All Thomson stepper motor linear actuators are now available with encoding for positional feedback

01.09.2024, DOWNERS GROVE, IL ̶ Thomson Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of linear motion control solutions, 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 add-on. 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 Lindsey Brimage, Senior Product Manager - Lead Screws for Thomson.

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.

Growing interest in position data
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 customization for Thomson. This strong demand led the company to offer encoders as a standard option for all three SMLA configurations.

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

About Thomson Industries, Inc.
With more than 75 years of achievement in motion control innovation and quality, Thomson is the industry's premier producer of Linear Actuators, Linear Ball Bushing® Bearings, Profile Rail Linear Guides, 60 Case® LinearRace® Shafting, Ground and Rolled Ball Screws, Screw Jacks, Linear Systems, and related accessories. Thomson invented the Linear Ball Bushing Bearing in 1945 and has set the standard ever since with an unsurpassed set of linear motion control solutions serving global aerospace and defense, medical and health, factory automation, food processing, and mobile off-highway markets. Thomson, a brand of U.S.-based Regal Rexnord Corporation, has facilities in North America, Europe and Asia with more than 2000 distributor locations around the world.

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