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What Is a SKF Actuator?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
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SKF actuators are a family of electromechanical actuators manufactured by the SKF company. These actuators form part of the SKF Group's larger family of linear motion solutions products and includes several subcategories, including telescoping pillars, control units, and accessories. These products generate linear or rotary motion used to actuate a huge variety of industrial process components, vehicle systems, and engineering machine functions. Most are driven by electric motors which transfer their rotary motion to the actuators linkages via gear arrangements. The entire SKF actuator range includes a wide variety of sizes, output ratings, and voltages to meet a variety of application requirements.

Electromechanical actuators are devices designed to produce a predictable, set range of motion when activated. This motion is then used to actuate various other processes. These processes can range from heavy industrial component activation such as the opening or closing of large conveyor chute doors, to tiny, highly precise engineering machine adjustments. The SKF group is the manufacturer of a well-known range of this type of electromechanical actuator. Examples of the SKF actuator family are to be found in an extensive range of industries, which include heavy industry, agriculture, and engineering, as well as automotive and chemical.

The SKF actuator product family includes a number of subcategories. These include linear actuators which provide straight line motion for the actuation of doors, machine parts, shutters and vents, and vehicle systems, among others. Another of the SKF actuator subcategories is the rotary actuator group, devices that provide rotary actuation motion and are used on machine adjustment mechanisms, industrial process components, and automotive systems. The SKF group also produces a range of telescoping pillar actuators capable of supporting and lifting extreme loads. Other product subcategories include control units and accessories meant to integrate with the SKF actuator range of products, including multiple output control units, foot switches, and precision motion transfer slides.

The majority of the SKF actuator range are driven by electric motors which are available in single or three phase alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) models. A wide range of power outputs and voltage selections are also available. Motion transfer in these types of actuators is achieved via precision gear drives that deliver excellent input-to-output power ratios, superior reliability, and ease of maintenance. Gear train types commonly used include planetary, worm and rack, and pinion systems. SKF also uses a ball and roller system in some of its actuators that allows for very compact and efficient actuation packages.

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