An actuator is a device that produces a motion by converting energy and signals going into the system. The motion it produces can be either rotary or linear. Linear actuators, as the name implies, produce linear motion. This means that linear actuators can move forward or backwards on a set linear plane – a set distance they can travel in either direction before they must stop. Rotary actuators on the other hand produce rotary motion, meaning that the actuator revolves on a circular plane. Unlike the linear actuator, the rotary actuator is not limited by a set path, which means it can keep rotating in the same direction for as long as necessary.


Linear or rotary actuators are available in various forms depending on the power-supply source.  The actuator could be electrical, pneumatic or hydraulic. These versions have some important differences (listed in the table below).  The choice of actuator type used will most likely depend on the application and industry-specific requirements. For example, the natural choice for the Medtech industry would be electrical actuators.

REAC designs and manufactures electrical linear actuators. To learn more about How electrical actuators work and Different types of electrical linear actuators, follow the highlighted links. To read more about REAC’s product line offerings, click here.