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Rotary Actuators

Rotary Actuators


Numatic Engineering partners with some of the most trusted manufacturers in pneumatic automation components including Bimba, SMC, and Turn-Act. Combining the products we sell with our value-added services gives us the cutting edge above our competitors to be your premier resource for all actuator configurations.

Though there are many types of rotary actuators, the two most common style of rotary actuators are “rack and pinion” and “vane style”.  Rotation angles can range from just a few degrees to 360 degrees. Specialty rotary actuators can be designed to travel in excess of 360 degrees. Rotary devices may also combine linear motion, making them a compact and efficient solution to your rotation needs. These styles of actuators are commonly known as “Combination Actuators”. They offer integrated solutions for clamping, gripping and simple extended linear delivery.

Rack and Pinion Rotary Actuators utilize a rack and pinion gear system to transform a linear motion into a rotary motion. The rotary motion is always perpendicular to the linear motion. The ability to create high rotational forces within a compact area exists in this configuration of rotary actuators. Slides and grippers can be easily mounted or integrated into these devices, creating compact and efficient “pick and place” solutions.

Rack and Pinion Features:

  • Low break away (low friction)
  • Quality performance at an economical cost
  • Available in single rack or double rack design
  • Potential for double torque output
  • Three position design offers one mechanical stop within full rotation
  • Position feedback available to identify the location during rotation
  • Maximum rotation of 1080°

Vane Style Rotary Actuators utilize a rotor (or vane) that is attached to the output shaft of the device. Rotary motion is created by air pressure being applied to either side of the vane, causing to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. This rotary motion is always axial around the output shaft. The force output of the Vane style rotary actuator is dependant of the bore and length of the vane and housing. Slides and grippers can be easily mounted or integrated into these devices, creating compact and efficient “pick and place” solutions.

Rotary Vane Features:

  • Zero backlash (no loss of motion)
  • Precise repeatability
  • Continuous full torque throughout rotation
  • Position switches
  • 16 base models
  • Torque outputs from 87 in.lbs to 1000 in.lbs
  • Rotations of 45°, 90°,180° and 270°

Combination Actuators involve integrating rotary and linear movements. Depending on your application requirement several configurations are offered. Clamps for force holding applications are a common application. Clamps can be supplied in many force strengths, strokes and rotation angles. If simple linear travel is required to deliver your rotated load, a variety of bore sizes, strokes and rotational angles are available. If you are in need of gripping and rotating something, standard models are available, combining slides and grippers into the rotary motion.

As part of the basics in motion control, rotary actuators are a much needed component. Without the correct actuator, your application will not run smoothly, or not at all. Numatic Engineering will take you through the process of choosing the rotary actuator that is right for your application.  We’ll listen to your application specifications to determine which rotary actuator you need.  

With our 50+ years of application experience Numatic Engineering is your premier resource for pneumatic automation components in southern and central California. Fill out our online form for more information regarding any of our products or call us today at 800-AIR-CYLS to request an order!