"Intrusive" and "Non-Intrusive" Industrial Electric Actuators

"Intrusive" and "Non-Intrusive" in Industrial Electric Actuators

Industrial electric actuators play a pivotal role in automating various industrial processes. These actuators convert electrical energy into mechanical motion to control or move machinery components such as valves and dampers. Regarding "intrusive" and "non-intrusive" in industrial electric actuators, the terms typically address the design and mode of operation, particularly the setup, monitoring, and control aspects. 

Here's a detailed breakdown of the differences:

Design & Configuration:

Intrusive Actuators: These actuators generally require users to open or intrude into the actuator casing or cover for setup, adjustment, or monitoring, meaning the internal components can be exposed to external environments, potentially compromising the actuator's integrity or operation.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: These actuators allow setup, adjustments, and monitoring without physically intruding or opening the actuator's casing, ensuring the internal components remain sealed and protected from external contaminants or potential damage.

Operation & Monitoring:

Intrusive Actuators: Adjustments or calibration typically require direct interaction with internal components, which can be time-consuming and may expose the system to errors or contamination.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: They often come with user interfaces, like LCD touchscreens or push buttons on the exterior, allowing operators to perform setup, calibration, or monitoring without exposing the internal components. Some might even have remote interfaces, facilitating monitoring and control from a distance.

Safety & Maintenance:

Intrusive Actuators: The need to open the actuator for adjustments or monitoring can introduce safety risks, mainly if the actuator is operating in environments with hazardous gases, liquids, or materials. Additionally, maintenance can be more challenging as exposing the internals might allow contaminants to compromise the system.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: These actuators provide a safer operation, especially in hazardous environments, as there's no need to open the casing. Their design also reduces maintenance challenges and improves the actuator's longevity.


Intrusive Actuators: Might be used in applications where regular adjustments aren't required or in environments where exposure risks are minimal.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: Ideal for industries where the actuator's environment has contaminants or hazardous materials or where frequent adjustments or monitoring is essential without compromising safety.


Intrusive Actuators: They might be less expensive initially because they have a more straightforward design without the external interface components. However, potential increased maintenance costs or reduced longevity might offset the initial savings.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: While they might have a higher initial cost due to their advanced design and user interfaces, they can result in savings in the long run due to reduced maintenance needs and extended operational life.

In summary, the primary distinction between intrusive and non-intrusive industrial electric actuators lies in their design and interaction mode. While intrusive actuators require direct access to internal components for setup and monitoring, non-intrusive variants enable these operations without opening the actuator casing and offering increased safety and operational advantages.

Energy-West Controls