Actuator manufacturer makes a case for hydraulic systems in water industry

Managing director Chris Woodhead: “The market is changing in the way water and … wastewater is processed.”

A British manufacturer is hoping to convince the water industry of the case to be made for alternative actuator technologies, highlighting innovations of its own which are claimed to offer compelling alternatives to electric actuators and conventional hydraulic systems.

Having secured water industry contracts with the utility Thames Water, specialist hydraulic manufacturer Advanced Actuators is now hoping to appeal to the global water industry with an established technology that it says challenges conventional hydraulics and a traditional reliance on electric actuators.

Parts have previously been deployed in products used in mining, oil and gas, and power. It has been adapting its technology for use in the control of water flow, including actuators generating 320,000 kg force to operate penstocks in water and wastewater treatment.

Referring to the firm’s experience with multimillion-pound water treatment contracts, managing director Chris Woodhead said he believed “the market is changing in the way water and specifically wastewater is processed.” He continued: “The days of just dumping wastewater into rivers and the sea are fast disappearing and processes need putting in place to cater for this change.”

His firm’s technology leverages the benefits of hydraulics, he said, such as modulating controls that operate “with little or no wear”. There are also capabilities such as a built-in fail-close feature and adjustable speeds to provide “state of the art water control.” This has demonstrated benefits in the control of water flow without the limitations associated with traditional electric actuators, he said.

Advanced actuator

The Advanced actuator is a fully self-contained, sealed unit, he said, which means contamination can’t get in and oil can’t leak out. It is compatible with biodegradable oil.

Advanced Actuators is offering installation and after-sales services.

“For decades, electric actuators have been the go-to product for engineers and consultants in the water industry. But with today’s technological advances, hydraulic actuators are increasingly being recognised as the smarter option, offering reliability, flexibility and ease of use which bring major labour and cost savings.”

“That’s why we’re urging people to consider whether their equipment is the right fit for the project and whether it is time to explore other technologies which may be better suited to the job.”

Advanced Actuators has clients in sectors including oil and gas, bulk handling, power, water and nuclear. Clients include Shell, Petronas, EDF Energy and BP.

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