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What is a linear actuator?

A linear actuator is a cleaner and more efficient alternative to hydraulic and pneumatic solutions. Electric linear actuators convert rotary motion of gears and a ball or lead screw into straight, or linear, motion for accurate, repeatable performance of pushing/pulling, raising/lowering, rotating or positioning loads. Linear actuators are commonly used in applications such as agricultural machines and equipment, medical devices, factory automation, material handling and many others.

What's the difference between actuators?

Thomson offers a wide range of actuators that are categorized as linear, precision, stepper motor and rodless.

Linear actuators are used in all types of equipment to automate processes, remove people from dangerous situations, provide remote control or make difficult/tedious/manual jobs easier.
Precision linear actuators are designed for applications that require higher speed, higher loads, continuous duty cycle, precise positioning and flexible integration in tight areas.
Stepper motor linear actuators combine a hybrid stepper motor and a precision lead screw in one compact envelope, suiting applications where external guidance is present or a high level of design flexibility required.
Rodless linear actuators are also known as linear motion systems. Learn more about them here.

Why Thomson?

Beginning with our first actuator more than 50 years ago, Thomson has been a trusted pioneer in the market, developing technologies that help customers solve problems, boost efficiency and enhance the value of every electromechanical linear actuator they install.

Thomson actuators require little to no maintenance, don't leak fluid and are easy to incorporate into an automated process. Our design and application expertise is augmented by a vast offering of online resources, which includes actuator sizing and selection tools, interactive 3D CAD models, dedicated product websites, how-to videos and more.

Standard
Linear Actuators

Thomson standard linear actuators are made from rugged, high-quality components to ensure maintenance-free, reliable and safe performance for maximum life and value. They feature stroke lengths up to 36 in, speeds up to 3 in/sec, loads up to 3600 lbs and duty cycles up to 25% while fully loaded. These actuators integrate a self-contained, electric motor whose rotary motion is converted to linear displacement. With further integration of a printed circuit board, many control functionalities are enabled.

Browse Standard Linear Actuators

 

 


Featured Product: Electrak HD

  • Onboard electronics can eliminate the need for standalone controls.
  • Higher power opens a new, wider range of hydraulic applications to electric conversion.
  • Meet the most extreme OEM component environmental acceptance tests, including IP69K.
  • Built-in J1939 CAN bus
  • Ideal for on- and off-highway vehicles, factory automation and structural automation applications.

Learn More About Electrak HD

Precision
Linear Actuators

Thomson precision linear actuators are designed to deliver high performance in applications requiring continuous duty operation. They provide the highest thrust and speed of any electric actuator and allow you to design more compact machinery with maximum throughput. Often chosen as a clean and efficient alternative to fluid power solutions, precision linear actuators draw energy only on demand and operate more quietly than pneumatics.

Browse Thomson Precision Linear Actuators

 

 

 


Featured Product: PC Series

  • Servo motors are available matched with all models, helping reduce the time spent on sizing and selecting a motor.
  • A large, high-precision ball screw assembly allows for unmatched travel life, delivering up to four times more travel distance than comparable actuators.
  • Long stroke length provides solution for hard-to-reach places and covers larger areas in scanning, cutting and measuring applications.
  • Exceptional power density and high speed.

Learn More About PC Series

Stepper Motor
Linear Actuators

Thomson stepper motor linear actuators combine a hybrid stepper motor and a precision lead screw in one compact envelope, and are offered in three basic configurations – rotating screw (MLS), rotating nut (MLN) and actuator (MLA). Benefits include increased torque density, improved efficiency, reduced noise and our patented Taper-Lock design, which allows for secure, properly aligned connections of the lead screw to the motor shaft.

Browse Thomson Stepper Motor Linear Actuators

 

 

 


Featured Product: Motorized Lead Screw Actuator

  • Fully housed solution with a rotating screw configuration and your choice of end machining.
  • Built-in anti-rotation eliminates the need for external guidance.
  • Side and moment load capabilities.
  • Easy integration into assemblies.

Learn more about the Motorized Lead Screw Actuator

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