There have been many articles written discussing the pros and cons of various linear motion alternatives, and for many years the choices have been limited to hydraulic, pneumatic and electric cylinder actuation; in fact, if you search “electric or hydraulic linear actuator” in Google, seeking advice on which direction to take, you’ll find over eight and a half million results, all offering opinions on which is the best route.

But what if neither is the best solution? What if you have limited space for storing the linear motion device, and want a compact solution? What if you have to move something over a significant distance, and an actuator simply won’t work? What if you’re seeking a solution which can lift significant weights efficiently without the potential mess of hydraulics or the specific size requirements of existing electric actuators?

There is another option; putting actuators aside altogether, the solution you’re looking for might just be linear chain. Cost effective, stored in compact magazines and capable of moving significant weights over significant distances, linear chain is a far more adaptable and flexible solution to many linear motion needs. With push/pull capability, the linear chain can lift or lower loads to any height, and push or pull horizontally in almost any environment. Suitable for extreme temperatures and speedy motion, this adaptable and powerful solution could be precisely what you need, removing actuators from your design altogether, and solving the headaches associated with bulky, messy components.

front cover of the Grob linear chain catalogue

We all know that hydraulic actuators have a large footprint and potential for failing due to leaks, seal failure, pressure drops and changes in the viscosity of the oils with temperature fluctuations or age. All of these factors can make them an ineffective solution in certain environments.

Electric actuators may be more efficient, and less prone to failure – but they still have the same large footprint and precise measuring and sizing for the specific job – but what if you need something more flexible? What if the motion required differs depending on the circumstances? And what if your space is already limited, and an actuator simply eats into too much of it?

Grob linear chain coiled in a magazine

The push/pull linear chain offers control, power and reliability, smoothly coils into a storage magazine which takes up considerably less space than the actuators would require for motion on the same scale, and can consistently and reliably move large loads over significant spaces with no concerns about loss of power or performance.

When considering the options for linear motion, don’t box your potential success in to the limitations of linear actuators; consider alternative solutions which might just open whole new avenues of options for your applications.

Call us today to find out more about our push/pull linear chain, and let’s work together on new approaches to linear motion on any scale.