Linear actuators work by moving an object or piece of equipment in a straight line, moving an object extraordinarily accurately and repeatably if required. The first reason for designing a linear actuator right into a system is for the need to move a payload in a linear fashion rather than a rotary one. As most conventional electrical motors are rotary, a linear actuator is used to convert rotary motion to linear motion.

The electric motor is generally linked to the linear actuator by a versatile coupling or a belt, enabling the motor to be mounted either axially or perpendicular to the linear actuator. A wide range of motor sizes may be mounted to these actuators depending on requirements.

Linear actuators have incorporated linear bearings that support the moving payload, as well as rotary bearings that support either the lead screw, ball screw or belt pulleys. This then permits them to operate as ‘stand-alone’ devices, making them simple to mount into current machines and eliminating the need to design/manufacture very pricey customized parts. To extend the load capacity and stability of a linear actuator system, they are often paired up with the payload carried between them, similar to in an XY gantry style stage. In this case, a shaft or belt is usually used to keep the 2 actuators in sync with each other.

Features of Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators have the next options:

High repeatability

Positioning accuracy

Smooth operation

Long life

Easy maintenance or maintenance free

Protection rankings available for some models

Suitable for harsh environments

Compact design

Rugged and reliable

Safe operation


Industries and applications for Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators can be used in varied applications that require a load to either be lifted, lowered, pushed, pulled, rotated or positioned. Linear Actuators are utilized in industries together with:


Meals processing

Industrial vehicles

Factory automation

Materials dealing with

Clean energy



Machine device





Types of Linear Actuators

Picking the right type of linear actuator for your motion application will help you achieve one of the best results. Lead Screw Actuators, Ball Screw Actuators and Belt Actuators are three types of linear actuators that can be utilized in varied applications to produce motion.

A Lead Screw Actuator uses a plain screw/nut arrangement to translate the rotary motion from a motor to linear motion. A manually driven screw or an AC induction motor are probably the most commonly used methods to produce the rotary motion, as they are generally used in low value and low precision applications. The ability of the actuator to ‘back drive’ is reduced over ball screw actuators due to the low effectivity of the screw/nut. In some applications, this might be an advantage as it helps to keep the payload stationary whilst not in motion. Applications include agricultural equipment and guide lift systems, where safety and reliability are more critical than precision and performance.

A Ball Screw Actuator makes use of a high precision nut with recirculating ball bearings that rotate round a ground screw thread. In principle this is similar to an ordinary ball race with the load being transmitted by the rolling balls. The significant advantages of this system are high-precision and low friction, giving a very environment friendly methodology of converting rotary motion to linear motion. Stepper or servo motors are generally used to produce the rotary motion. Ball screw actuators are well suited to repeatable indexing and fast cyclic applications similar to machine instruments, scientific devices and medical systems.

Belt actuators work the place a belt is carried between two pulleys and hooked up to the moving carriage, then because the belt rotates the carriage is pulled alongside the actuator. One of many pulleys is pushed by a motor which is generally mounted perpendicular to the actuator and paired utilizing a flexible coupling. They offer a relatively low-price various, as they inherently have a decrease stage of precision. Belt driven linear actuators are superb for lengthy travel and high linear speed applications resembling packaging and automatic materials handling systems.