How Accurate are Linear Actuators

Linear actuators are electric devices that create linear motion in specific applications. To determine how accurate an actuator is, you have to understand the specifications of the actuator itself.  

The accuracy of an actuator is about its ability to achieve a commanded position. To truly measure accuracy, you have to also consider repeatability. Depending on the application, one may or may not be more important than the other.

An actuator system contains multiple tolerances to consider. Mounting and orientation play a part in determining accuracy and performance. Accuracy is only one parameter of a linear actuator, and the other factors need to be defined to select the proper actuator required for a specific application. 

accurate linear actuators

Pros and Cons of Accurate Linear Actuators

Accurate linear actuators provide complete control of an application’s motions. While it can be beneficial when actuators are accurate, it’s not always the best option. If the goal of the application is to reduce errors in just one degree, then a highly accurate linear actuator is appropriate. 

However, if the goal is to reach a commanded position repeatedly, a highly accurate linear actuator may not be the best option. This is because repeatability can be high in a low-accuracy linear actuator. 

Specifications and Types of Linear Actuators

Read on for an explanation of the specifications needed to fully understand the accuracy of linear actuators.  

The specifications and types of linear actuators vary. Specifications include the cycle capabilities, mounting type, and enclosure type. Each of these specifications will be different for each type of actuator. 

The types of linear actuators include the following: 

●      Rod-style linear actuators

●      Bullet series linear actuators

●      Track linear actuators

These different types of linear actuators provide different solutions. Each is manufactured to various precision and cost. First, you have to understand what exactly will be required in your particular application to choose the right linear actuator and its specifications. 

Accuracy and Repeatability in Linear Actuators

As previously mentioned, the accuracy of your linear actuator is not always the most critical aspect. In certain application cases, a high-accuracy linear actuator is not required. An accurate linear actuator will depend on its ability to both reach a commanded position and repeat a commanded position. 

Repeatability of a linear actuator is influenced by any positional errors that come from the mechanical actuator, the motor, encoder, or motor driver. Repeatability of a linear actuator is its ability to return to the commanded position successfully. Although they are related, an application can have a high degree of accuracy and a low degree of repeatability. 


Creative Motion Control is a linear motion manufacturer that creates solutions to linear motions’ most demanding challenges. We can manufacture a linear actuator that will help you to avoid excess costs and design the best system for your application. 

Contact Creative Motion Control for a powerful and maintenance-free linear actuator. Call us today or contact us via our online form to get a free quote!

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