01/15/2015 11:08:31 AM - Posted by pa-admin

Installing can be a simple, easy, pain-free process for anyone. If you find you require some additional help with installation, this guide should be able to set you on the right path. This guide is aimed at helping those with simple automation projects, such as home automation projects, get the best installation possible.

If you have any additional questions about the installation process, feel free to get in contact with us by using the contact information below. We are happy to take you through the process.


We’re assuming you’ve gone through the necessary steps to select the proper actuator for the job. If you’re unsure, this is the moment to go through your specs again to ensure you’ve got the right tool for the job.

Measurements of your application and the actuator are one of the most crucial parts of installation. If this portion is done incorrectly, the component or the application may not function like you expect it to. Use some of the following resources to ensure you have the proper measurements and the proper product for the job.

If you require additional help with specifications, get in contact with our customer service department for help or take a look at some of our other educational articles.

An Introduction: Part I
An Introduction: Part II
Considering Power, Control and Mounting
Determining Force Before Buying
5 Excellent Tips for Sizing
Understanding Duty Cycle

The Components

With every Progressive actuator you receive, you should have a few additional components. Most of these components are sold separately.

The Wiring

Each will have two wires attached to it, which are positive and negative. These will be used to supply power to the actuator from the source. Your actuator may have additional wires for position control. If this is the case, the power supply wires will likely be thicker than the position control wires.

If you require additional wiring, wiring kits and other accessories are available in our Accessories section.

Mounting Brackets


Progressive actuators can be installed using two different types of mounting brackets:

1. Brackets that mount on each end of the actuator

2. Brackets that mount along the shaft of each actuator

The brackets used are specific to the type of actuator being used, so ensure you have the proper mounting brackets for the product you have. To find out which mounting bracket is required for the product you have, visit our product PDF page here and select the type of device you have.

The actuator can be installed without the use of mounting brackets, but it depends on the individual project. Adding or removing the mounting brackets during the installation process can help lengthen or shorten the amount of room you require if you find your actuators are too short or too long.

For those who require an alternate way to mount, they can fabricate their own mounting system. Just be sure the system is reliable, safe and able to hold the amount of pressure you are going to place on it.

The Power Source


Every actuator needs a power source. Most people will use either a DC control box or an AC power adapter. The DC control box will allow for more portability where power is not readily available, and an AC control box will allow you to use your household plug.

Remote Control


Somehow, you’re going to need to control the motion. Either you will need a control box with a wired or wireless remote, or you will need a power source along with a rocker switch.

In rare cases, some just use a battery. In this case, no remote control is required.

Internal Limit Switches

Every actuator we sell comes with internal, non-adjustable limit switches - unless otherwise specified in a custom order. If you find that your actuator stroke length is too long, external limit switches can be purchased. External limit switches are not included with every actuator sold.

The Installation Process

At this point, you should be ready and prepared to install. Keep in mind that each project may have different requirements, and you may need to contact your manufacturer to find additional information.

This guide is meant as basic help for the installation of your actuator.

1. Mounting

Your mounting brackets will first need to be screwed onto your application.

Mounting brackets that use a pin can be screwed into your application using the back hole. Once your mounting brackets are both firmly in place, each end of the component can be lined up with the pin holes and the pin inserted.

For mounting brackets that are installed along the shaft, the bracket can be screwed onto the application and then the shaft can be slid into the bracket. A combination of types of brackets can be used for this or more than one shaft-mounted mounting bracket can be used.

Make sure your mounting job is solid and secure before moving on to the next section.

2. How to Wire

Comprehensive wiring diagrams for each actuator are available online in our Product PDF section. If you require additional wiring help, we have step-by-step instructional videos on our YouTube Channel as well.

For more help with wiring, you can contact our customer service department using the information provided below.

3. After the Installation

You should now be able to turn it all on. If your actuators are not moving, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to find the problem. Get in contact with our customer service department to go through a troubleshooting process to find a solution. Contact information can be found at the end of this article.

Actuators require almost no maintenance. If they have been installed correctly, they should be able to function for as long as the stated life cycle.

However, there are some helpful tips that you can use to ensure that your device will maintain its life expectation over time. You can find those here.

Additional Help

If you have any additional questions about the installation process for a Progressive actuator, feel free to get in contact with us. We are happy to take you through the process. We can be contacted by calling 1.800.676.6123 or by emailing



01/04/2015 4:00:34 PM - Posted by pa-admin

We have prepared another step-by-step guide on how to connect and power a linear actuator, this time using a DC powered control box. You can check out our earlier post on how to connect using AC power here. For this demonstration we are going to use one of our most popular DC power sources, the PA-30.

Continue reading



12/21/2014 4:00:43 PM - Posted by pa-admin

We at Progressive Automations have prepared a step by step guide on how to connect a linear actuator to one of our control box models, specifically the AC powered PA-20, one of our more popular models.

Continue reading



12/15/2014 2:44:23 PM - Posted by pa-admin

Lead screws are one of the most basic linear electric actuator technologies you'll find. In terms of matching cost with reliability, lead screws are your best bet, Here are some of your lead screw questions asked and answered.

What is a lead screw?

A lead screw is any threaded screw that helps create motion by moving a load along its surface. In the case of actuators, lead screws are used to push and pull the stroke.

Lead screws come in a variety of lengths and thicknesses. The length and thickness of each will determine how long the stroke of your actuator is and how fast it will move. The thicker the lead screw, the slower it will travel.

What is an ACME screw?

An ACME screw is a lead screw of a specific type. The ACME screw is of the trapezoidal thread form. So, if you were to get out your magnifying glass and look closely, you'll see that the outline of the threads on the screw form a trapezoid with a 29° angle. ACME screws are the most common form of lead screw used.

What's the advantage of a lead screw?

In terms of cost, you're not going to find anything better. At least not right now. Lead screws can be made to handle high-force loads with high precision and repeatability, too.

Can a lead screw bend?

Under certain conditions, a lead screw can bend. If you're using your linear electric actuator within the manufacturer's specifications, you should have no problems with bending. Lead screw vibrations will occur in very small amounts in every application, but this shouldn't pose a problem to your application.

What makes a lead screw efficient?

Whenever you hear the word 'efficiency' being tossed around with lead screws, the main factor is friction. In order for the lead screw to convert rotary motion into linear motion, it has to overcome friction.

When the angle of the thread is increased in a lead screw, the friction can be reduced. It takes less energy to overcome the friction when the angles are increased.

Where are lead screws used commonly?

Lead screw actuators can be used in a variety of settings. Any place where smooth, reliable motion is required, a lead screw actuator can handle the task. This can include hospital beds, home automation, robotics, manufacturing and many more areas.

Do I need to lubricate my lead screws?

No. Actuators offered by Progressive Automations do not need to be lubricated.

Can I used lead screws in harsh environments?

Lead screws are particularly useful in harsh environments because they have no rolling parts. Whenever rolling actuators are used in places that can accumulate dust or other particles, performance can be affected. Lead screw actuators are better able to withstand the dust and particles that may enter in these harsh environments.



06/10/2014 5:00:19 PM - Posted by pa-admin

The next generation of motion for actuators and controls.

Control four actuators right from your Android or Iphone device.

Combine all your control options into a single device. Don't pay for more.

Record up to 5 presets and activate them with a single button.
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