Actuators for Manufacturing Systems

A section of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Section Information

The advancement of manufacturing technologies measures a nation’s wealth and the quality of human lives. Manufacturing technologies aim to transform raw materials into finished products through a series of manufacturing processes and actions. To meet ever-increasing demands for smart, complex, personalized, and multifunctional products, systems, and devices in broadened applications, manufacturing technologies have been continuously advanced for numerous business transformations at all domains and levels of manufacturing systems. Manufacturing technologies have benefited greatly from the incorporations of newly developed digital technologies such as cyberphysical systems (CPSs), the Internet of Things (IoT), digital twins (DT-I), cloud computing (CC), digital triads (DT-II), additive manufacturing, predictive manufacturing, blockchain technologies (BCT), and big data analytics (BDA). Actuators are usually essential enablers to transform raw materials into products in manufacturing systems. As primary system elements, actuators are required to be integrated with more and more different manufacturing resources in complete production lines to make products precisely, reliably, and cost-effectively. As typical mechatronic products, actuators are required to move and control highly diversified objects with the considerations of more key performance indicators (KPIs) including precision, sensitivity, responsiveness, efficiency, robustness, modularity, and reusability.

Actuators are essential components to any devices or machines. Therefore, the working principles, design methods, and integration methods of standard and special actuators have been investigated widely by researchers in mechanical, electronic, mechatronic, and multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplines. The Section of Actuators on “Manufacturing Systems” aims to report new contributions to applications, integrations, design methods and theories, and case studies of actuators that are closely relevant to advanced manufacturing technologies. The themes of this section include but are not limited to (1) new actuators used in emerging manufacturing such as micro- and nano-manufacturing and additive manufacturing, (2) new devices and machines with innovations on selection, integration, and optimization of actuators, such as self-powered devices, (3) new working principles or designs that show the potentials to increase functionalities or to improve KPIs of actuators such as instrumentations for robust controls, fault detection, and predictive maintenance, and (4) case studies of actuator applications in designing, developing, and controlling systems, products, and devices for manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, defense, and space explorations.

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