How does a linear drive work

Linear drives

Linear drives are a type of drive that converts the rotary motion of a motor into a linear or straight push / pull motion. Linear actuators are ideally suited for all types of applications that require tilting, lifting, pulling or pushing movements with a certain amount of force. Electric linear actuators are often the preferred solution when a simple and clean movement is required that can be precisely and smoothly controlled. LINAK developed the first electric linear actuator in 1979 and has been the industry leader in linear motion ever since.

Quality solutions

At LINAK, we design and manufacture many different types of linear actuators and lifting columns. These are available with different speeds, stroke lengths and adjustment forces. From the compact LA20 in-line actuator to the rugged LA36, LINAK linear actuators are custom built to suit your unique application.

Our linear drives are designed to move loads between 40 kg and 1,500 kg (with a force of 400 N to 15,000 N), and in versions with a voltage of 12 V, 24 V, 36 V or 48 V and with a maximum linear drive speed up to 160 millimeters per second (mm / s) available. All LINAK linear actuators - from the small 12 V linear actuator to the large 48 V linear actuator - can be customized to meet your specific needs to ensure that they provide the perfect solution for your application.

With four production sites all over the world, we can manufacture your customer-specific linear drive for you and deliver it to you in a timely manner. Get in touch so that together we can begin to build an electric linear actuator solution that is just right for the movement you want.

Learn more

Industries for our products

Our linear actuators can be found everywhere: in homes, offices, hospitals, factories, farms and many other places. They keep things moving in the office and at home - in office tables, kitchens, beds and loungers.

In hospitals and medical centers you will find linear actuators from LINAK that can be used to move hospital beds, patient lifts, operating tables and many other devices. In industry and in harsh environments, electric linear actuators can replace hydraulic and pneumatic solutions and can be found in agriculture, construction, industrial automation and marine equipment.

Although our products can be found in the large machines in the areas mentioned above, we can also ensure movement in small, individual applications. From camping attachments on the back of pick-up trucks to pivoting walls in living areas - our linear actuators can get any unique application moving.

Learn more

Accessories and modern technology

In addition to linear actuators and lifting columns, LINAK also offers a comprehensive range of controls and accessories that improve efficiency and enable users to move precisely. Options for operating LINAK linear actuators include hand controls, foot switches, desk panels, computer software, mobile apps and many more.

All of our linear drives and accessories are designed for easy assembly. Some even have our IC solutions (integrated control), which are based on the well-known H-bridge technology. They offer various options for position feedback, virtual limits, soft start and soft stop, current limitation and the adjustable speed. They also enable parallel operation and integrated BUS communication (LINAK offers control of the linear actuators via CAN SAE J1939 and CANopen).

Learn more

The brand that enjoys the greatest trust

We know how important good performance is to your drive solution. That is why we carry out numerous tests in which the linear drives are pushed to the limits of their performance so that they perform at their best during their entire service life. Every LINAK® The linear drive is subjected to a 100% functional test before it leaves our production facility. This gives you a product that you can rely on for many years. Visit our Comprehensive Testing - Rely on Your Industrial Linear Actuator page to learn more about the tests our linear actuators are subjected to to measure their performance, service life and durability.

LINAK specialists are available all over the world to find the perfect actuator solution for your application. Our experienced support team of sales people, research & development engineers, application engineers and customer service, marketing and quality experts will guide you through every step of the ordering, assembly and performance optimization process to ensure that your solution meets your expectations.

You will find all the necessary data and information about our individual solutions on our website, including data sheets and assembly instructions. To support you in developing your product idea, we also provide you with a 3D configurator with which you can create detailed images of your solutions. And if you need to know more about our linear actuators and their properties, you can learn a lot at the LINAK Actuator Academy ™. There you will find an extensive collection of videos about the technology, the individual components and the options for operating and controlling linear drives.

Learn more

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is a linear actuator?

A linear drive is a device or machine that converts rotary motion into linear motion (on a straight line). AC or DC electric motors can be used for this, but the movement could also be driven hydraulically or pneumatically.

Electric linear actuators are an option preferred when precise and clean movement is required. They are used for all types of applications that require tilting, lifting, pulling or pushing movements with a certain amount of force.

Move on - go electric!

Find out more about the advantages of electric drive solutions over hydraulic systems.

Online magazine

How does a linear drive work?

A common design of linear drives is the electric linear drive. It consists of three main components: spindle, motor and gear. The motor can be operated with alternating current or direct current, depending on what power is required and what other influencing factors are present.

As soon as a signal is sent by the operator, which can be done using a simple control element such as a button, the motor converts the electrical energy into mechanical energy and moves the gears of the transmission that are in contact with the spindle. These rotate the spindle and cause the spindle nut and piston rod to move outwards or inwards, depending on which signal the linear drive receives.

As a rule of thumb, a high number of threads and a smaller spindle pitch lead to slow movement, but a much greater adjustment force. On the other hand, a low number of threads and a high spindle pitch favor the rapid movement of small loads.

Visit the Actuator Academy ™
Find out more about why linear actuators are ideal for use in industrial machines and discover the technology on which they are based.

Welcome to the LINAK Actuator Academy ™

What are the different types of electric linear actuators?

Electric linear drives are available in different designs and sizes. They can be small and compact so that they can be used in confined spaces, e.g. B. in wheelchairs can be used, but also large and powerful to lift heavy objects, such as. B. the hood of a wheel loader. Aside from size and force, there are other aspects in which electric linear actuators can differ.

In their original design, they have a motor housing that is separate from the gearbox and spindle profile. But if there is only limited space, an inline drive is used, in which the motor actually only extends the shape of the profile. Lifting columns with inline motor housings are used in office desks and in medical applications. They are available in two or three parts.

Since Bent Jensen, CEO of LINAK, built its first electric linear actuator in 1979, the company has been developing new linear actuators and continuously improving the innovative technology on which they are based to provide better motion solutions for a wide range of industries.

LINAK develops and manufactures many different types of linear actuators and lifting columns with different speeds, stroke lengths and displacement forces. From the compact LA20 inline actuator to the robust LA36 - linear actuators from LINAK can be tailored to almost any conceivable application.

Given the nearly endless list of customization options that can be used to tailor linear actuators to unique applications, the range of linear actuators from LINAK is even wider than the extensive range of products listed here.

What are the advantages of using a linear drive?

Electric linear drives improve efficiency and allow users to move precisely thanks to numerous operating options and a wide range of accessories. The options for operating electric linear drives include hand controls, foot switches, desk panels, computer software, mobile apps and many more.

Since they do not require any hoses, oil or valves, electric linear actuators do not have to be serviced and thus create a safe environment for the user. High-quality electric linear drives are also subjected to numerous tests in which they are brought to the limits of their performance. This ensures that you perform optimally at all times and in every situation. They are also designed for easy assembly in a wide variety of applications.

This makes it very easy to ensure precise movement where it is required. Since the actuators are electric, further smart functions such as CAN bus are possible (LINAK offers control of the linear actuators via CAN SAE J1939 and CANopen). Solutions with integrated control (IC) offer various options for position feedback, virtual limits, soft start and soft stop, current limitation and an adjustable speed.

What are linear drives used for?

Linear actuators can be found everywhere: in homes, offices, hospitals, factories, farms and many other places. Our electric linear drives ensure movement in the office and at home and offer the option of adjusting office tables, kitchens, beds and loungers. In hospitals and medical centers you will find linear actuators that can be used to adjust hospital beds, patient lifts, operating tables and many other devices.

In industry and in harsh environments, electric linear actuators can replace hydraulic and pneumatic solutions and can be found in agriculture, construction and industrial automation.

Files

TECHLINE product overview

Discover the variety of our robust and powerful TECHLINE products. They are designed for a long service life, high performance and operation in demanding environments.

DESKLINE product overview

If you manufacture office desks, work tables or shop fittings, height-adjustable solutions with electric linear actuators provide you with a flexible competitive advantage from which your company will benefit.

MEDLINE & CARELINE product overview

Experience the variety of our innovative MEDLINE & CARELINE products that can help you manufacture better hospital and care equipment.

HOMELINE product overview

Discover the variety of TWINDRIVE systems, which are characterized by quiet operation and small installation dimensions and are used in both box spring beds and slatted beds.

You have a question?

- Do you need technical advice, do you want to start a project with us or do you have another concern? Our team is ready for you.

Subscribe to the LINAK newsletter

Stay up to date on how our drive technology is coping with current megatrends and the challenges of the future.