A coupling is a device used to connect two shafts together at their ends for the purpose of transmitting power. The primary purpose of couplings is to join two pieces of rotating equipment while permitting some degree of misalignment or end movement or both. In a more general context, a coupling can also be a mechanical device that serves to connect the ends of adjacent parts or objects. Couplings do not normally allow disconnection of shafts during operation, however there are torque limiting couplings which can slip or disconnect when some torque limit is exceeded. Selection, installation and maintenance of couplings can lead to reduced maintenance time and maintenance cost.
An actuator is a component of a machine that is responsible for moving and controlling a mechanism or system, for example by opening a valve. In simple terms, it is a "mover".
An actuator requires a control signal and a source of energy. The control signal is relatively low energy and may be electric voltage or current, pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, or even human power. Its main energy source may be an electric current, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure. When it receives a control signal, an actuator responds by converting the signal's energy into mechanical motion.
Wire rope is several strands of metal wire twisted into a helix forming a composite "rope", in a pattern known as "laid rope". Larger diameter wire rope consists of multiple strands of such laid rope in a pattern known as "cable laid".
In stricter senses, the term "wire rope" refers to a diameter larger than 3/8 inch (9.52 mm), with smaller gauges designated cable or cords.