5 steps to choose the right portable actuator

6 December 2016

PVA Technical characteristics

Portable actuators are the must-have tool for industry operators to open and close all types of manual valves quickly, efficiently and safely. Our modular range offers greater choice and flexibility.

You can build a portable actuator that meets your exact requirements, by selecting each individual part for its specific function. So, how does our modular range work?

Step 1: Choose your motor

Our portable actuators are available with an air motor, an electric motor or a petrol powered motor. There is no difference in performance, the choice is simply a question of practicalities.

  • For example, if the portable actuator will be used in a humid or fire-sensitive environment, it is best to choose an air motor.
  • If operators are working in a residential area, they may wish to avoid smoke and noise, in which case they won’t opt for the petrol motor.
  • On the other hand, if they are working in a remote area and need to carry the energy supply, a fully charged battery for an electric motor or a can or two of fuel for a petrol motor will be easier to carry than a supply of compressed air.

Similarly, certain industries have a ready supply of a particular energy source which may also influence their choice. A simple assessment of the working environment and the tasks for which the portable actuator is to be used will lead you to make the right choice.


Download the portable valve actuators catalogue


Step 2: Choose your gearbox

The choice of gearbox depends on what you want the actuator to do. What kind of valve does it need to turn? What is the function of your equipment?

We have three different gear boxes that fit with any of our motors: easy duty, standard duty and heavy duty.

  • For actions that require a fast speed and a low torque, for example a valve that is easy to open but requires a high number of turns, then our light-weight model - the easy duty gearbox - is what you need.
  • For a medium speed and medium torque, choose the standard duty.
  • Or for a slow speed and a high torque that allows you to turn with a strong slower rotation, the heavy duty gearbox is the one for the job.

Step 3: Choose your head

Our range includes a straight head, a right-angled head or a hollow head. Which one you choose depends on the position of the valve. If the valve is sideways on directly facing the operator, the simplest way to hold the portable actuator is face on with a straight head.

  • If it is on top of the equipment, a right-angled head will allow you to stand alongside while holding the actuator.
  • To open and close valves with a rising stem, choose the hollow head that allows the stem to pass through. The hollow head might also be the right option, even if there is no rising stem, if the rotation requires a very high torque as this head acts to decrease the speed, providing an additional reduction ratio.

Step 4: Choose your adaptor

The choice of adaptor is dictated solely by the valve hand-wheel – its size, the number of spokes or teeth it has, its shape (flat or tapered).

Or, if there is no hand-wheel, we have a square shaft adaptor to which you can fix any size socket to turn any type of nut.

We have a comprehensive range of adaptors so you can be sure to find the one you need.

Step 5: Put the blocks together and hey presto!

All the modules are fully functional with each other, so once you have chosen each part of the actuator to suit your specific needs, simply fit them together to make your perfect tool.

It’s that easy.


Nouveau call-to-action


Bruno Martin
Bruno Martin

Subscribe to the blog!