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Actuator switch delivers 89% energy savings

Actuator switch delivers 89% energy savings

A switch from pneumatic to electric actuation has provided huge energy savings for a Danish fabrics plasticator.

When Danish fabrics plasticator Raaco International was looking to replace its pneumatic cylinders in order to increase performance and reduce energy costs at its plastic welding and injection moulding factory in Denmark, it turned to AVN Tecknik for a solution.

Pneumatic cylinders are susceptible to pressure loss and leakage, and Raaco needed an alternative, being keen to explore the option of switching to an electromechanical solution. “We estimated that Raaco was losing nearly a third of its compression between the compressor and the point of actuation,” said Flemming Blauert, product specialist at AVN Teknik.

As the Danish authorised agent for Thomson Industries, Blauert assessed the installation utilising a Thomson-supplied sizing and calculation tool, and found that the electromechanical actuators offered an 80% efficiency rate compared to just 15% for their pneumatic counterparts. A total cost saving of 613 euros a year per cylinder showed that Thomson’s next generation PC Series electric linear actuators would be able to pay for themselves within three years in energy savings alone. 

A test installation of the Thomson’s PC Series showed further evidence of improvements in performance, productivity and savings. The electromechanical actuators proved to be three times faster than their pneumatic predecessors and required less maintenance. Raaco expected downtime during the transition of up to two days but the process went so smoothly that the actuators were working as intended in a couple of hours. 

Convinced by the potential value that resulted from the test on a key injection moulding application, Raaco has ordered electromechanical replacements for its pneumatic cylinders on all of its injection moulding line and is evaluating application opportunities throughout the rest of its plant. Energy savings, speed, and reduced maintenance were the key factors in Raaco’s decision to convert to Thomson’s PC Series electric linear actuators.

Thomson’s new generation, PC Series electric actuators are optimised to help design engineers convert from pneumatic to electric linear actuation. The units require less maintenance, simplify machine design, offer significant cost savings and are ideal for 100% duty cycle applications that require high accuracy and reliability.

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