Articles on: Learning & FAQ

What's the Difference between Linear Motor and Linear Actuator?

What is a linear motor and linear actuator?

A linear motor, also called a linear motor, is a mechanical device that converts rotational motion into linear motion. From the perspective of motion principles, to convert a stepper motor from rotational motion to linear motion, the simplest design is to integrate the screw nut into the stepper motor, and realize the entire linear transformation inside the motor. This method greatly simplifies the entire structural design, and in many application fields can directly use linear motors for precise linear transmission without installing external mechanical linkage devices. The basic principle is to install a nut in the center of the rotor of the linear motor, and accordingly use a screw rod to mesh with the nut. In order to move the screw rod forward and backward, some method must be used to prevent the screw rod and the rotor assembly from rotating together. Since the rotation of the screw is constrained, the screw achieves linear motion when the rotor rotates.

Linear motor actuators usually consist of linear guide rails, aluminum alloy profiles, supports, motors, photoelectric switches, etc. It is a transmission device that directly converts electrical energy into linear motion mechanical energy without any intermediate conversion mechanism. It has the advantages of simple structure, convenient long stroke, high acceleration, fast response and high precision.

The linear actuators currently on the market can be roughly divided into two categories: synchronous belt type linear actuator and ball screw linear actuators. The former installs the belt on the transmission shafts on both sides of the linear actuator, which serves as the power input shaft. A slide block for adding equipment workpiece is fixed on the belt. When there is input, the slide block is moved by driving the belt; the latter The motor drives the screw to make the slider run. Our company is currently selling this type, but the structure is simpler. We have canceled the coupling and integrated the linear motor into the module as a whole. For instructions on whether the module has a coupling, please read this article What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Linear Actuators with or without Couplings?.

Difference between linear motor and linear actuator

Linear actuators usually include the linear motor itself and its supporting control system, sensors and mechanical structure. This integrated design allows linear motor actuators to be deployed faster and easier to integrate with existing systems. Higher integration and ease of use for individual linear motors. They typically have a simpler installation process, fewer cabling connections, and higher system performance. In addition, linear motor actuators generally have better system integration and compatibility.

How to choose linear motor or linear motor actuator?

Linear motors are typically used in applications that require linear motion, such as CNC machine tools, automated production lines, medical equipment, etc. Due to its integration and ease of use, linear motor actuators are more suitable for applications that require rapid deployment and integration, such as automated assembly lines, logistics systems, and industrial robots.

If you require a customized control system, specific sensor configurations, and greater flexibility, linear motor actuators may be more suitable. If the application scenario is relatively simple, you can choose a separate linear motor and perform customized integration as needed.

Generally, if the pressure is small, the stroke is long, and the accuracy is high, you can choose to use a linear motor;
If the force is large, the stroke is short, and the accuracy requirements are relatively high, you can choose the linear actuator.

Updated on: 27/05/2024

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