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Plant manufacture pneumatic actuators and pneumatic automation

Plant manufacture pneumatic actuators and pneumatic automation

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Valve actuators

Pneumatic-cylinder actuators are durable with low initial cost, so have been a staple in factory automation equipment for decades. They are simple, easy to maintain and provide reasonable control over moving axes in industrial plants. The case for switching to electric actuators usually focuses on how motor-based linear motion controls position, speed, acceleration and force with more accuracy and repeatability.

The truth is that electric actuators have both higher performance and initial cost. Plant management may have the most holistic view of equipment TCO because they manage capital equipment and operations budgets.

Ignoring TCO certainly lowers short-term equipment cost, but comes with increased utility costs and maintenance with lower product yield over the long run. How to determine efficiency and electric-utility costs An internet search for pneumatic-system efficiency returns a long list of studies and reports. Almost all concentrate on efforts to make pneumatic systems more efficient. What do these statements on pneumatics mean? For most applications with linear motion, the main difference between electric and pneumatic systems is disparate electric-utility costs.

These factors require constant attention and maintenance, or efficiency suffers. Consider pneumatic cylinders with a 1-in. Simplifying the power costs of a sample application to a few formulas returns a good estimation of the electric utility cost associated with a single axis of motion:. In application 1 , a cylinder with a 1-in. In application 2 , a cylinder with a 3-in. In application 3 , a cylinder with a 5-in.

As with any device consuming electric power, the number of times the device works or cycles directly relates to the amount of electricity it uses. As with most factory-automation equipment, duty cycle is normally high to maximize machine use and plant output. Refer to the table titled, Pneumatic versus electric cost comparison based on duty cycle and kW. Table 1: Pneumatic vs. More on leaks that consume electricity All pneumatic systems or infrastructures leak.

Refer to the pie chart titled, Air supply for production. This and the chart below it show real-world operational costs. According to the U. Search online for the compressed air systems fact sheet for more specifics. Consider the figure titled, The cost of an air leak. Cumulative leaking during peak hours where kWh rates can vary are particularly costly.

Maintenance and replacement Pneumatic actuators rely on tight rod and piston seals to prevent air leaks. As the actuator strokes back and forth thousands or even millions of times, seals eventually wear.

If that results in a leak, it can degrade cylinder efficiency, force output, speed and responsiveness—and can even interrupt manufacturing processes. Maintenance personnel and operators in plants can spend endless hours adjusting the flow or regulation of air into individual devices to get proper operation.

Once this process begins, many plants and manufacturing facilities put pneumatic cylinders on a replacement or repair schedule to get more consistent operation. This takes time, labor and effort for maintenance scheduling and repairs—other TCO factors. Electric actuators need little or no maintenance. Some need occasional re-lubrication, but electric actuators primarily use ballscrews and ball bearings, which let designers make more predictable estimations of service life.

Get better product quality Because cylinder performance declines as seals wear, operators may need to regularly readjust pneumatic cylinders to get repeatable or accurate performance.

Imagine a process that uses a cylinder to cut a product. A pneumatic device needs monitoring and adjustment over time by maintenance personnel or equipment operators to maintain repeatable speed. Or, imagine a process that needs repeatable force to complete a process. In contrast, electric actuators maintain force output over years of operation, and even outperform pneumatic cylinders under the best conditions for the latter, as electric actuators instantaneously develop force.

In contrast, pneumatic cylinders must wait for air pressure to build to get the target force. System vibration can also be a performance concern. Typically, pneumatic cylinders go in bang-bang, end-to-end applications where they move to two positions to perform machine operations. Even though cushions or shock absorbers soften vibration at the end of each move, the motion of pneumatic cylinders is often less controlled than its electric-actuator counterpart.

For example, in inspection or pick-and-place applications where system vibration degrades measurements or causes misplaced parts pneumatic cylinders can send shock and vibration into the mechanical structure of the equipment.

In contrast, electric actuators have full control over the motion profile acceleration and deceleration, position, velocity and force and can prevent introduction of shock or vibration disturbances into the system. Machine changeover and setup time Applications that need product changeovers and multiple setups often benefit from conversion to electric actuators—for example, machines that must accommodate different sizes of different products.

Pneumatics often need rod-lock spacers on the cylinder to move to multiple positions … but adjustment of hardstops or addition of spacers on rods can be time consuming and error-prone, particularly if the installer puts the wrong rod spacers on some or all axes of motion.

Where applications need hard-stop adjustments for pneumatic cylinder positioning, electric-system programming can automate this.

In fact, electric actuators simplify myriad changeover tasks. Operators can use programming to make adjustments on the fly. Electric actuators can move lower-duty-cycle setup axes or they can run high-cyclic process-important axes, thank to complete control over position and motion profiles—acceleration and deceleration, velocity and force.

Usually, setup is through an HMI or batch-process file with little or no operator intervention. Cycle time and throughput Consider the profitability of improving cycle time and overall equipment throughput.

Pneumatic cylinders are typically deployed as two-position devices. During runtime, this means that the pneumatic cylinder must cycle back and forth across its full stroke even if it is not required for the runtime process, which increases production time.

Furthermore, if the pneumatic cylinder must develop force in this process, additional delays result, because the cylinder must build up air pressure to output target force. In contrast, electric-actuators stroke the tooling only as much as is needed not the full stroke to get the tooling out of the way for the product to move into position, saving valuable cycle time.

Electric actuators can also develop force almost instantaneously because their force is directly equivalent to electrical current through the motor. Application Examples Consider two applications that show the TCO for pneumatic and electric actuators.

Stainless Steel and IP69K construction 2. Load: 5 lbf Motion Cycle: Move out mm and back mm in 0. In this real-world example, the facility replaced the pneumatic cylinder every week.

Understanding this is an extreme case, the application calculation above uses a one-month preventative maintenance period where the cylinder is replaced. As stated earlier, pneumatic cylinders are commonly put on preventative maintenance replacement plans which span from one month to one year. Application 2: Resistance spot welding Industry: Automotive Requirements:. Force: 1, to 2, lbf 4. The pneumatic cylinder TCO is more than double that of the electric actuator. Considering that most automotive plants have hundreds of actuators performing welds at any given time, the cost, increased quality and performance along with maintenance savings can be substantial over time.

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Electric vs. Pneumatic Actuators

There is a spring inside the spring return pneumatic actuator. When the air source is disconnected, the spring will automatically reset, providing the power to restore the valve to the initial open or closed state. The body of AOX-P spring return pneumatic acuator is extruded aluminum body with corrosion protection having honed cylinder surface for longer life and low coefficient of friction. AOX-P spring return pneumatic acuator has modular preloaded spring cartridge design,with coated spring for simple versatile range, greater safely and corrosion resistance, longer cycle life.

By integrating smart actuators into their equipment, machine designers give end users the ability to switch motor direction within the actuator itself. This low-level switching capability relieves users of the need to control an external H-bridge, and to install and maintain the heavy wiring needed to support it. Smart actuators require only two wires for power and a few thin control wires for communication with a simple switch, final element, programmable logic controller PLC , or other controller.

Provide Feedback. Pneumatic Actuators are a class of Actuators that use pressure from compressed air to create movement of a piston inside of the actuator cylinder, thus producing the desired motion or positioning of the load. Pneumatic Actuators are capable of precise movement, and can be sized to handle large loads on the order of tens of thousands of pounds. Manufacturer of corrosion-resistant pneumatic actuators for quarter-turn ball and butterfly valves.

Pneumatic Actuators

The debate surrounding the pros and cons of electric and pneumatic actuators has been raging for years and still no easy answer exists. Here, with the help of Bimba Manufacturing, we focus on the core differentiators to help narrow your decision. If there is any significant performance differentiator, it is that electric actuators are better known for their high levels of precision. Though this is not to say pneumatic actuators cannot deliver very precise motion. Again, the issue here revolves around how much precision you really need. For help on this issue, we referred to information from Bob Kral at Bimba Manufacturing Company, a supplier of pneumatic, electric and hydraulic actuators. According to Kral, the choice of pneumatic or electric actuators involves an evaluation of performance, component costs, system costs, and productivity gains. The two technologies are so different that one cannot be a drop-in replacement for the other.

What are Pneumatic Cylinders and Actuators?

Emerson now offers the largest portfolios of actuation and controls products available in the market today. We have the applications experience and customization capabilities to find the optimum solution for your valve automation needs. Actuator technology for best-in class valve control and automation ensuring constant operational safety and reliably. An integrated, turnkey option for the toughest flow-control automation challenges from one supplier.

Pneumatic-cylinder actuators are durable with low initial cost, so have been a staple in factory automation equipment for decades.

Two smaller compressors often are less expensive to run than one larger unit. Photo courtesy Bimba Manufacturing Co. Pneumatic and electric actuators are so different that one cannot be a drop-in replacement for the other. This pneumatic cylinder is available with an optional rod lock, which enables mechanical locking of the piston rod in any position along the stroke.

ISA96.03, Pneumatic Actuators

Intelligent Actuator For 60 years Rotork has used innovation for designing reliable, flexible and robust valve actuators and control systems. Continuing our ethos of evolving design, IQS is the 1-phase version of the IQ actuator.

One product, a valve actuator, may be described by some as simply a black box, having an input power supply or signal , an output torque , and a mechanism or circuitry to operate a valve. Those who select control valves will quickly see that a variety of valve actuators are available to meet most individual or plant wide valve automation requirements. In order to make the best technical and economical choice, an engineer must know the factors that are most important for the selection of actuators for plant wide valve automation. Where the quality of a valve depends on the mechanical design, the metallurgy, and the machining, its performance in the control loop is often dictated by the actuator. The decision to automate a valve is usually based on one or all of the following considerations. Move the valve closure member disc, ball, or plug to the desired position.

Why Use Pneumatics?

Pneumatic cylinders, also known as pneumatic actuators, are the products used to provide linear or rotary motion and force to automated systems, machines and processes, for example in industrial applications. Pneumatic cylinders and actuators are a simple way to achieve force and generate accurate linear and rotary motion and can be used in challenging environments, such as extreme temperatures. Lightweight, and requiring little maintenance, they generally produce less force and a slower speed than hydraulic or electric systems, but remain a cost-effective alternative nonetheless. Key components of a pneumatic actuator include an end cap, a piston, a piston rod, a cylinder barrel, a wiper seal and a cushion sleeve and seal. In a simple circuit, a single acting pneumatic actuator can be operated by a button. When this button is pushed, the air moves the piston rod outward. The pneumatic actuator will use the compressed air to act on a piston inside the cylinder in order to create the required motion, for example clamping, or moving a load along a linear path. The end application can be as varied as a specific device like a gripper or clamp to a vacuum cup used to handle glass.

Find your valve actuator easily amongst the products from the leading brands pneumatic valve actuator / 90° / double-acting / rack-and-pinion ARP series.

The Group offers MerSETA-accredited training programmes and courses for hydraulics, pneumatics and automation aimed at various degrees of specialist operation. We also offer eLearning programmes. Omal pneumatic actuators are accurately designed and engineered, and have a state-of-the-art production line dedicated to their fabrication.

Bottling plant improves efficiency with electric actuators

The report covers the smart pneumatics market segmented by component, type, industry, and geographic region. The smart pneumatic actuators segment is expected to hold the largest share of the market by Smart pneumatic actuators use sensors and other electronics to provide operational feedback such as speed, force, end-of-travel, stroke length, and cycle time to controllers. The collected data enable condition monitoring to determine if an actuator is performing as intended.

Electric actuators vs. pneumatic cylinders: Total cost of ownership

In manufacturing facilities, compressed air is so widely used that it is often regarded as the fourth utility after electricity, natural gas and water. The main reasons are lower upfront and maintenance costs, which combine to make pneumatics the most popular and cost-effective choice for executing mechanical motion. Linear power transmission is typically done with fluid pneumatic with air or hydraulic with oil or electric power. In electric power systems, electromechanical devices such as belts, pulleys, chains, sprockets and clutches convert rotational motion from motors to linear force.

We bring together highly specialized companies that develop and manufacture control valves to meet all requirements, from forged ball valves to bypass valves installed in steam turbines.

Industrial automation has been a natural part of any process industry for decades. It increases productivity and profitability and contributes to higher quality, more flexibility and additional safety. Industrial automation allows companies to run a manufacturing plant for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, days a year. This leads to a significant improvement in the productivity and profitability of the company.

Spring Return Pneumatic Actuator

Interest is growing in using electric motor-powered actuators for process control. Pneumatic actuators have been the dominant technology for almost a century; they were in use prior to World War II. The rapid advances in boiler controls precipitated by the war secured their position as the dominant technology for powering and controlling the process valves. With the advent of advancements in control such as the introduction of milliamp control signal technology and later digital BUS technology, pneumatic control positioners have kept pace with the advancing control requirements for pneumatically powered actuators. However, the sensitivity of this equipment required an improvement of air quality to the current instrument air quality levels that preclude moisture, oil vapor and particulates. Meanwhile, the other plant requirements for instrument-grade air have all but disappeared, having been replaced with mA or digital control technology.

Industrial Automation Products. Pneumatic and electric automation products from actuators to servo motors to sensors and valves. Process automation Products.

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