Garage Door Upgrade Ideas with Linear Actuators
Garage Door Upgrade Ideas with Linear Actuators

Garage Door Upgrade Ideas with Linear Actuators

Actuators are used not only in industrial production but also in our daily lives. Automated linear drives open, close, push, lift, lower, remove, and pull elements of various devices. They can be seen in applications such as automobiles, robotics, boats, and many other mechanisms.

Compared to hydraulic and pneumatic mechanisms, electric linear actuator garage door openers are more practical, with their functionality catering to a wide variety of purposes. The actuator’s performance is based on the transformation of rotational motion of the acme screw within the body of the actuator into linear motion of the rod.

A linear actuator PA-18 model by Progressive Automations

Check out our line of linear actuators to find your perfect garage door solution!

Types of Mechanical Openers for Garage Doors

Cars can be expensive, and if possible, it is better to leave it in your own garage instead of on the street or even in an open parking space on your lot. There are many mechanisms for opening garage doors that are based on the use of a two-phase electric motor. They are reliable and durable for the most part, so the owner does not have to worry about replacing broken elements of the opening/closing mechanism.

Garage door openers work on various drives:

Chain Opener

This is an old but still popular mechanism for opening heavy gates. The working principle is simple: the chain is driven by an electric motor, which stops when the gate is fully raised and lowered. This is a very budget-friendly option, although a noisy one.

Screw Drive

It is as loud as a chain drive, but much slower. Lifting and lowering are controlled by a threaded rod that rotates through transmission from an electric motor.

Belt Mechanism

Unlike metal chains, rubber belts are not noisy. While a good mechanism, there is a disadvantage: they can be very expensive.

Cardan Shaft

This is a complex and quite expensive garage door opener, which can be difficult to install and maintain.

Garage door openers work on various drives


Electric Linear Actuators on Garage Door Openers

An electric linear actuator is best for any type of door mechanism, including gate openers and lifting systems of various designs. To ensure you choose the right actuator, you need to determine the dimensions and weight of the garage door.

With an electric linear garage door actuator, the user receives not only quiet performance when the garage door is moving but also a high level of reliability. The function of closing the garage door should also be complemented by a good lock. An ordinary sliding lock is popular, but it is not perfect for use with an automatic drive. When used in combination with an actuator, the garage lock can be integrated with intelligent functioning systems.

A correctly selected linear electric actuator is ideal for controlling any type of lock. The linear actuator can be controlled in any way convenient for the user: manually or remotely. This completely excludes the possibility of opening the gate with the help of physical force.

Electric Linear Actuators on Garage Door Openers


The Mechanics of an Automated Garage Door

Linear actuators have been efficiently used to automate the opening/closing of garage doors of any size, weight, and dimension in recent years. To ultimately improve the functionality of your regular garage door, linear actuators can allow you to remotely open/close garage doors where each half-door weighs up to 300-350 kg. Depending on the actuator you choose, the speed of an automated smooth opening can be approximately 200 mm/sec at that.

We can define two major types of linear drives for garage doors by design and method of operation:


At one end of the ceiling, a gear motor is fixed, at the other - a bus line with a chain inside. When the engine is launched, it starts to use the bus line to lift door sections horizontally up under the ceiling. This type of drive is used in private garages for one or two cars.

The Mechanics of an Automated Garage Door



These types are used in industrial conditions to lift sectional door blades of heavy material and large sizes. The mechanism works smoothly even in unheated buildings, with high levels of humidity. It is too costly, however, to install for private purposes. Actuators are attached to the sash torsion shaft, so that the torque from the motor works with maximum efficiency.

Commonly, the whole linear actuator-based garage door opening mechanism consists of:

  • A chain drive that generates lifting/descending motions.
  • A garage lock, which can be one of the three:
    • Side door bolt.
    • Deadbolt lock.
    • T-handle lock.
  • A screw drive for lifting the door upwards.
  • Direct driver openers.
  • Jackshaft openers.
  • Belt drives.

The standard model of the electric motor operates on a 24-volt supply. Controlling the mechanism remotely is possible with a special remote control synced with the actuator switch on a garage door. Some systems can also include light indicators.

The Advantages of a Linear Actuator in an Opening Mechanism

Compared to the popular chain, belt, and screw drives, a linear actuator garage door opener has the following advantages:

  • Extremely precise control of the movement and speed of the gate.
  • Flexible movement - can be used with other systems to synchronize door position and location.
  • Consistent, sturdy, long-term generated linear movement for opening and closing of the garage door.
A linear actuator by Progressive Automations



If you want to do a garage door upgrade, update your lock or update your opening mechanism, there are many options at your disposal. You can choose a compatible, durable, easy to maintain and reliable option.

Consider the additional features as well. For example, installing a backup power supply will ensure the operability of the opening and locking electric drives in the absence of electricity. Or you can change an open switch actuator garage door.

If you find it hard to determine what type of linear actuator is compatible with your opening and closing control systems, contact us. We will find the technical solution that will help your upgrade garage door opener and fully satisfy all operational needs. If necessary, we can develop and produce a non-standard unit with functionality that meets your needs, making a garage door limit switch upgrade.

Anna Sapiga

AZ Engineer