At Unique Automation, LLC, we are a motion control and fluid power product integrator.

Unique Automation has a knowledgeable staff with over eight decades of combined experience in pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical applications.

Our collective expertise grants us the ability to form ongoing, valuable business partnerships and provide clients with innovative and cost-effective engineering solutions tailored to meet their motion and machine control needs.

5 most commonly overlooked motion control application elements

  1. Duty Cycle: When sizing a servo motor and linear actuator, it’s crucial to identify how often it will be in motion relative to how long it will be idle. Many linear motion systems have intermittent faults when operating in a production environment because the duty cycle has been exceeded by a factor far above its capabilities. Take a few moments to consider how the motion system will be used once in production and add a safety factor to ensure system reliability.
  2. Feedback: All motion control systems use a resolver or encoder to accomplish closed-loop positioning. For every fractional degree of motor rotation, these devices provide an incremental electrical pulse to the motion controller which then counts and converts the pulses to distance. One major disadvantage with these devices is when system power is lost, the position is also lost and the system must run a homing routine. An absolute feedback device such as a linear transducer will not be susceptible to the same failure. It provides the controller a consistent voltage or pulse count based on the actual position of the linear actuator. Your system will be more productive and reliable with the addition of linear transducers.
  3. Overhung Load: It’s rare to find a linear actuator with the load perfectly centered over the bearings and close to the axis of support. Many times the load is extended several inches away from the bearing surface in all three dimensions, causing what is called overhung loading. Proper sizing of the actuator for this condition is crucial to bearing life expectancy and low power consumption. We have a great deal of expertise and experience when it comes to determining the load’s center of gravity and can help ensure your actuator will be reliable and long lasting.
  4. Impact Load: In addition to overhung loading, your actuator selection should account for the potential of impact loads. This type of load can occur as a normal course of operation, for example when a part is loaded onto the actuator’s carriage or when a tool is moved into the workpiece by the actuator. The change in load in both of the examples causes a jarring of the actuator that could damage the bearings if they are not sized properly.
  5. Accuracy vs. Repeatability: It’s not uncommon for these terms to be misinterpreted during the initial stages of system design. A linear actuator that is highly accurate will move the carriage to the desired position with a decreased likelihood of error (deviation from the desired position). An actuator that is very repeatable will move the carriage to the desired position and replicate the final position with each new move. When specifying a linear motion system, we help you consider how the accuracy and repeatability specifications will affect application success.


We are confident in our ability to ensure your motion control project is a success. To further ensure a successful project every time, we have developed the following in-house capabilities:

  • Advanced software for sizing servos and linear actuators with your loading information.
  • Extensive multi-platform product experience allowing for painless integration of products from different manufacturers.
  • Project management for all degrees of motion control system complexity.
  • Custom system development and assembly integration
  • Multi-axis system builds with linear and rotary motion stage interfacing