The Amazing Versatility of Rotary Actuator Use in Various Industries


Rotary actuators can prove to be indispensable in many industries. At IntelLiDrives, you can find a wide selection of motorized rotary actuators, both with worm-gear and belt mechanisms. There are a few different kinds of these actuators, namely hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric rotary actuators — the last one being the most commonly used.

Coming with apertures of plenty of different sizes, various table diameters, motor choices, and mounting options, rotary actuators are an excellent solution for almost any industrial automation application.

They can perform fractional turns, or a limited number of full, 360 degrees turns, and because of their versatility, rotary actuators can find use in many different industries, and listed below are just some of them.

Industrial Robots

Rotary actuators are one of the most essential internal components of any industrial robot. Their compact design allows them to be easily used by engineers to form the muscles, or joints, of a robot, giving it astonishing levels of mechanical stiffness and torque.

Electric rotary actuators for industrial robots allow for an extremely simple setup, precise programmability, and unrestricted rotation. However, they are often a heavier and more expensive option.


When it comes to engineering, rotary actuators are a necessity. While the traditional cylinder mounting can often be impractical because of its weight, motion requirements, and the space needed for its long stroke lengths, the compact rotary actuators prove to be an efficient and simple solution.

Depending on the configuration and specific requirements, rotary actuators usually have a pivot arc of 180 degrees, 360, and can even go up to 720 degrees, making them an excellent solution in engineering.

Steel Industry

Heavy-duty rack and pinion rotary actuators are extremely useful in the steel industry. They’re most commonly used to up-end coils, rollover devices, or turnstiles, and for tilting electrical furnaces.

Rack and pinion rotary actuators allow for extensive swiveling in restrictive building rooms, and they’re ideal for places where there’s demand for high torque. Offering great mechanical efficiency, sometimes going as high as 90-95%, excellent durability, and having the ability to withhold heavy loads, these actuators prove to be very useful in the steel industry.

Oil and Chemical Processing Plants

Oil and chemical processing plants find great uses for rotary actuators, specifically when it comes to turning the flow channels on or off. Multi-directional rotary units can send fuels and crude oil down branching channels, electrical rotary actuators can be used for opening mechanical parts like gates or butterfly valves, and fluid-powered actuators can work as automated processing components in riskier areas.

Marine Operations

When it comes to marine operations, rotary actuators can be used for opening and closing hatches, positioning hydrofoils, controlling steering, operating valves, swinging cargo handling gear, and more.

Because these actuators are highly compact, they can be integrated into any restrictive space. Their internal bearing support provides you both with heavy load holding and high torque generation. They can effectively hold positions without drift, and eliminate all leaking, making them a low-maintenance choice.

Material Handling

The primary uses of rotary actuators in material handling are basket, jib, and platform rotation, steering, and attachment rotation. They can achieve the rotation of 180 to 360 degrees, and even without additional external bearings, they have a great heavy load-carrying capacity.

Rotary actuators can switch conveyors, brake, operate valves and lifting materials, turn and position container clamps on lift trucks, tension and guide, and more.


Created with materials of the highest quality and manufactured with the greatest precision, rotary actuators are extremely useful in construction. These actuators provide high shock resistance, making them extremely durable, and their compact design asks for very low maintenance, making you highly unlikely to experience any machine performance issues.

The main applications of rotary actuators in construction include wheel steering, conveyor positioning, and attachment swing.

Fiber Optics and Photonics

Automating the optical device manufacturing process is made easy with rotary actuators. With plenty of different size apertures, these versatile rotary actuators can prove to be very helpful. They offer high precision, great durability, and a compact design. They can be used as polarized optic rotors, and they are great for aligning fiber optics.

Medical Component Laser Machining

In medical component laser machining, rotary actuators can increase the speed, range of rotation, and precision of motor shaft movement. With them, laser manufacturers can build high throughput and accurate machines, and get ideal solutions for laser cutting and more.


Rotary actuators can be used for so many things, toggle clamping, indexing, opening, closing, pushing, pulling, automated transfer, and more, so they can be a perfect solution in any industry.

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