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Linear actuators now with encoding

22 February 2024

MANUFACTURER OF linear motion control solutions, Thomson Industries has announced the availability of a rotating-nut stepper motor linear actuator (SMLA) with a rotary encoder as a standard option. Machine designers with applications requiring positional feedback can now specify the full line of SMLAs integrated with this enhancement.

“We are pleased to announce that Thomson customers who want to get precise positional measurement from a rotating-nut SMLA can now specify it as a standard addon.  This addition rounds out the full line as we also offer encoder integration as a standard option for our rotating screw and linear actuator configurations,” said Ojesh Singh, product manager lead screws, Thomson Industries.

Thomson SMLAs use a stepper motor and lead screw shaft to translate rotary motion to linear motion for all three configurations: linear actuator, rotating screw and rotating nut. Previously, designers requiring positional monitoring on either the actuator or rotating screw configurations had to request a custom encoder assembly. A custom option for adding an encoder to the rotating-nut configuration did not even exist.

As machine designers are developing more complex applications requiring monitoring for speed, distance and position, the integration of encoders has been the most requested SMLA customisation for Thomson. This strong demand led the company to offer encoders as a standard option for all three SMLA configurations.

“Standardising encoder availability is a great leap forward in what machine designers can do with an SMLA platform. They have more flexibility in designing applications that require advanced data gathering and analysis and, given the SMLAs’ immediate availability, can get the units into production faster,” said Singh.

SMLAs with pre-installed rotary encoders are available now in all NEMA motor frame sizes and leadscrew threadforms listed in the Thomson product catalogue. The SMLA online selector tool, which will soon be updated with encoders, can be found at: