CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

Living Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti (Editor-in-Chief), Luc Laperrière (Editor-in-Chief), Gunther Reinhart (Editor-in-Chief), Tullio Tolio (Editor-in-Chief), The International Academy for Production


Living reference work entry



Unconventional Actuator Systems

An actuator is a functional element which connects the information processing part of an electronic control system in a technical of nontechnical process. Actuators can be used to control the flow of energy, mass or volume. The output quantity of an actuator is energy or power, often in the form of a mechanical working potential (force times displacement). The actuator control is always achieved using very low electrical power, ideally without any power consumption. (Janocha 2004)

Actuators can be classified as conventional and unconventional actuators. Conventional actuators are commonly used as essential components for mechatronic systems (see Fig. 1 (left)). These are, for instance, electrical motors, pneumatic actuators, hydraulic pistons, or relays.
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Copyright information

© CIRP 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWUChemnitzGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hans-Christian Möhring
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für WerkzeugmaschinenUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany