An actuator is a mechanical device that facilitates movement through the use of pneumatic, hydraulic, or electrical power. Actuators create motion in accordance with directing impulses created through manual or electric means. These impulses, which can be electrical current or applied pressure, are translated into linear or rotary motion, thereby directing the desired amount of force. They may also be used to exert force to prevent motion, as in a clamping mechanism.
A manually operated actuator is activated through direct user contact with a wheel, lever, or gear device. Actuators operated through pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical means exert control over the distribution and direction of force through systems that do not involve direct physical contact.
Actuators are critical components for a wide variety of applications, including:
- Automotive equipment
- Energy generation equipment
- Food processing facilities
- Automated factory equipment
- Material handling and transport equipment
- Machine tools
- Medical and health equipment
- Packaging facilities
- Valves and process systems
Since 1933, Erdmann Corporation has been a dedicated supplier of quality pipe, valve, and fitting products for a wide range of industries and applications. We offer a wide range of actuators to meet a variety of specialized demands, including rack and pinion, vane, and electric designs. Depending on the application, each type of actuator offers particular benefits. Below is a short summary of the actuators offered by Erdmann Corporation, their operating methods, and their common uses.
Rack and Pinion Actuators
A rack and pinion actuator uses a gear mechanism to transfer linear motion from a spindle to a pinion. Rack and pinion actuators use pneumatic energy from compressed air to create torque for reliable and steady application of force.
They are typically sturdier than vane and electric actuators, so they are particularly useful in harsh or hazardous industrial processes that require frequent repetitive motion for long periods of time. In addition, they require less maintenance and offer a higher torque-to-size ratio than other types of actuators.
To learn more, browse our selection of rack and pinion actuators.
Vane actuators use fluid or gas pressure to create pneumatic or hydraulic force via inlet and outlet ports. Fluid or gas from the inlet port applies force to one side the vane, which is attached to a spindle, thereby creating rotary motion. The speed and force are modified by opening and closing the ports to increase or decrease pressure on either side of the vane.
Vane actuators can be found in automated applications with open and close valves, dampers, and louvers. Vane actuators are particularly useful for light loads and precision applications, and are valued for their small size, as they can be used in small spaces and complex enclosures.
Check out full selection of vane actuators.
An electric actuator creates movement through the use of electric current. Electric actuators use electricity to power a rotating spindle, which turns a helical screw in a ball screw nut, in turn translating torque into linear motion. They are used in automated dampers and valves for enhanced process efficiency in industrial and manufacturing equipment.
Due to their electric power, the speed of rotation is easier to control using computer programming and automation. This makes electrically powered actuators ideal for applications which require high levels of precision and position control.
Explore all of our electric actuators options.
Quality Actuators from Erdmann Corporation
At Erdmann Corporation, we are pleased to provide superior actuators for a wide variety of industries and applications. Over the last 70 years, we have established a solid reputation for top quality industrial valves and specialized fittings for our customers around the world. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable staff offer comprehensive support services to ensure that we meet and exceed our customers expectations in a timely fashion.