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StepSERVO™ Smart Actuators

Closed-Loop Performance Comes to Linear Motion
with StepSERVO™ Smart Actuators


Linear actuators combined with StepSERVO™ Integrated Motors provide greater torque, higher efficiency, and better accuracy than linear systems built with conventional, open-loop step motors and drives. These smart actuators feature motor, encoder, drive, controller, screw, and nut built into a single unit. Support rails and carriages can be added (see available formats below).

StepSERVO™ Integrated Motors feature fully programmable, onboard motion control using Applied Motion Products' Q Programming language, which allows these actuators to operate as stand-alone axes with motion profiles stored in non-volatile memory. Industrial communication protocols such as EtherNet/IP, Modbus, CANopen, and Profinet are built-in for distributed motion control applications.

  • Evolution of integration: motor + drive + actuator.
  • Shorten the design cycle by purchasing all integrated components from a single source.
  • Precision, low backlash ball screws and lead screws with anti-backlash nuts.
  • Customizable stroke lengths, leads, end machining, and nuts to meet exact requirements.
  • Closed-loop positioning with StepSERVO™ Technology.
  • Greater torque than conventional stepper motor-based linear actuators.
  • Quiet, high efficiency operation.
  • On-board motion control with Q Programming.
  • Tight coupling of motor to screw.
  • Compact size, short overall length.
  • Customizable to specific OEM requirements - Don’t buy what’s on the shelf, get exactly what you need.

VIDEO: The combination of a NEMA 11 frame screw motor and MLA open-frame actuator create a compact and cost-effective linear positioning axis that performs better than similar axes built with open-loop stepper motors.

The Benefits of StepSERVO™ Smart Actuators

Increased Performance

StepSERVO™ closed-loop stepper technology outperforms conventional, open-loop step motor systems in terms of torque, acceleration, speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Upgrade to a StepSERVO™ Smart Actuator and reap the benefits in performance that only a closed-loop motion control system can provide. And do it without breaking the bank or having to completely redesign the system.

Compact Size

StepSERVO™ Smart Actuators are smaller than conventional linear actuators because several components are removed. First, the screw of the actuator is integrated directly into the motor by replacing the standard motor shaft with the screw. This means no coupling is required between the motor and screw, which shortens the length of the actuator and saves spaces. This also reduces compliance in the system to create a stiffer, more accurate positioning solution.

Cost Savings

By tightly integrating the screw into the motor and reducing the number of components in the actuator, StepSERVO™ Smart Actuators save money over conventional linear actuator solutions. They also save time. No more finding the right coupling and motor flange to mate a motor from vendor A to the actuator of vendor B. Get the fully integrated version and Make It Move.

Three Formats to Choose From

The product formats and details outlined below are a sample of the capabilities we have in designing and manufacturing linear actuators. The solutions represented by these capabilities are designed to address the specific requirements of the OEMs that utilize them in their machines and equipment. Contact our sales team to determine if these capabilities can be put to use in your next linear project.

Screw Motors

Screw motors (sometimes called nut motors) built with StepSERVO™ Integrated Motors are the starting point for all StepSERVO™ Smart Actuators. These screw motors are available without any guides or carriages, just the screw and nut combination of your choice integrated into the smart motor. Choose between ball screw and lead screw along with the frame size, lead length, stroke, and nut style that best suits your needs.

  • Direct integration of screw into motor - standard motor shaft is replaced with screw.
  • Multiple frame sizes.
  • Multiple screw and nut options.
  • StepSERVO™ closed-loop stepper technology provides superior performance.
  • On-board programming and industrial networking.
  • Contact our sales team to discuss your design requirements.
Motor Frame Size Max Stroke
Screw Diameter
Lead Options
Max Force1
Max Speed2
28 mm
(NEMA 11)
150 6 1 - 10 140 500
42 mm
(NEMA 17)
250 8 1 - 12 300 600
57 mm
(NEMA 23)
300 10 2 - 20 1000 1000

1Max force based on 1 mm lead. Varies based on product selection.
2Max speed based on largest lead for each motor frame size. Varies based on product selection.

Screw Actuators

The MLA and MCB smart linear actuators combine the screw motors above with an extruded aluminum rail and support system and carriage for mounting the load. Because of the tightly integrated design, these actuators are well suited for very compact positioning applications.

  • Integrated rails and carriage.
  • Integrated mounting features.
  • No coupling between motor and screw creates compact solution.
  • MCB offers dust seal and fully shrouded motor.
  • MLA offers open-frame design for use in cost-sensitive applications and clean environments.
  • Contact our sales team to discuss your design requirements.
Motor Frame Size Max Stroke
Max Speed
Max Load
Horizontal Vertical
28 mm
(NEMA 11)
150 1 10 5 3
2 20 5 3
6 60 4.4 1.9
10 100 3.8 1.2
35 mm
(NEMA 14)
250 1 10 5 3
2 20 5 3
6 60 5.5 3
10 100 5 3
42 mm
(NEMA 17)
250 2 20 8 5
5 50 8 5
8 80 7.1 4.4

Rod-Style Actuators

The MLT rod-style actuators are well suited for all types of push, pull, lift, and press applications. Screw motors are incorporated into the rod housing with the rod, support, and mounting elements to create smart rod-style actuators that offer excellent performance in a variety of applications.

  • Up to 300 N thrust force.
  • Low vibration, low noise operation.
  • No coupling between motor and screw reduces overall length.
  • Positioning control on-board.
  • Ball and lead screw options.
  • Contact our sales team to discuss your design requirements.
Motor Frame Size Max Stroke
Lead Options
Max Thrust Force
28 mm
(NEMA 11)
150 1, 2, 6, 10 140
42 mm
(NEMA 17)
250 2, 5, 8 300

Choosing Between Ball and Lead Screw

Ball screws provide minimal friction and maximum efficiency due to their ball bearing-based design. They are preferred in applications where accuracy, repeatability, and longer life span are required. Lead screws provide quiet, smooth motion and are more cost-effective compared to ball screws. The higher friction of lead screws means they can hold position when power is removed from the motor, and without any external brake mechanism. This makes lead screws a good choice in vertical applications. Lead screws are also preferred in lower speed, lower duty cycle applications, where low vibration and low audible noise are required.

  Ball screw Lead screw
Efficiency 90% or more 30% - 70%
Duty Cycle High Low/Moderate
Max Speed (motor) Up to 50 rps 15 rps
Repeatability ±0.01 mm Standard nut: ±0.05 mm
Anti-backlash nut: ±0.02 mm
Life Span 5000 km/10 million cycles Horizontal load: 1000 km/2 million cycles
Vertical load: 500 km/2 million cycles
Audible Noise High Low
Relative Cost High Low
Self-locking No Yes

Need something you do not see here? Chances are we can provide it to you. Use the form below to contact our sales team and inquire about our range of capabilities in linear actuator solutions.

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