioning as a result of a quick parameter setting, with extreme accuracy. 

For applications that require high levels of control and the ability to make timely changes to the positioning system, electro-pneumatic actuation systems may be best-suited to your application. Why not speak to the team at Best Pneumatics to find out more about the range of electro-pneumatic actuation devices we can supply and how to select the most appropriate solution for your application? 

What applications do electro-pneumatic actuator systems suit?

Electro-pneumatic actuators offer an economical solution for a broad range of automation applications. As a result of their simple and straightforward installation and intuitive control solutions, electro-pneumatic actuator systems are well-suited to a variety of material handling systems, such as pick and place. 

Furthermore, electro-pneumatic actuators are ideal for use with gate control and damper control systems that require precise control. Put simply, electro-pneumatic actuator systems are the ideal solution to any application that requires force control in addition to accurate positioning. 

Buy electro-pneumatic actuators from Best Pneumatics

Here at Best Pneumatics, we have a wide range of electro-pneumatic actuators to suit a range of industrial application settings. If you need assistance selecting the most appropriate pneumatic actuator, electric actuator or electro-pneumatic actuator for your application, contact BEST Pneumatic’s helpful sales team at [email protected] or on +44 (0) 1254 390 555.

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