Actuators and drives

Actuators and drives

For factory automation, Festo offers actuators and drives for an extremely wide variety of applications. In addition to pneumatic drives, which are particularly easy and cost-efficient to commission, we also offer servo-pneumatic positioning systems for controlled pneumatic positioning technology as well as electric actuators for flexible linear or rotary positioning. For example, our actuators and drives are used in numerous branches of industry as the centerpiece in pneumatic and electrical control and drive technology.

Use of actuators and drives

Classic areas of application for pneumatic drives are mechanical movements such as clamping, lifting, lowering, gripping, stopping and many more. Due to air being a compressible drive medium, servo-pneumatic drives are mainly used in "soft" positioning technology. Typical areas of application for electric drive technology can be found throughout automation technology, especially in the field of positioning.

Pneumatic cylinders

At Festo, the range of pneumatic cylinder drives includes piston rod cylinders and rodless cylinders (linear drive), swivel cylinders, tandem, multi-position and stopper cylinders as well as clamping and tensioning cylinders, drives with linear guidance, and bellows and diaphragm cylinders. In the range, we offer many standards-based cylinders with standardized dimensions and mounting interfaces. With regard to these dimensions, standards-based cylinders of the same standard are identical. There are standards for piston rod cylinders in round design (ISO 6432), in compact design (ISO 21287) and for profile and tie rod cylinders (ISO 15552).

Pneumatic cylinders

Servo-pneumatic positioning systems

As the global market leader in servo-pneumatic systems, Festo now presents the third generation of servo-pneumatic drive systems. Our systems always consist of a cylinder with displacement encoder, a proportional directional control valve and a positioning controller/axis controller, and we also offer separate displacement encoders, sensor interfaces as well as cables and accessories. The systems are particularly attractively priced when masses > 10 kg are moved.

Servopneumatic positioning systems

Electric actuators

In the field of electric actuators, we offer electric axes, cylinders and mini slides, as well as electric semi-rotary drives and stoppers, handling modules and accessories for electric actuators. In addition to the differentiation of the drive type, such as spindle drive or toothed belt drive, the guide plays an important role. Here, we usually distinguish between plain-bearing guide, recirculating ball bearing guide and roller guide. The electromechanics are characterized above all by robustness and rigidity as well as precision and dynamics. For example, linear mechanics achieve speeds of up to 10 m/s, accelerations of up to 50 m/s² and a repeatability of +/-15 µm. Strokes up to 8.5 m are available as standard.

Electric drives

FAQs - frequently asked questions explained easily

How do pneumatic drives work?

In a pneumatic cylinder, compressed air is used to exert force on a cylinder piston and thus move it in a specific direction. The motion of the piston is transmitted to the parts to be moved via the piston rod or magnetic friction closure. A pneumatic cylinder is an actuator operated with compressed air usually up to a maximum of 12 bar to generate a linear or rotary motion. A distinction must be made between single-acting and double-acting cylinders (work is performed only in one direction or in both directions).

How does servo-pneumatic positioning technology work?

At Festo, servo-pneumatics stands for controlled pneumatic positioning technology. Servo-pneumatics is always a system with which a pneumatic cylinder can move to a preset target position in a position-controlled manner or generate a preset target force in a force-controlled manner. Because air is a compressible drive medium, servo-pneumatics are the "soft" positioning technology. If the actuator is controlled in its position, it can be pushed away by a correspondingly large external force.

How do electric actuators operate?

In the case of electric actuators or electromechanical drive technology, a distinction is made between linear and rotary drives. An electric motor (servo or stepper motor) drives a toothed belt or a spindle, which in turn moves a slide in a linear direction. In semi-rotary drives and rotary modules, the electric motor directly drives the internal rotary mechanism. The servo or stepper motor is controlled via corresponding servo drives.