Electric actuators are a popular choice for factory automation because they offer several benefits over pneumatic actuators.
- Increased energy efficiency: Electric actuators are powered by electricity, which is a more efficient energy source than compressed air. This means that electric actuators use less energy to perform the same functions as pneumatic actuators, resulting in reduced energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint. The cost of producing compressed air is ever increasing as electric rates continue to rise. The cost of the electricity to run an electric actuator is significantly less than the cost of running a compressor to generate the compressed air to cycle a pneumatic actuator.
- Greater control: Electric actuators offer more precise control than pneumatic actuators. This is because they can be controlled using digital signals, which allow for precise positioning and speed control. This makes them ideal for factory automation applications that require precise and repeatable movements.
- Quicker Implementation: With pneumatic actuators adjusting the stroke requires hard stops to be installed. Adjusting those stops can be time consuming when dialing in a precise position. Adjusting the extend and retract positions of an electric actuator on the other hand is as simple and altering the program stored inside the controller. These settings are often times programmable down to 0.001″ increments.
- Improved safety: Electric actuators do not use compressed air, which means there is no risk of air leaks or explosions. This makes them safer to use in a factory automation setting, especially in hazardous environments.
- Longer lifespan: Electric actuators have a longer lifespan than pneumatic actuators because they do not rely on mechanical components that are prone to wear and tear. This means that they require less maintenance and can be used for longer periods of time without the need for replacement, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.
- Greater versatility: Electric actuators can be used in a wider range of environments and applications than pneumatic actuators. They can operate in extreme temperatures, in high humidity environments, and at high altitudes, making them ideal for use in a variety of factory automation settings.
In summary, electric actuators offer increased energy efficiency, greater control, quicker time to deployment, improved safety, a longer lifespan, and greater versatility compared to pneumatic actuators in factory automation. As a result, they are an increasingly popular choice for a variety of factory automation applications.