Pneumatic Actuators

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Pneumatic Actuators

Pneumatic actuators are devices that position control valves using linear motion by converting various forms of energy, typically air pressure, into mechanical energy. In general, pneumatic actuators are affordable, have rapid response times and are simple and easy to control; however, they are also noisy, and their position is difficult to control.

There are many different types of pneumatic actuators, including tie rod cylinders, grippers and pneumatic artificial muscles, but the main type of pneumatic linear actuator is a pneumatic valve actuator. One important feature of a pneumatic actuator is the addition of a controller.

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Pneumatic Actuators Pneumatic actuators are devices that position control valves using linear motion by converting various forms of energy, typically air pressure, into mechanical energy. In general, pneumatic actuators are affordable, have rapid response times and are simple and easy to control; however, they are also noisy, and their position is difficult to control.

Leading Manufacturers

Bethel, CT  |  203-778-2727

Del-Tron Precision, Inc. was founded in order to serve the needs of automated equipment manufacturers for innovative, high quality and reasonably priced anti-friction linear bearings and associated products such as valve actuators.

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Del-Tron Precision, Inc. $$$

Battle Creek, MI  |  800-537-9940

Utilized in a variety of applications and industries, the products designed and manufactured at Burr Engineering & Development include ball screw actuators and similar mechanisms.

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Burr Engineering & Development Company $$$

Cutchogue, NY  |  888-321-9178

Ultra Motion designs and manufactures precision electromechanical actuators, and related products, for multiple industries including aerospace, medical, industrial automation, defense, research, and more. Our areas of expertise include extreme power density, fully integrated closed loop servo actuators, multi-turn absolute position sensors, and challenging environments like space, deep sea, vacuum, etc.

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Ultra Motion $$$

Torrance, CA  |  800-736-1712

At IAI America, we are dedicated to providing value and originality with any product that we provide to you. Our linear actuator model types include slider, folded-motor slider, rod, and single, double, or ball-bushing type guided rod actuators. Our staff members are committed to being available in order to bring you full customer satisfaction while delivering the products that will best suit your needs. Contact us today and allow our skilled staff to answer your questions and solve your problems for you!

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IAI America, Inc. $$$

Bethel, CT  |  800-447-2042

Tusk Direct’s specialty is linear motion components. We offer slides, bearings, lubricants and assemblies compatible with pneumatic or electric actuators and actuator systems.

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Tusk Direct, Inc. $$$

Saanichton. BC  |  206-347-9684

Our linear actuators are at the top of the market and on the leading edge of innovation. If you need a new design or modification to an existing design, we are the true professionals that you need to call.

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Actuonix Motion Devices $$$

Pittsburgh, PA  |  412-963-7470

Since 1970, Aerotech has designed and manufactured the top-quality linear actuators and other motion control systems for our customers. Our linear actuators harness the speed, acceleration and accuracy capability of a linear motor for the latest in high-throughput linear actuator technology. Please visit our website soon for more information. Our team will be happy to assist you!

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Aerotech, Inc. $$$
placeholder image Del-Tron Precision, Inc. Burr Engineering & Development Company Ultra Motion IAI America, Inc. Tusk Direct, Inc. Actuonix Motion Devices Aerotech, Inc.

A controller can be added to pneumatic actuators in order to position the valve according to the demands of the operator. The controller sends an output signal to the positioner that represents the desired position of the valve. The controller is pre-set to maintain a valve position and quickly adjusts in order to correct any deviation of a controlled variable from the setpoint.

With this and many other optional and beneficial features, pneumatic actuators can be used for a multitude of applications, including pushing, lifting, rotating or transporting products or equipment during various manufacturing processes. Industries that benefit from using pneumatic actuators include automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food processing, material handling and electronics.

A typical pneumatic valve actuator mainly consists of a piston, or stem, a spring and valves, also called ports. Operating through a combination of air pressure and spring force, pneumatic actuators transmit energy through the stem. A rubber diaphragm is used to create two separate air chambers in the housing; air is supplied to the upper chamber through an opening in the top of the actuator housing.

Pneumatic Actuators Pneumatic Actuators - Del-Tron Precision, Inc.

The bottom chamber houses the spring, which applies force to the diaphragm to halt mechanical stops in the upper chamber. A local position indicator is attached to the stem about midway through the bottom chamber in order to indicate the valve's position, which is controlled by the upper chamber's varying air pressure. The positioner is a complex device: on the outside is an input connection for the control valve, a supply air connection, a supply air input connection, a supply air vent connection and a feedback linkage; and on the inside is a network of air lines, linkages, valves, necessary adjustments and electrical transducers.

Without air, the spring holds the valve fully open: with an increasing air supply the air pressure‘s force on the diaphragm begins to overpower the spring's force and causes the valve to close. The positioning of the valve relies upon the amount of air supplied to the top chamber. Once the desired position is achieved, the positioner stops changing the air pressuring and holds the valve in place.

Pneumatic Actuator Informational Video