Electromechanical Actuators

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Electromechanical actuators are needed in a wide range of industries involving the movement of mechanical components. Electromechanical actuators are found most commonly in aircraft, such as helicopters, to allow for the pivoting of the air flaps. The amount of stress placed on these panels is great, and the electromechanical actuators needed to operate them must be equal to the challenge.

Other Applications for Electromechanical Actuators

Electromechanical actuators are useful in any application where rotary motion needs to be converted into linear motion. The manufacturing industry uses such actuators in the construction of robotic elements. Robots on car assembly lines are heavy and need to be rugged enough to do their job. The amount of torque needed for an actuator can often be adjusted to compensate for the needs of the various machines on which it will be used.

So what do actuators look like? They are usually comprised of two or more cylindrical shaped components connected together. To understand more clearly how they work, think of them as some kind of electric door hinge. The rotation of the mechanism inside the actuator allows something connected to it to basically move up and down or side to side, just like the rotating bolt in the door hinge allows the door to freely open and close.

Mechanical Muscle

Most people will go their whole life never needing, seeing, or knowing what an electromechanical actuator does. Most people don't think about the basics of how mechanical operations such as those carried out by actuators works. The necessity for them is as great as our necessity for muscles and tendons that move our limbs from side to side or back and forth as well.


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