Linear Actuators: What Are They? And Who Uses Them?

A linear actuator is a powerful device. It converts various types of motions into linear motion. Several industries use linear actuators, and they are heavily in demand due to their benefits.

They help industries save costs by helping reduce the energy and time it takes to complete a job. This improves these industries’ profit margins, which is why they are so much in demand.

Read on to learn about 7 industries that use linear actuators.


1. Medical Industry

The medical industry uses linear actuators in multiple ways. The most common example you’ll see in the medical industry is in hospital beds.

Almost all hospitals beds are adjustable because of linear actuators that are installed at the bottom of the beds. When you rotate the lever clockwise or counter-clockwise, the linear actuator increases or decreases the bed’s height.

Other appliances that are used in the medical industry, such as dental chairs, gynecological tables, patient stretchers, and so on, also depend on linear actuators for their proper operation.


2. Smart Gadgets

Have you ever wondered how your smartphone, joystick or tablet is able to produce vibrations? It’s because of a mini linear actuator installed inside them.

They are programmed to vibrate when you enable the vibration system.


3. Automobiles

There are hundreds of actuators installed in a car. They help us to perform different tasks, such as accelerate the car, apply the brakes, steer the wheels, and roll the windows up or down.

Actuators also control the side mirrors and the wipers. They even make it possible for us to adjust the car seats precisely so that they’re comfortable for passengers and driver alike.

And if you like to use cruise control when you’re driving long distances, you can thank a linear actuator for making that possible.

A car won’t be able to move if there’s no linear actuator inside it or if its actuators are not working properly.




4. Robots

The most common type of robot that you surely have seen is the robotic vacuum cleaner.

It is able to move its legs and arms in various directions because of the presence of actuators.

All in all, almost every robot that requires movement comes with an actuator.


5. Agriculture

There are many different kinds of agricultural machines. For example, there are seeding machines, bunkers, various types of harvesters, and fertilizer spreaders that use actuators.

Actuators help improve acceleration and allow these different types of equipment to perform a variety of tasks. Where once only human beings could perform these operations, now machines can do them. This in turns improves results and gives farmers higher profits.


6. Manufacturing

According to many reports, the manufacturing sector uses more actuators than any other industry. If you think about it, this just makes sense, as the manufacturing industry is massive and it uses lots of machinery.

Forklifts, automatic ramps, many other kinds of equipment and vehicles all move and lift due to linear actuators. Without them, the manufacturing process would be time- and energy-consuming. Manufacturers would require manual labor—and lots of it—to do the same things.


7. Marine Industry

The marine industry also uses linear actuators. For example, valves control the flow of water, and those valves operate due to linear actuators. As a matter of fact, modern submarines wouldn’t be possible without them.




There are 3 basic types of linear actuators. One type is based on a screw-type action. Another is a hydraulic or pneumatic actuator. And yet a third depends on a vacuum system for its operation.

Linear actuators make lifting and moving easy, because they convert various motions into linear motions. Industries depend on them to get the job done. And the rest of us depend on them for many of the operations we take for granted in our daily lives.