A linear actuator combines linear-motion components and a linear shaft motor (direct drive) in one assembly. Such an actuator creates motion in a straight line, in contrast to the circular motion of a conventional electric motor. These devices are used in machine tools, industrial machinery, computer peripherals (e.g. disk drives and printers), valves, and dampers, and in many other applications that require linear motion.
When designing with standard linear systems, a linear actuator can reduce overall machine design costs, eliminate the effort associated with integrating lower-level components and assemblies, and contain application-tested and optimized construction. Using linear-shaft-motor direct-drive technology eliminates the need for an additional belt or screw, gearhead, or motor as in many electromechanical positioners. In turn, high-speed acceleration, high accuracy, and repeatability all become possible.
A linear actuator with linear shaft motors has some essential advantages in typical applications. These include no-wear components, no seals to fail, and, thanks to those two benefits, enhanced reliability and mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) factor.