5 Most Commonly Used Rotary Actuators and Why You Need to Know about Them

Rotary actuators generate enormous amounts of power, which requires larger power supplies and often requires many parts like cables to control the overall output. Rotary actuators are a type of electric motor used in manufacturing automated machinery, robotics, and industrial machines. It makes them a hassle to implement as designs become more complicated with each new piece added, making it hard for people to keep up with these changes. In addition, they are prone to wear and tear and can cause many problems if they malfunction. In this article, we will touch upon certain aspects of them.

  1. Pitman Actuator

A pitman actuator is one common type of rotary actuator that is used in various industrial designs. It is also called a direct link, lever, or pickoff actuator. The pitman consists of a piston that can move along with a rack component, commonly referred to as the input or output arm. The input and output arms are connected to the pinion at either end.

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The pitman is a locking nut in the middle of the input arm. It enables it to move freely along the arm when it is unlocked. The input and output arms are pushed together or pulled apart when locked. The pitman actuator can be used for various industrial designs and applied in areas such as automation, aerospace design, and robotics.

  1. Gearing Actuator

A gear actuator is another commonly used rotary actuator in various industrial designs and technologies. It rotates a gear with the help of a gear train. A lever is used to connect the gear train to the input for the output to be rotated about the axis. The input and output arms are attached at either end of the gear train. More torque is produced if there are more gears in the system. A shift rail is added to actuate, and it can easily be integrated with industrial designs by designing ramps within it. Gear actuators produce less force than pitman actuators.

  1. Proportional Actuator
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Another common type of rotary actuator used in various industrial designs is the proportional actuator. It is a straightforward and popular design because of its few parts and relatively low cost. It has a piston that can move along with a rack, commonly referred to as the input or output arm. It allows it to actuate between one direction and the other. 

  1. Anti-Backlash Actuator

An anti-backlash actuator works by transferring motion at an angle to an output arm. Two anti-backlash actuators can be used in various industrial designs: the lead screw and the ball screw. Both do the same thing but with different kinds of mechanisms. The lead screw is a hollow tube filled with lead balls, while the ball screw consists of a bobbin that contains steel or bronze balls. 

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The procedure involved in creating both is almost the same; however, due to differences in the composition of each component, there are some slight variations in each. Lead screws use lead weights to move the output arm, while ball screws use balls. The most significant difference between the two is that ball screws can be rotated at a more incredible speed than lead screws, depending on the design. Ball screw types are used in many industrial manufacturing processes for various custom machines.

  1. Rack Actuator

A rack actuator is another rotary actuator used in various industrial designs and applications, especially robotics and hydraulic machinery. The rack consists of engaging cogs that can move along with a chain. It allows it to actuate between one direction and the other path. For the frame to be able to move, a shift rail is added. It can easily integrate with many industrial machines and designs when positioned correctly.

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The Bottom Line

The electric motor is one of the most common mechanisms used in manufacturing processes. The properties that make it so useful make it a massive hassle for designers to use for specific projects. In most cases, electric motors are powered by large amounts of energy that require much larger power supplies and many moving parts involved in their complex design. To use them, they must be integrated into your design, and components explicitly made for them must be made by industrial mockup suppliers.

Founder of this enthusiastic tech blog and a lover of nature, space, future technology, and maybe, a nerd.

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