Technical Blog

Differences between Linear and Rotary Actuators

Actuators can be distinguished between two primary types based on their motion; linear and rotary. When looking to choose either a linear or rotary actuator for your application, the determining factor should be based around the end purpose.

What are the differences between Linear and Rotary Actuators?

Linear actuators move an object or piece of equipment in a straight line. They can be designed to move an object extremely accurately and repeatably if required. Most linear actuators work by converting rotary motion from an electric motor into linear motion via a ball screw or a belt.

A rotary actuator produces a rotary motion via a shaft to control the speed, rotation and position of any attached equipment. Unlike linear actuators, rotary actuators are not restricted by the distance they can travel. Rotary actuators can be specified to suit a variety of industrial environments such as semi-conductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical and food production.

Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators from Heason Technology are easy to mount and operate. They require no maintenance, are easy to integrate into an automated process, do not leak hydraulic fluid and will reliably work under the toughest of conditions. There are many types of linear actuators that can be used in various applications to produce motion.

Features of Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators have the following features:

  • High repeatability
  • Positioning accuracy
  • Smooth operation
  • Long life
  • Easy maintenance or maintenance free
  • Protection ratings available for some models
  • Suitable for harsh environments
  • Compact design
  • Rugged and reliable
  • Safe operation
  • Versatile

Industries and applications for Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators can be used in various applications that require a load to either be lifted, lowered, pushed, pulled, rotated or positioned. Linear Actuators are used in industries including:

  • Packaging
  • Food processing
  • Industrial vehicles
  • Factory automation
  • Material handling
  • Clean energy
  • Printing
  • Automotive
  • Machine tool
  • Marine
  • Aerospace
  • Defence
  • Pharmaceutical

Rotary Actuators

Rotary Actuators from Heason Technology are durable, deliver exceptional positional accuracy and offer a high torque output for their size.

Features of Rotary Actuators

Many of our Rotary Actuators possess the following features:

  • Zero backlash
  • Hollow shaft
  • High torque
  • Large variety of diameters
  • Easy maintenance or maintenance-free
  • Suitable for harsh environments
  • High repeatability
  • Positioning accuracy

Industries and applications for Rotary Actuators

Rotary Actuators are also used in many diverse applications which require a rotary motion or torque to control the speed and rotation of attached equipment. Rotary Actuators are used in industries including:

  • Robotics including 6-axis robots, gantry robots and manipulators
  • Machines including CNC machine, grinding machine, lathe machine
  • Special machines including bending machine
  • Medicine equipment
  • Aerospace applications
  • Flight simulators
  • Defence industry
  • Semiconductor industry
  • Radar and monitoring systems

Take a look at the full range of Linear Actuators and Rotary Actuators on our website. Alternatively, if you’d like more information please contact or call us on +44 (0) 1403 792 300.

Article published on: 10/10/2019

Article last updated on: 10/10/2019