Skip to content Skip to navigation

What is an actuator?

An actuator is a cleaner and more efficient alternative to hydraulic and pneumatic solutions. Electric 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.

Electric actuators are commonly used in applications such as agricultural machines and equipment, medical devices, factory automation, material handling and many others.

Find out more about electric actuators >

What are the different types of actuators?

Thomson offers a wide range 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.

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 sizing and selection tools, interactive 3D CAD models, dedicated product websites, how-to videos and more.

Linear Actuators

Thomson 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 XD

  • The XD is strong enough to take on hydraulic applications while, at the same time, be smarter, smaller and more efficient than competitive technologies.
  • Performance highlights include load handling up to 25,000 N, duty cycle up to 100%, strokes up to 1200 mm and speeds up to 75 mm/s.
  • This model offers superior protection against even the harshest conditions and ingress with IP69K (static), IP67 (static) and IP66 (dynamic) ratings.
  • Controllability is enhanced by onboard controls such as low level switching, programmable end-of-stroke limit switches, position feedback, synchronization, bus systems and more.

Learn More About Electrak XD

Linear Actuators

Thomson 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

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

back to top