Actuator Automation Around the World

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A Brief History

In 2019, extensive automation is practiced in practically every type of manufacturing and assembly process.  Modern technologies allow the productive implementation of automated process control systems in industry. Integrated automation of plants leads to a noticeable increase in production productivity. The electric linear actuators technology plays probably the most noticeable role in the linear motion automation that became the cornerstone of every industrial sphere of implementation. On the basis of linear motion technologies, the range of the most promising startups and projects of the new generation gained popularity and transformed into massive corporations and companies that like a storm swept through the global market giving to people absolutely innovative solutions.

Digging Deeper

Spheres for Linear Actuators Implementation

Linear motion technologies gained extreme popularity in a few most noticeable industrial fields that remain topical during all times despite the global market changes. Among these fields for linear actuators implementation are automobile production, robotics, and space exploration (the car-sized Curiosity rover that has been sent to explore the Martian surface had many build-in linear actuators that provided it with flexible mobility essential for the proper functioning during harsh environmental conditions and zero maintenance after the launch from Earth.) The construction design of electric linear actuators makes them the perfect choice for numerous projects related to eco-friendly energy like windmill power plants and solar power plants. Moreover, due to their technical specifications, electric actuators can be modified so that they can work autonomously providing themselves with all the energy required to function when being attached to the solar power stations. The surplus of the energy generated by these solar panel automated mechanisms is further transferred to special accumulator systems or immediately transported to serve special immediate needs. For Instance, such a power plant operates on the territory of Cochin International Airport that was built in Kerala, India. The airport is considered to be the first airport with a fully autonomous energy system. Last year this airport was even congratulated by The United Nation’s 2018 Champions of the Earth Award for Entrepreneurial Vision. This fact is the pure proof that linear actuator technology helps to make everyday life less complicated and at the same time gives humanity more instruments to fight economical problems, energy deficit, and environmental pollution.   

The Adjustability of Actuator Solutions  

Companies like Progressive Automations provide customers with an opportunity to customize their products to user requirements. In particular, the stroke length, load capabilities, time of full stroke, etc. Special cables and connectors allow easy integration with most of the control systems that are used by the majority of manufacturers. This allows using actuators along with ready-made technologies without any fear to influence their performance. The flexibility of this technology allows using it for off-road equipment construction, food industry, medicine, tracking systems, and building automation, production automation. Also, actuators can be highly protected, and thanks to it to be placed within the environmental conditions where an ordinary motor would make more problems than benefit. Actuators were also perfectly implemented in robotics and continue to be used widely; however, when it comes to robotics actuator solutions require more careful attitude and maintenance. For example, those robots using contractile devices need both contractile and retractile actuators (same pattern as with human skeletal muscles). One actuator moves the load and another, programmed to move in the opposite direction changes the robot’s functional movement allowing it to react and interact properly. This so-called antagonistic set-up allows embodying the two-directional movement in robotics. 

The linear actuators’ implementation to make numerous industrial spheres more effective and productive caused the massive rise in the progress of the global industrial market. Technologies became safer and in some meaning of these words smarter after they were taught when to start their performance and when it would be better to stop. Linear motion automation moves forward and its role in the worldwide industry becomes more interesting. Each day new systems and technologies are born giving electric actuators more space for variations and development.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Lamb, Frank.  Industrial Automation: Hands On.  McGraw-Hill Education, 2013.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Dbarak of typical compact cylindrical linear electric actuator, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland