Linear Actuator vs. Rotary Actuator

Motion control and automation would not be possible without actuators. An actuator converts the information in an electronic signal into a physical motion; actuators are responsible for the actual movement of machinery. There are two main types of  actuator: linear and rotary. You can find both of these actuator types in Indramat motion control systems.

Linear actuators

Linear actuators are the most common actuator type; you find them in everything from computers to DVD players to video game consoles. Linear actuators are also often used in motion control for industrial machinery, such as Indramat systems.

These mechanisms are fairly simple, and as the name implies, they produce linear motion. This means that linear actuators move in two directions on a set linear path. The movements of linear actuators are defined in linear units, such as inches or millimeters.

Since linear actuators move only in two directions on a set path, linear actuators are defined as finite; they have a set distance that they can travel in either direction before they must stop.

Rotary actuators

Rotary actuators produce rotary motion; this means that the actuator revolves on a circular path. Movement from this type of actuator is defined in rotary units, typically degrees.

Motion for rotary actuators can be finite, but unlike linear actuators, it can also be infinite.

A rotary table doesn’t have a fixed distance it can travel. It’s not limited by a linear path, and it can keep spinning in the same direction for as long as necessary. While rotary actuators are capable of infinite rotation, they are often set to a fixed angular position when used with servomotors.

Both linear and rotary actuators can be electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic. Electric actuators are the most common type. Indramat servo motors use electric actuators for motion control.

Call 479-422-0390 for Indramat actuator support

Unfortunately, knowing the difference between a linear and rotary actuator won’t help you resolve problems with your Indramat system. That’s alright, though.

The only thing you really need to know is our phone number.

Give us a call at 479-422-0390 for all of your Indramat repair needs. We specialize in Indramat motion control systems, and we can arrange factory repair services with 24-hour turnaround.