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A linear actuator is used in industry to create motion along a straight line. The actuator can be either mechanical, electro-mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic or piezoelectric. Linear actuators are commonly used on CNC machining centers to provide linear motion on all three axes. Other applications include robotics, aerospace, factory automation and medical instrumentation. The linear electric actuator is a very common type of linear actuator which uses an electric motor to convert rotary motion into linear motion. They are commonly used in consumer electronics and in devices which are electrically powered.
Rotary actuators are used in rotary motion applications to either automate processes or apply torque to a desired component. The actuator can be powered through a pnuematic or hydraulic system or can be electrically powered by a servo motor. A valve actuator uses a rotary actuator in order to control the opening and closing of the valve for control processes. They can also be used on CNC machining centers, pick and place machines and 6-axis robots for indexing, gripping and handling purposes.
A pneumatic cylinder uses compressed air inside a contained cylinder to produce a force in a linear motion. As the air expands inside the cylinder, it moves the piston along a desired length. Pneumatic cylinders are known to be quiet, clean, light-weight, and fast. Some of their disadvantages is that they cannot provide large amounts of force and that precise position control is hard to obtain.
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