How to Select a Rack and Pinion and Scotch Yoke Actuator

scotch yoke actuator

The valve manufacturing industry is worth $50 billion today. This industry is important because so many different processes rely on them for productivity and efficiency.

Industrial businesses often use rack and pinion and scotch yoke actuator products as part of their setup. If you’re in the market for some new actuators, it’s vital that you first learn the differences between them, and then follow the optimal steps for finding the right fit.

The tips below will help you out.

What Is a Rack and Pinion Actuator?

When looking for valve actuators and other industrial products, you need to understand the purpose and specifications of any type that you’re interested in.

An actuator valve is an industrial part that converts energy into kinetic motion. The two main motions that actuators create are linear and rotary. The linear motion goes back and forth or in straightforward motions on a linear plane. Rotational motions are circular or semi-circular.

Rack and pinion actuators combine both worlds by involving multiple gears – one moving in a linear path, and the other creating a rotational motion. These actuators are pneumatic and are typically powered by air pressure.

How can you buy a rack and pinion actuator?

Understand Your Application


First, make sure you know what you’re hoping to accomplish with your actuators. The automobile industry is one of the main business fields that uses rack and pinion actuators for its steering mechanisms. It uses fluid process technology so that you’re getting several degrees of rotational travel for smooth movements.

From an industrial standpoint, rack and pinion actuators use energy and motion to open and close system valves. There are several other industries that use these applications, such as the pharmaceutical industry, natural gas and oil plants, water treatment, chemical plants, and others. Know what you’re hoping to accomplish and it will help you find the correct option.

Shop for the Best Price

When you need pneumatic air pressure actuators, study the specifications to know the type of equipment you’re buying. There are different variables that might drive the price up for an actuator. Compared to scotch yoke actuators, rack and pinion actuators tend to be more expensive.

Explore all of your options with professionals to find prices that give you a return on investment (ROI). This is especially important if you’re looking to purchase several rack and pinion actuators for your industrial plant.

Find an Actuator That Is Reliable

Reliability is essential when shopping for rack and pinion actuators. When discussing the part with professionals, ask about the longevity you can expect and options for warranties. Attach a warranty to the actuator so that you get repair work and maintenance if it happens to malfunction. This is critical to your industrial system since these parts directly control the opening and closing of valves.

Research the testing requirements of your actuator and make sure that they are up to date with today’s standards. This not only keeps you in compliance, but your machinery also does not miss a beat.

What Is a Scotch Yoke Actuator?

The scotch yoke actuator is another common type that you’ll want to get to know when you’re in the market. It’s a type of actuator that uses the scotch yoke mechanism, which accounts for a 90-degree rotation.

These 90-degree turns are created based on linear force and also feature reciprocating motion. Here’s how you can find the right scotch yoke actuator:

Consider the Size and Output

With a scotch yoke actuator, you are finding a part that needs to generate enough linear force. Consider the distance that the parts must travel and study the specifications to make sure you’re finding the right actuator. This is critical since they tend to get upward of 1 million cycles. Look into other specifications like air pressure, torque, and size.

The actuator must operate at your system’s minimum supply pressure, in addition to upholding safety standards.

Find the Price and Manufacturer

You’ll also need to shop for prices to find a scotch yoke actuator that suits your budget. Consider the number of actuators you’ll need for your industrial setup so that you can buy as many as you need to scale your operation.

Reach out to a few different shops to get the best price. Choose a manufacturer that is vetted and has actuator parts with high life cycles. Find out if they also add warranties for their actuators so that you can get repairs when you need them.

Look Into Different Features

Finally, make sure that you also consider any features that will help you get the best from your scotch yoke actuator. Some of the features that you can look into include manual override, anti-corrosion, spring return, and double action.

Consider what works best for your system, and find a manufacturer or shop that can field any questions that you have.

Select the Best Actuators

Whether you’re looking for a rack and pinion or scotch yoke actuator, these tips will help you out. These two parts are among the best options on the market and will help you with any industrial function that you’re looking into.

The only thing left to do is find the help of a company that has these parts in full supply.

At Anything Flows, we’re happy to provide you with the high-quality valves, gearboxes, and other products that you need. Send us a message or give us a call at (832)987-3494 for more information.