An actuator is a highly commonplace device found in many assemblies, allowing for physical movements to be created through the conversion of energy. Utilizing electrical, air, or hydraulic energy to generate mechanical force, actuators are found in machinery, automated systems, motors, processing plants, and so much more. Due to their role in countless assemblies, actuators are faced with typical wear and tear over time. When they begin to show signs of an impending failure, it is crucial that they are efficiently replaced before major issues arise. In this blog, we will discuss the selection process for actuators, allowing you to better manage your existing systems with replacement components.
Before making a purchasing decision, one of the most important first steps is to determine the type of actuator that you have. While electric actuators are fairly common, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators can be more difficult to procure. Despite this, there are some instances in which an electric actuator can serve as a suitable replacement option, so long as all specifications are met for the application and installation. To identify an electric actuator, one should look for a motor and power cord on the unit.
The next important detail to determine is the force rating of the particular actuator, as this value conveys how much power the unit has when pushing or pulling. For operations to continue running smoothly, an actuator that is capable of handling all loads is paramount. Generally, one can refer to device labeling to find force ratings in terms of Lbs or Newtons. While having too low of a force rating is detrimental, one can take advantage of higher force ratings to establish a safety margin.
The stroke of the actuator determines the amount of distance the actuator can move objects, and such information is also presented on the labeling of each unit. If stroke information is not present, then one can measure the total length of the actuator when it is extended, subtracting the value of the unit when retracted. The installation distance is a similar factor to consider as well, and it is defined as the mounting distance that is necessary for the actuator to fit into an assembly and function as intended.
Once the physical details have been narrowed down, determining the electric power rating is important so that the actuator can receive the energy it needs to perform well. In some instances, a peripheral driver and actuator may simply rely on a battery, while others may need to be plugged into a wall. This information is typically present within user manuals, allowing operators to determine between power sources, AC and DC power, and more. Alongside power, the IP rating allows operators to guarantee operability in a particular environment. This is very important as some actuators may not be rated for outdoor applications where they are exposed to harsh environments, potentially leading to increased wear and tear.
After taking all the aforementioned factors into consideration, one can then move towards the purchasing process to replace their aging or defective actuator parts. At Click Aerospace, we are a leading source of hardware components such as actuators, and we have items like actuator regulator parts, actuator valve hydraulic components, peripheral driver and actuator products, and more readily available for purchase from our website at any time. Explore our ever-expanding part catalogs as you see fit, and our team is on standby 24/7x365 for customer quote requests and assistance. With AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation, we stand by the quality of our offerings through every order. Begin sourcing from Click Aerospace today and experience the future of strategic part procurement.
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