The advantages of switching from pneumatic to servo actuators

Jul 29, 2013

Switching from pneumatic to servo actuators provides some advantages. A pneumatic actuator has a long service life with proper maintenance, delivering two to three times the amount of welds over a lifetime. Servo actuators cuts down on maintenance costs and improves the cycle time.


There are two com­mon kinds of actu­a­tors that can be used in spot weld­ing guns – pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tors and ser­vo actu­a­tors. While either kind of actu­a­tor will get the job done, there are some advan­tages to going with a ser­vo actuator.

One of the first advan­tages is the ser­vice life of each kind of actu­a­tor. A pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tor has an accept­able ser­vice life if it is prop­er­ly main­tained. How­ev­er, even with pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance, man­u­fac­tur­ers will get an aver­age of 3 mil­lion welds out of a pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tor. A ser­vo actu­a­tor can achieve two to three times that many welds over a life­time, depend­ing on the type and the dis­tance traveled.

Along with the ser­vice life is the main­te­nance require­ments for each actu­a­tor. Pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tors have cylin­der rebuild­ing, air fil­tra­tion and lubri­ca­tion main­te­nance. An elec­tric ser­vo weld­ing actu­a­tor has none of that main­te­nance involved, which cuts down on main­te­nance costs, sav­ing the man­u­fac­tur­er money.

The ser­vo actu­a­tor also has the advan­tage of faster move­ment, which reduces the cycle times. Pneu­mat­ic sys­tems have to ful­ly open and close dur­ing oper­a­tion, which gives them the bang-bang” nick­name. They also need squeeze time, while ser­vos do not.

One way that pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tor does win over the ser­vo actu­a­tor is in the price. Pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tors are less expen­sive. But, when you have to change the pneu­mat­ic actu­a­tor two to three times in the lifes­pan of one ser­vo actu­a­tor, it works out that the ser­vo is actu­al­ly the cheap­er of the two.

Robots​.com, a cer­ti­fied inte­gra­tor of robots from Fanuc, Motoman, ABB, Uni­ver­sal Robots, and KUKA, has sev­er­al new and refur­bished robot mod­els avail­able that can be used for spot weld­ing and fit­ted with ser­vo actu­a­tors. Ser­vos can be eas­i­ly pro­gram, which means that almost any 6‑axis spot weld­ing robot can be retro­fit­ted with ser­vo actuators.

For more infor­ma­tion about how Robots​.com can help you inte­grate your spot weld­ing appli­ca­tion with ser­vo actu­a­tors, con­tact us today online or at 8777626881.

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