Thomson Introduces Compact Electromechanical Linear Actuators with Embedded CAN Bus Support and PLC Capability

July 20, 2020
Thomson Embedded CAN Bus

Thomson Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of mechanical motion control solutions, has announced availability of their new Electrak® MD, a more compact electromechanical actuator that retains all of the intelligence built into its larger counterparts. Mobile off-highway, material handling and factory automation applications can benefit from the compact actuator with up to two kilonewtons (kN) of force, advanced onboard electronics and J1939 CAN Bus support.

“Traditionally, motion control users looking for a higher load handling system are using hydraulic actuators,” said Chad Carlberg, Product Line Manager for Industrial Actuators at Thomson. “However, these actuators are costly to maintain and use a lot of space. With our new compact Electrak MD, designers can now achieve high precision and greater flexibility while reducing costs.”

Onboard Electronics

The new Electrak MD also comes with onboard intelligence, which enhances the overall performance and eliminates space consumption by keeping any external equipment like encoders and switches within the actuator housing. As with its predecessor, the Electrak HD, this functionality provides a simpler method of control and communication, which minimizes operating costs and simplifies setup and installation.

In addition to the above benefits, the Electrak MD also features extensive automation and maintenance enablers such as feedback on position, J1939 CAN bus communication, low-current switching (PLC compatibility), and end-of-stroke indication output.

High Power Density

Many design engineers are often faced with the challenge of meeting size constraints while maintaining high force requirements. For example, with applications on a harvesting combine, past designs were cavernous enough to allow a large amount of space for hydraulic solutions to actuate the equipment with high force. Now, equipment manufacturers are tasked with reducing the overall footprint and adding functionality, resulting in an increased demand for more compact components such as the power-dense and intelligent Electrak MD.


Electrak MD actuators are available immediately. For more information, visit: