Car Automation

Every time you drive your car, you encounter several linear actuators. If it's controlled with a switch rather than a hand crank, it's connected to an actuator. Your door locks, seat adjustments, automatic windows, even your engine's starter; all of these are different kinds of actuators.

A linear actuator is a machine or device that works as an agent to convert rotational motion into a pull or push linear motion and linear movement to lift, slide, tilt, pull or drop equipment and machines with force. Electric linear actuators operate through electric DC or AC motors with a chain of gears and a lead screw to push the primary rod shaft. Electric linear actuators are the best option to get a clean and precise movement.

Linear actuators are available in dynamic and static load capacity variables. Dynamic load capacity is the extent of force used when the actuator is in motion and static load capacity is suitable when the actuator is motionless. A linear actuator functions on the concept of an inclined plane, where the main screw of the actuator moves along a ramp of small spinning force.

Linear actuators have gained popularity in a wide range of industrial vehicles from different industries such as agriculture, transport, medical and health care, manufacturing and construction, factory automation, military, material handling, food and automotive.

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Importance of use of Linear Actuators in the automotive industry

Linear Actuators play a significant role in the control and adjustment of vehicles safely and accurately by extending various exceptional advantages: 

Easy installation and maintenance-free solutions: Installation of linear actuators is hassle-free and does not require any pumps, compressors or hoses and minimizes frequent maintenance.

Sustainable and intelligent systems at the competitive market price: Linear actuators have an intelligent control system and can be easily monitored and controlled by the drivers remotely. Due to the low voltage and nearly zero standby power, they are more sustainable and economical as compared with other systems.

Flexible, reliable, robust and durable actuators: Linear actuators undergo various durability testing procedures which enable them to work in the extreme weather conditions of scorching summer sun to the extreme cold. They are also flexible enough to fit any kind of vehicle.

Firgelli RV Automation

Types of Linear Actuators used in Automotive

There are many types and sizes of electric Linear actuators that come in many types and sizes varying from small and compact to fit in tight and narrow to large and robust to move heavy items. 

Hydraulic Actuator is the type of actuator that consists of a cylinder or a fluid motor with a piston that uses hydraulic power to simplify a mechanical operation. They are primarily used in winches and crane drives, self-driven cranes, wheel motors for military vehicles and excavators.

A mechanical actuator is a device that is designed to convert rotary motion into linear motion to perform a mechanical operation. Lead screw, ball screw, belt-driven, cam actuators and rack and pinion are some of the mechanical actuators.

Pneumatic linear actuators consist of a cylinder, piston and valve or port to produce low to medium force rotary or linear mechanical motion. Pneumatic actuators are useful to various application types in different industries.

Coiled Actuators generate a magnetic field through magnets, which creates current to move a coil to bring the motion in a shuttle or shaft. The force of the motion is equivalent to the current and turns of the coil and the magnetic flux.

Piezoelectric actuators convert an electric signal into a stroke, which is a precise physical movement. This stroke adjusts mirrors, lenses and other components in a vehicle and can trigger a hydraulic valve or can work as a small volume pump.

Firgelli's Different types of actuators

Applications of Linear Actuators in the Automotive Industry

The use and applications of linear actuators in the automotive industry are nearly endless. The use of actuators is widespread in other industries as well such as robotics, food manufacturing, material handling, agriculture machinery and many others. Linear actuators in the automotive are extensively used wherever a vehicle part needs to be opened, closed, lifted or lowered. Some of the examples are: hoods/trunks/seats/tailgates/tonneau covers

Linear actuators are widely used in the automotive industry due to the advanced technology and automated features in trucks, cars and other automobiles. The application of actuators in automobiles has gained popularity to provide luxury, style and comfort in the functionality of vehicles.

Firgelli Racing Car Automation

RV Automation

Earlier recreational vehicles (RVs) had a simple design with limited storage space and accommodated only one bed, a kitchen and a bathroom. The rapid development of technology has modernized the design of RVs which are now equipped with smart and spacious interiors and high-tech equipment. Linear actuators play a vital role in the high-tech RVs with a wide variety of applications such as opening vent lids and windows, plug socket strips and automatic TV units.

Slide-out actuators connect to one or more sections of the RV and extend it outward on one side or both sides of the coach, creating more space inside an RV. A roof-vent lid actuator improves the flow of fresh air in an RV effortlessly with a push of a button. Bed lifting actuators, TV lift actuators, toilet actuators and frameless window actuators are some of the important applications in RVs.

Firgelli Actuator Automation in a Vehicle Example

Truck Automation

Heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks operate in extreme and hostile weather conditions for long hours at a stretch. In such conditions, trucks have to work regularly with negligible maintenance, smart fuel efficiency, safety and aerodynamics. Linear actuators take care of all these services in an efficient way because of the compact design, low costs, and uncomplicated installations.

The actuators help reduce the weight of the truck through upgraded aerodynamics and enhance fuel efficiency. Truck automation helps ease the workload of the operators and results in reduced time and efforts. Actuators facilitate the automation of trucks and optimize safety and comfort. These actuators are eco-friendly as there is no possibility of leakage of harmful hydraulic oils and consume less energy in operation.

Firgelli Truck Automation

Vehicles for the disabled

Demand for technically upgraded vehicles for the disabled and senior residents is growing manifold. This has prompted to focus on the modification of applications for the elevators, cars, ramps, tailgates and car doors to make them safe and easy to use for the disabled. Linear actuators offer solutions to upgrade the adjustments in car seats, sliding doors, steering wheel, wheelchair ramps, curb panel, remotely controlled tailgates and elevators.

The manufacturers can improve the features of their vehicles and equipment for the disabled by using various applications of linear actuators. Linear actuators are reliable and intelligent and can easily integrate with most of the control systems and enhance the safety of the vehicle. Linear actuators simplify the process as per the convenience of the physically challenged persons and make traveling possible for them by modifications in the vehicles and ramps. Actuators with dependable adjustments, high forces, long strokes and integrated controls make the vehicles conducive for the disabled.

Actuators for Disabled People

Capabilities of Linear Actuators

To make better decisions and thoroughly evaluate the quality of a linear actuator, the performance metrics can be helpful. The most significant performance metrics include speed, force, durability and energy efficiency. Other factors may include mass, volume and operating conditions. 

The speed of the linear actuator varies according to the weight of the load it carries. Typically, larger the weight, lesser would be the speed of the actuator and vice versa. The accurate measurement of the speed metric should be considered when the actuator is not carrying any load or weight.

Torque or force is one of the most crucial factors to be considered when measuring the performance of an actuator. There are two types of torque metrics – dynamic and static load. While static load measures the capacity of the actuator when it’s at rest, the dynamic load helps measure the torque capacity when the device is in motion. Understanding both the torque types is essential to evaluate the performance accurately.

The energy efficiency metric is gaining traction in determining the performance of almost all types of machinery. The direct impact of the efficiency on the operational costs adds to the importance of this metric in performance evaluation. Lesser the amount of energy required by an actuator to achieve its goal, the better the energy savings and performance of the actuator.

The durability of an actuator depends on the manufacturer’s design and the actuator type. Although hydraulic actuators are usually considered more durable than electric actuators, the details on the material quality used will vary according to the manufacture’s decision. The material used plays a significant role in determining the durability of the actuator.

Air Brake Actuator

The Bottom line  

Automation is one of the prevailing trends in industrial vehicles and other types of equipment as modern society is witnessing tremendous development in technology in all fields. Linear actuators have revolutionized the automobile industry by making automation possible and easy, both at the manufacturing and upgrading levels. Manufacturers are installing auto actuators at the initial manufacturing stage to the refurbishment level to provide vehicles with innovative automotive functions at an affordable price. Considering the constant demand of most of the owners of private as well as commercial and industrial vehicles for maximum automation of their vehicles, the application of linear actuators in the automotive industry has increased tremendously. Please Contact us for more details. 


Vehicle owners are looking for the latest and reliable automation in the interior and exterior of their vehicles such as sunroofs, automatic door opening, boot lids, fuel filler flaps, auto-locking and unlocking of doors, storage compartments and safety systems. Linear actuators facilitate the installation of all automated features in various kinds of vehicles providing maximum convenience and safety to the drivers. The benefits and applications of linear actuators are plentiful and serve various industries ranging from automobiles and automotive to food manufacturing and processing.