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The drive mechanism for a rod style actuator can be a lead screw, ball screw, or — for extremely high thrust forces — a planetary roller screw. It’s important to note that these actuators typically use a plain bushing to guide the rod, and therefore, don’t provide support for axial loads. However, in applications that require axial support or guidance, external rails or shafts can be incorporated separately.
The most basic rod style actuators are supplied as mechanics only, with no motor or controller components. But as integration becomes more important for OEMs and end users, most manufacturers offer rod style actuators with various levels of motor and control packages integrated into the actuator housing. Integration options range from low-voltage DC motors with limit switches, to complete plug-and-play servo units that include motor, encoder, amplifier, and controller.