Actuator Definition: Car Manufacturing


A simple actuator definition for their use in manufacturing

Actuators are used in a variety of different ways for automotive automation in industry. Typically, a power source like an electric motor is connected to a simple machine, often a screw. The power source rotates the screw. The bolt or nut attached to the screw is fastened to the body of the linear motor to prevent it from also rotating. Motion is converted into energy when the nut is driven along the length of the screw. Before deciding on what kind of actuator your automotive project requires, consider the particular application it is to be used for, taking into account speed and force needed.

Because they convert motion of a simple machine such as a screw or axle in energy,  actuators make it possible to control windshield wipers, kickstands on motorcycles and lift the hood of a trunk or car or the cover of a truck bed. They are commonly used in a car's audio system. Automotive uses are numerous and can be found anywhere something must be repositioned up or down, shifted forward or back and moved from side to side.

In the Cars Themselves

A linear actuator can be found in most sections of a car. Under the hood, linear actuators are used for a number of applications including controlling the throttle to regulate engine speed when idling. In exhaust systems, they control fuel vapor flow between the emission system and the intake manifold. Power door windows and locks couldn't function without some type of linear motor. Wherever a task requires lifting, adjusting, tilting, pushing or pulling, these devices make it possible for multiple applications to occur under the hood, in a car door or in the braking system of the automobile. They are also found in recreation vehicles like RVs, motorcycles, and ATVs.

The automotive industry uses actuators extensively. From the assembly line where cars are put together to the robotic arms used in assembling car parts and sections to testing systems and safety features. Automotive industrial applications include them for testing switches, buttons and component quality control. Because they are adaptable to many different applications, automotive uses can be found in both the assembly and operation of cars, trucks and recreational vehicles.

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