Through the history of manufacturing and industry we have seen multiple revolutions; the most recent evolution in this area is known as Industry 4.0 – and it sees the automation and digitisation of a huge amount of manufacturing and automation processes.

In recent years the world has become more aware of the environmental impact of these stages of revolution, and conscious efforts have been made to reduce the impact on the environment as well as protecting against future damage. This means that, whilst we strive towards technological advancement, we are also looking to find cost effective, safe ways to reduce the potential harm we might cause to our environment as we maintain rivers and canal systems.

“A core area of expertise for ADE-WERK is the development of electric linear actuators for the operation of sluice gates in shipping canals. Since the first installation in 1995, there are now over 900 drives of this type supplied by ADE-WERK in use throughout mainland Europe. The growing trend to utilise electric actuators instead of traditional hydraulics have been fuelled by the environmental benefits and operating cost reductions.”

As the UK Agent for ADE-WERK, Drive Lines have worked with companies throughout the UK on water management programmes. We feel it’s vitally important that we recommend and supply components which will not only deliver on the goals of the application – whether it be to automate, control and manage canals and rivers or in water waste management – but also to do so safely, in a way which doesn’t negatively impact the natural environment.

Past applications in this area have relied heavily on hydraulic components – and we recognise that there is potential for great harm to the environment with these: hydraulic oil from hoses and cylinders or lubricants could leak, which could contaminate the waters the application is there to protect. Opting for electro-mechanical linear actuators instead reduces that risk thanks to their fully enclosed design, with high grade seals and no hydraulic hoses required. Additional benefits include reduced maintenance costs long-term with a long service life for these components, as well as long interval lubrication, offering you peace of mind. The efficient mechanical drive system only requires power in operation, which also brings you lower energy costs for using these components – which is not only a financial saving, but an additional environmental benefit.

This is why we are proud to work with ADE-WERK, and to supply clean, safe linear actuators for applications in water management environments. These linear actuators bring trusted control and – as Industry 4.0 rolls out – can be controlled via digital and remote control systems which bring further management benefits and peace of mind.

We have more details on these components, and on the projects we’ve supported across the UK, on our Waterways: Rivers and Canals page where you can also find brochures, CAD models and information on the control systems we recommend.