High Precision Linear Actuators

Dover Motion’s catalog includes many types of high precision linear actuators utilizing direct drive linear motors or stepper motors. Our linear actuators are optimized for various uses, including precision motion, high speed, or compact size. We specialize in working with our clients to understand their unique challenges and optimize the motion control system to their exact requirements.  In addition, all of our products can be customized to suit your specific project needs.

High Precision Linear Actuators Overview

See How We are Disrupting Motion Control

Our innovative precision linear actuators have been winning industry awards


About High Precision Linear Actuators

Need to know a little bit more before you can make a decision? Below is additional information about high precision linear actuators and how they work. Contact us to speak with our staff, who can answer any of your technical questions.

What is a High Precision Linear Actuator?

High precision linear actuator, also commonly referred to as XY stage, XY Table , or Translation Stage, provides precise automated positioning and is typically available as either a single axis, an XY stage, or XYZ stage. Each axis of a linear actuator must constrain the six degrees of freedom (X, Y, Z, roll, pitch, and yaw) of the payload to only one, producing translation along a straight line. To accomplish this, the actuator is equipped with a set of linear bearing guideways, which are attached to a base structural member that provides stiff support.

The linear bearing guideways can be implemented in several ways, including:

  • Ball and crossed roller bearings
  • Recirculating bearings
  • Cam followers or vee wheels
  • Air bearings

Our linear actuators designed specifically for vertical motion can be viewed on our Z Stages page.

Motorized linear stage with shuttle

How do precision linear actuators work?

Once the payload has been constrained to a single degree of freedom, the system’s next mission is to actuate the payload and provide precise incremental linear motion along the guideway.

High precision linear actuator methods include:

  • Friction screws with anti-backlash nuts
  • Ball screws
  • Belt and pulley
  • Rack and pinion
  • Piezo actuators
  • Linear motors
High precision linear actuator

Using a linear motor is generally considered to be optimal for high speed motion systems and is the most precise and repeatable linear motion actuation technology.

A translation stage with a linear motor requires a linear feedback device as well as a servo drive and control to close a position feedback loop. With a high-resolution linear encoder, linear actuators can provide position control down to the nanometer level. A typical application for linear actuators is to control the focus of a microscope objective in a digital imaging system.