Episode #65: What is an Electric Actuator?

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The Motion Control Show

What is an electric actuator?
  • A device that takes electricity in and it makes mechanical movement out
  • “Electric” + “mechanical” gives us “electromechanical”
    • We actually use the term electromechanical actuators
    • “Electric actuator” is just so much easier to say
  • Different types of electric actuators
    • Solenoid Actuators
      • On/off current or electricity through a coil that creates magnetism
      • Magnetism attracts a piece of metal that is tied to some mechanics
      • Then it returns with a spring
    • Voice Coil Actuator
      • What a speaker is on a stereo system
      • Has adjustable current through a coil to create magnetism
      • Magnetism moves a series of magnets for dual direction
      • Also used in industrial applications for short, quick, high response applications
    • Motor Actuator
      • Has a motor tied to an actuator
      • Controlled by adjustable current through its coils to create the magnetism
      • Coordinated magnetism of multiple phases moves a series of magnets in the motor
      • Motor moves the mechanics
    • Piezo Actuator
      • Does not use magnets
      • Uses current to an element that causes it to wiggle
      • The wiggle walks along a service
      • That surface is also tied to the mechanics
  • Pros of Electric Actuators
    • Good control
    • Efficient
    • Clean
    • Different designs
  • Cons of Electric Actuators
    • Magnets are expensive
    • Force-to-size ratio may be a little bit bigger

If you have any questions or are just looking for some help, we're happy to discuss your application with you.  Reach out to us at (855) 737-4716 or fill out our online form.