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Pneumatic actuators and electric actuators have been more and more widely used in industrial automation. Represented by cylinder, the application of pneumatic actuators in the field of electric actuators, due to the simple system, low cost of components, high pneumatic actuator quality and easy maintenance, etc, has been gradually expanded since the 1970s. Now, it has formed the size of the market of global annual sales of about $11 billion and an important role in car industry, semiconductor manufacturing industry. However, since the oil and energy problem is prominent today, the problems such as the high cost of operation energy consumption and low pneumatic actuator quality have caused the attention of people. Compared with pneumatic actuator quality, electric actuator has a higher rate of energy conversion and lower running cost, but the components are more expensive, about 3 to 8 times of that of pneumatic actuators. On the choice of actuators, there is still a controversy at home and abroad and no sufficient data can be used to discuss the standard of the choice.
In terms of the life cycle theory, considering the pneumatic actuator quality and total cost of electric actuators in the entire life cycle, let’s compare the total energy consumption and the total pollutant emissions on the basis of comprehensive comparison and analysis. And then we might be able to provide enterprises with basis for actuator selection.
This research aims to make the comparison of pneumatic actuator quality, energy consumption and pollutant emissions. The three aspects of the calculation model of two systems are offered, which covers the initial purchase actuator system, operation/maintenance, as well as the cost of waste treatment and corresponding process, energy consumption and pollutant emissions. As for the whole life cycle cost of pneumatic actuators, we can define the whole life cycle as the process from the purchase, use/maintenance to scrap/recovery.
Since there are a variety of energy units and physical forms, when carries on the energy statistics, the different energy is converted into standard coal and the equivalent thermal or equivalent conversion coefficients are available. Dynamics are important features of the product whole life cycle energy consumption, so product energy analysis must consider the dynamic performance. Energy consumption goes through the stages of product whole life cycle.
Since the pneumatic actuator quality is different in different stages of life cycle and the relation of energy is not the same, decompose the life cycle, make the energy analysis for each phase and establish the corresponding energy function, so as to get quantitative model in different stages of the life cycle energy consumption. If pneumatic actuator quality has problems, the energy consumption of repair process is mainly for the replacement of spare parts and energy consumption during maintenance operation. Repair operation can be regarded as the installation process again, while the replacement of parts is composed by its life cycle energy consumption and energy consumption change times and parts service life of the decision. However, the maintenance caused by accidents is not considered.
From the life cycle theory, this article presents the whole dynamic total life cycle cost and comparative method of pneumatic actuator and electric actuator as well as the total energy consumption and the specific calculation formula of the total pollutant emissions. Thus, we have provided people with referential basis for the comprehensive comparison of two actuators.