There are three types of Linear Actuators used in manufacturing: Hydraulic, Pneumatic, and Electro-Mechanical. Hydraulic actuators are primarily used for moving very heavy loads, in the same way, that large construction equipment often operates off of hydraulic pressure. Pneumatic actuators, by comparison, are good for extremely fast applications, where the lightweight components and low friction mean heat increases are minimal.
Electro-Mechanical actuators offer the greatest degree of precision and accuracy when compared to the other two options. NB’s precision level actuators are capable of achieving a positional accuracy as low as 15 microns and a repeatability of +/- 1 micron. Electro-Mechanical Actuators operate by an electric motor turning some form of drive shaft which in turn moves a linear guide block along a guide rail. NB actuators accomplish this by using a precision ground ball screw, whose rotation will move a guide block with a high degree of accuracy. This level of accuracy has many different applications but is most commonly used in high accuracy positioning stages and automation set-ups.