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Fixed Beam Valve Actuator

For over 10 years we have been producing and delivering a packaged fixed-beam actuator for the use in a valve.  Like all of our OEM customers, the design of this actuator came about after working hand-in-hand with our customer.

Challenges of Solenoids 

Typical pneumatic valves utilize a dual solenoid design, but solenoids have a number of shortcomings. Our customer knew a piezoelectric solution would meet all of their critical needs, because;

  • Piezos have no audible noise
  • Piezos have a much faster response time, less than 10 ms
  • Piezos require much less power and are capable of holding a position with virtually no additional power consumption
  • Piezos require less space with a thinner form factor
  • Piezos are an order of magnitude lighter
  • Piezos can be proportionally controlled, not just the binary on/off characteristics of solenoids

The Solution

Our final design delivered a proprietary packaged piezo pneumatic valve that included a packaged resistor for electrically protecting both the drive circuit and the piezo.  This was achieved by encapsulating the raw piezoelectric ceramic between layers of flexible circuits, enabling;

  • A hermetical seal around the wafers - eliminating the moisture issue
  • An electrical connection to the wafers - eliminating the need for solder
  • The design to include features to ease mechanical integration
  • Flat & flexible circuits - making sealing easy and repeatable