Food & Beverage Industry Actuators
E. & J. Gallo Wine
A large California winery purchased over 700 QTRCO stainless steel Q series actuators in 1999 to be installed in a new grape crushing facility. During a subsequent visit with plant maintenance personnel several years later, the maintenance supervisor said of our actuators that “they are bullet proof”. We have never had a failure, they just keep working.
The application has the actuators operating constantly during crushing season and then sitting unused for the remainder of the year. As of late 2015, there still has not been a reported failure with any of these actuators. The total number of cycles over the years is quite high, but equally important is the ability to remain stationary for long periods and yet operate each year with no problems.
A major canned products company has used QTRCO Q series actuators for over 7 years and continues to purchase more for expansion as well as replacement of competitor’s actuators. To date there have no failures.
When first approached this customer had an installed base of hundreds of a stainless steel rack & pinion type actuators manufactured by a competitor. They had constant issues with scoring of the cylinder bores, shafts blowing out the bottom side of the actuator and difficulties removing the end caps as the non-captured springs had to be very carefully decompressed by incremental removal of the end cap fasteners. Each of these issues we directly addressed in the original Q series design specifications.
Offset cylinders eliminate internal cantilever forces that, as described, can cause scoring of the cylinder bores. As cylinders of R&P type actuators are not replaceable, such scoring meant a new actuator had to be purchased.
Pressure balanced shafts eliminated the piston effect that acts on most R&P actuator shafts – due to the area imbalance from top to bottom. Additionally, spring return Q series actuators never apply pressure to the shaft as pressure is applied only between the end cap and piston.
Finally, the Q series, like all QTRCO spring return actuators, incorporates a captured spring design so that disassembly is safe and easy – and if contaminants transferred from the supply pressure damage the cylinder bore, the SR cylinders can be flipped end for end to expose an unused portion of the cylinder to the piston seal. Essentially this is like getting a second cylinder free.