Simply put, an actuator is a type of device that receives power and converts the control signal into motion. Aircraft actuators can control many different systems including engine startup, wing flaps, landing gear, and much more. However, actuators are not exclusive to airplanes. In fact, they are present in nearly every industry that involves simple or complex machinery.
To operate, an aircraft actuator needs to receive a control signal and have a source of some form of energy. The most common forms of energy used in actuators including electricity, hydraulics (fluids), pneumatics (air), and sometimes even direct human input.
Once the actuator receives the signal, it uses the available energy to create mechanical motion. More often than not, these systems act as a type of automation.
While there are several types of actuators, NMG specializes in linear actuators, electromechanical actuators, and solenoid valve actuators.