What might be around the next curve for smart actuators? Before suggesting some answers to that question, let’s first discuss how today’s actuators evolved.
Most valve actuators used for isolating valves fall into two main categories, based on the power source used:
- Electrically powered actuators: typically use three-phase power to drive a motorized gear mechanism to operate any type of valve.
- Fluid-powered actuators: use pneumatic, hydraulic or electrohydraulic power on either a rack and pinion or a scotch yoke mechanism for moving a quarter-turn valve.