How to Choose a Quality Linear Actuator

As technology advances, quality linear actuators are more and more necessary to keep equipment doing the job it’s supposed to be doing. While it is true that most linear actuators are made with the same motor – a twelve volt – possibly as means of making it easier to replace the equipment when it becomes necessary, in reality the job done by any equipment is done best when the linear actuator which is incorporated into it is one which is the type for the task at hand. Anybody who is trying to buy a linear actuator will be given a huge variety to choose from, and (particularly if this is the first time buying), will need to select their specific quality electric linear actuator from the list. Anybody who is buying an actuator for a specific task needs to make sure that they don’t get bogged down in all the choices, so that they can be sure they are making the right choice.
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Using a Decibel Chart to Choose a Quiet Actuator

Using a Decibel Chart to Choose a Quiet Actuator

If you need a quiet actuator, for whatever reason (maybe the work is to be done in an enclosed space where the sound would be too much, or the actuator will be used in a non-industrial area and so needs to be quiet), the best way to ensure that you can find one is to learn how to use a decibel chart. Decibels were named to honour Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone – the term refers to the intensity of a sound, and is often referred to as dB for short. While many people are aware of what the term decibel means, not many can accurately say what the various acronyms associated with it mean – this article intends to help.

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Our Types of 12V Linear Actuators

As a leader in linear automation technology we aim to have to many different types of 12V linear actuators so our customers will have a variety of different options available. Whether it be high speed, heavy duty, miniature or track actuator models, we have them all. In this post we’ll go over our different types of electric linear actuator models and the advantages of each one.


Our mini linear actuators pack are large amount of force output into a compact design. These are the preferred option for smaller applications where space is limited and one of our most popular models. They can produce up to 150 lbs of force and come in stroke sizes ranging from 1 to 40 inches. The small size makes it popular home automation, such as automating a window or kitchen cabinet.

Heavy Duty

On the other side of the spectrum is our largest actuator model which also products the largest amount of force. The heavy duty 12V actuator is capable of producing a whopping 2,000 lbs of force, making it the perfect choice for applications that require massive amounts of lifting such as construction equipment and heavy machinery.

High Speed

The high speed model has a tubular design and is capable of producing small amounts of force at a high speed. While it is only able to produce up to 33 lbs of force, it makes up for the small force output with its speed. It can move at a rate of 9.05″/sec, making it the fastest actuator we carry in stock. The high speed makes it popular in applications where speed is a major factor.


The track actuator model is unique from all of our other 12 volt linear actuator models because of its design. Instead of the actuator extending and retracting it moves along a track. This means you don’t have to worry about calculating the extended and retracted length of the actuator for your application. The design also means they are able to hold more weight in the middle section of the stroke but still able to bring the same amount of power as other models. It can produce up to 900 lbs of force.

Mini Tube

Our mini tube model is similar to our high speed model in that it has a tubular design and that it is unable to produce large amounts of force. It’s one of our smallest models with a diameter of only 1.18″ and can produce 33 lbs of force. The small size makes it popular in fields such as robotics and automotive automation.


This 12V electric actuator is one of our most durable models. A big reason for that is the fact it is our only model that comes with a built in IP66 rating. That means it is completely impermeable to dust and strong jets of water. This feature makes the unit the ideal choice for applications in potentially harsh environments such as marine or boat automation and manufacturing equipment.

You can be sure these won’t be the only types of actuators we carry for long as we are always looking for new models and new actuator designs to manufacture. Make sure to stay up to date with us on social media for all the latest updates with Progressive Automations.




PA-14 DC Motor

The Three Types of DC Motors

Our 12 volt linear actuators are powered by Direct Current (DC) motors as they are ideal for producing continuous movement and controlling the speed and position. The speed of rotation of a basic DC motor is dependent on the amount of DC voltage applied while the torque output is dependent on the amount of current. The rotation speed can vary anywhere from just a couple revolutions per minute to over a thousand revolutions per minute which is why DC motors can be utilized in such a variety of applications such as our 12V actuators.

PA-14 DC Motor

A DC Motor for our PA-14 Mini Actuator

DC motors are made up of two main parts, a Stator (the stationary part) and a Rotor (the rotating part). These two parts make up a DC motor which in turn can lead to three basic types of a DC motor; a Brushed motor, a Brushless motor and a Servo motor.

Brushed Motor: In a brushed motor the stator is an electromagnetic circuit that consists of electrical coils that are connected together to produce a stationary magnetic field system for rotation. The current that flows in these coils is called the motor field current. The rotor part of the motor consists of current carrying conductors connected at one end to isolated electrical copper segments known as the commuter. This commuter allows an electrical connection to an external power supply thanks to carbon brushes, which is why it is referred to as a “Brushed” motor.

Brushless Motor: This motor was developed to overcome the disadvantages of a brushed motor, mainly the fact that it doesn’t have to replace any brushes due to them overheating or wearing out. This in turn increases the lifespan of the motor. The brushless motor uses a more complex drive circuit that allows for more precise control over speed and torque. Other advantages over the brushed motor include its efficiency, reliability and low noise output. However with these advantages come a few disadvantages such as the price being much more expensive then regular brushed motors as well as being harder to control.

Servo Motor: These are used in closed loop systems where the position of the output motor shaft is sent to the motor control circuit. The servo motor generally consists of a DC motor, a reduction gearbox, a positional feedback device (like a potentiometer found in our PA-14P linear actuators) and a form of error correction which controls the speed and position. Most servo motors are able to rotate up to 180 degrees in both directions which makes them perfect for when you need highly accurate angular position control. A disadvantage to using a servo motor is the fact that it is unable to rotate at continually high speeds like most DC motors unless it is specially modified.

These three types show just how adaptable DC motors are and why we use them in our 12V actuators. They allow for precise control over the speed, direction and position of our actuators and are utilized in a variety of applications and industries. Hopefully this has given you more information on the motors that power our 12V actuators.

motor boat

Automating Your Boat with 12V Actuators

When people think of 12V linear actuators and their applications they tend to think of examples in dry environments on land, away from water and other potentially harmful substances. While it’s true that most applications are indeed like that there is also a large need for automation in aquatic environments, specifically out on the ocean in boats and other sea based vehicles. Boats have many opportunities for automation with 12V actuators which we will be going over in today’s post.
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