Linear belt actuator: Animatics Corp. acquires HLD

Santa Clara, CA – Animatics has acquired UK-based Harmonic Linear Drive LTD. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Harmonic Linear Drive, or HLD, is a traditional linear belt actuator that circulates the belt in an unusual way. The technique yields substantial gear reduction inherently, without a gearhead. 


Santa Clara, CA–


has acquired UK-based Harmonic Linear Drive LTD. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Harmonic Linear Drive, or HLD, is a traditional linear belt actuator that circulates the belt in an unusual way.

“When we discovered the HLD technology, we had to buy the company,” said Animatics CEO Robert Bigler. “The HLD belongs with the SmartMotor. It delivers ball screw performance at a belt drive price and with no practical length constraint.”

Jim Hawkins, president of Animatics, said, “The elimination of so many components and their costs make the HLD a natural extension to the SmartMotor. The further elimination of the gearhead and brake costs put our customers even further in front of their competition by getting them to market faster and with a lower engineering and manufactured cost.”

Previously sold in the U.K., the consolidation will make the HLD available through Animatics offices in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Units are manufactured in multiple grades, ranging from low-cost rollers to dual profile rails for maximum moment loading, the company says. The SmartMotor-HLD union delivers a linear actuator without the cost and failure modes related to separate controller, amplifier, gearhead, and brake, as well as associated cables. Resulting actuator is smaller, faster, and more reliable than traditional solutions.

Animatics and other integrated motor manufacturers continue to experience rapid growth because the technology combining controller, amplifier, and motor has won global acceptance. Machine builders benefit from faster development times and improved reliability inherent to systems with reduced component counts.

Control Engineering News Desk
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