News & Content Archive

Penstock flow control in World’s First ‘Electric Town’ with variable speed AUMA Actuation

Added - 22.03.2021

The small Scottish town of Kinlochleven has an extraordinary claim to fame as the first place in the world in which every home was connected to electricity. That was courtesy of a 1907 hydroelectric dam project that generated power for the aluminium smeltery near the town.

Three auxiliary spillways feeding the power plant were mothballed in the late 1960s. Waterflow control specialists Aquatic Control Engineering (ACE) were subsequently tasked with the reinstatement of the spillways, as part of a new drive for local green energy. ACE chose AUMA variable speed electric actuators to drive key penstocks that optimise water flow through the dam system, increasing efficiency and reducing energy requirements.

Paul Hopkins, Managing Director, AUMA Actuators Limited, says: “This project has been an excellent collaboration with Aquatic Control Engineering. Our variable speed electric actuators allow highly accurate levels of flow control when opening and closing penstocks.  

“Maximum efficiency requires that the culvert supplying the hydroelectric station is operated ‘almost full’. This is measured by a water level sensor that signals the AUMA AC intelligent control via a control panel. The AUMA actuator drives the penstock open or closed, and the opportunity to slow the cycle as the penstock reaches the end of the close cycle introduces a degree of self-cleaning for the penstock.”

AUMA SAV variable speed actuators can both start and stop at low speed, increasing through the mid part of the actuation cycle. This means that the inrush current as the cycle starts is tiny compared with a high torque, ‘full-speed’ start. 

The generation plant operates 24/7 and the penstocks are extremely remote so a relatively simple, uninterruptible power supply is used to cover for any loss of power, significantly reducing cabling costs and the overall cost of the project.

The 6 km of concrete aqueduct and 13 km of steel pipe through which water flows to the hydroelectric station are operated to maintain ‘almost full’ flow through a box culvert at the power station end. In the early days, this was a full-time manual job, with an operator remotely stationed to raise and lower penstocks and keeping them clean. This level of intervention contributed to the plant becoming uneconomic and falling into disrepair, closing in the late 1960s. 

In 2016 the current smelter owners SIMEC, supported by Green Highland Renewables, were able to make a substantial investment to bring the hydro power plant back to full operation and boost electricity generation to 27.5 MW.

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Quantum leap for AUMA Commissioning and Diagnostic Tool software

Added - 12.01.2021

A new, entirely redesigned version of AUMA Actuators Limited’s proven AUMA Commissioning and Diagnostic Tool (CDT) is now available. The new AUMA CDT version 2020 allows fast and easy setup, operation and diagnostics of AUMA actuators using a Windows laptop.

The modern user interface and comprehensive functions of AUMA CDT help to save time and cost during commissioning, maintenance and troubleshooting. Originally designed for AUMA’s own service experts, the high-performance software tool also offers most functions to registered users. These include setting of tripping torques and end positions, modification of actuator parameters and remote actuator control. The new version also allows users to create service requests and to upload snapshot files with actuator data to the AUMA Cloud for detailed analysis.

Profibus and Modbus master functions are available for control system integration. Comprehensive diagnostic functions, such as a powerful process data monitor and an I/O interface simulator, reduce service times.

The new version of AUMA CDT benefits from a fully optimised communication protocol for Bluetooth connection to the actuator, resulting in considerably faster data transmission. A new centralised AUMA user management system improves protection against unauthorised access.

AUMA CDT supports SA and SQ actuator series with AC 01.2 actuator controls as well as SGx and SVx actuator series. The new version also supports the new PROFOX actuators.

The redesign of the AUMA CDT software underpins the company’s continuous commitment to provide users with the best support tools possible for operating AUMA actuators.

A new version of the AUMA Assistant App for smartphones and tablets is also available. Version 4.0 also provides fast Bluetooth communication and supports AUMA PROFOX actuators.

AUMA CDT is available free of charge from the Software download page. AUMA Assistant App is available free of charge on Google Play and in the Apple App Store.

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AUMA Actuators Reports Strong UK Trading Results in 2020

Added - 16.12.2020

Weathering the storm of COVID19 and the disruption of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, AUMA Actuators Limited, the UK trading business of AUMA Group, reports its 2020 sales performance is on budget, with profit performing above target.

AUMA Actuators Limited supplies electric actuators, drives and controls to the water and wastewater sector, oil and gas, energy and processing industries. Performance has been boosted by the company’s preparedness for Brexit, with increased inventory in place prior to the onset of this year’s global pandemic.

Paul Hopkins is managing director, AUMA Actuators Limited. He says: “I’m delighted to share these extremely positive results with our valued partners and employees. We are all aware, 2020 has been no ordinary year for business. As a subsidiary of AUMA Group, our unique sole supplier status has enabled us to deliver products and spares with reduced lead times, at a moment when global supply chains have been severely disrupted.   

“Our excellent performance is the combination of the focus and application of our dedicated team, along with an excellent range of innovative solutions, plus increased demand from customers seeking responsive service and supply. We are an extremely resilient operator, backed by a global parent business, a simplified supply chain and excellent planning.”

On the subject of Brexit, Paul Hopkins continues: “With a number of vaccines now in circulation, we hope that trading in the UK will soon begin to normalise. The UK’s exit from the EU clearly presents a number of challenges, for which we are well prepared. Conversations with our parent company have provided huge reassurance in terms of a seamless transition. We are, and continue to be, here working for our customers, regardless of whatever the economy throws our way.”

AUMA Actuators Limited assembles and supplies its range of actuator solutions from its warehouse and distribution centre in Clevedon, just south of Bristol and close to the M5 for fast, nationwide delivery.

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AUMA TIGRON actuators: The new actuator for the oil and gas industry

Added - 25.11.2020

AUMA’s new TIGRON actuators are designed to meet the exacting requirements of the global oil and gas industry. Building on AUMA’s more than 50 years of experience as a leading electric actuator manufacturer, TIGRON combines the highest level of explosion protection, robust design, outstanding ease of operation, and the latest trends in digitalisation. The versatile all-rounder provides safe and reliable valve automation across all application sectors, including oil and gas production, pipelines, tank farms and refineries.

Safe and robust
TIGRON actuators are ATEX and IECEx certified for the highest gas group IIC, which includes the highly flammable hydrogen. Other approvals will follow. The actuators are designed to withstand the harshest environmental conditions, covering a particularly wide temperature range from –65 °C to +75 °C. IP68 enclosure protection and AUMA’s extremely resistant powder coating protect effectively against tropical downpours, ocean spray and desert sandstorms.
For installation in hard-to-reach locations or where vibration is a problem, the controls can be mounted separately, up to 100 m away from the actuator. TIGRON actuators will also be available in SIL versions.

Powerful electronics, innovative sensor systems and a wide variety of interfaces ensure that TIGRON is future-proof as digitalisation advances. Data upload to the AUMA Cloud facilitates predictive maintenance. Low standby power consumption reduces the actuator’s carbon footprint and decreases operating costs.

Easy to use
Excellent usability is another feature of TIGRON actuators. Particularly striking are the large display and the robust Combi-Switch, which can be operated easily even when wearing gloves. An on-board commissioning assistant guides the operator safely through the setting procedure. TIGRON actuators provide non-intrusive setup without requiring additional tools for commissioning.

TIGRON actuators work with all types of valves. As a multi-turn actuator, TIGRON is ideal for gate valve automation. It is available in six sizes, providing torques from 10 Nm up to 1,000 Nm. Higher torques can be achieved in combination with multi-turn gearboxes. For ball, butterfly and globe valve automation, TIGRON actuators are combined with part-turn gearboxes or linear thrust units. The smart actuators are suitable for the most challenging automation tasks, such as high-precision operation of control valves or choke valves.

“Our new TIGRON is robust and reliable, easy to use, and a perfect match to all the requirements of the oil and gas industry,” says Kai Ewald, Head of Sales Oil & Gas at AUMA. “TIGRON actuators help plant operators enhance their efficiency and strengthen their market position. With TIGRON, they are well equipped for modern plant automation, today and tomorrow.”

For more information see

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Covid-19 Preparedness and contingency planning UPDATE

Added - 16.11.2020

We are continuing with our remote operating structure with all our staff who can work from home based at home and away from our office/warehouse/workshop in Clevedon. 

Our telephone system remains the same and you can call us via the main switchboard number (01275 871141). It is also possible to call sales directly on 01275 335626 or service on 01275 335629. All our email addresses remain unchanged and sales can be contacted on with service available on ; you can also use direct dial numbers and mobile numbers as before.

We have established our teams for local UK assembly responding to customers’ critical spares, repairs and replacement parts. These teams can be mobilised as necessary to ensure your needs are safely met. We also have our regionally based field service teams and our ACE (AUMA Certified Engineering) Partners’ field service teams located conveniently close to our customers enabling a service escalation from phone support to site service with replacements if required in all locations across the UK and Ireland.

We also have access to local supply partners for machining of adaptions which allows the replacement of non-AUMA actuators should that be required to keep our customers’ critical systems up and running.

Our German parent company factory is running a dual shift system in both office staff and factory helping to mitigate the risk of personnel impact. Our supply chain is relatively short with 95% of our product supply from our parent company in Germany. In turn, our parent company sources approximately 80% from Europe. We do all our own machining of castings and mechanical components including gearboxes. We also manufacture our own motors and printed circuit boards. 

We have managed with this structure from March to October with no impact on our ability to support our customers; we therefore anticipate a worst case of 90% availability of our workforce at any point in time, based on the fact that we will be operating with over 75% usefully working from home and the field service teams operating in several “bubbles”. There may be an effect on service and product lead times if we drop in capacity but we will be doing everything we can to support our customers whilst following Government advice and keeping our staff and customers safe.

Our utility customers have written to us identifying AUMA as a critical support partner allowing more flexibility for movement of goods and people; our implemented interim structure will allow us to take advantage of this.

We continue to hold about four months’ inventory with a two month lead time for replenishment from our parent company factory in Germany.

We will be following all Public Health England (PHE) and Government advice and will do everything to support our suppliers, staff and customers through what continues to be a tough period for many.

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Latest News

Penstock flow control in World’s First ‘Electric Town’ with variable speed AUMA Actuation


The small Scottish town of Kinlochleven has an extraordinary claim to fame as the first place in the world in which every home was connected to...MORE

Quantum leap for AUMA Commissioning and Diagnostic Tool software


A new, entirely redesigned version of AUMA Actuators Limited’s proven AUMA Commissioning and Diagnostic Tool (CDT) is now available. The new...MORE

AUMA Actuators Reports Strong UK Trading Results in 2020


Weathering the storm of COVID19 and the disruption of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, AUMA Actuators Limited, the UK trading...MORE

The ACE Programme

The 3-tier ACE Programme allows technicians, installers and maintenance engineers to prove their competence with AUMA Actuators, controls and gearboxes, and integration of AUMA equipment into wider control systems. Click below to find out more about ACE and where you fit in.