John B. Thomson Sr. invented the Ball Bushing® and, in essence, anti-friction linear technology, more than 75 years ago, and his company has continued to pioneer linear motion innovation ever since. Over the years, the Thomson product range has grown significantly to address the needs of motion designers.
Learn more about Thomson, our history and breadth of linear motion products in our company overview brochure.
...merged with Regal Rexnord in 2023 as a key business in the Automation & Specialty platform? As part of Regal Rexnord, Thomson is even more equipped to provide complete system solutions through its control, drive, motor, power transmission and precision linear motion technologies.
...introduced the first re-circulating ball screw on a 1955 Chevy? In addition to this groundbreaking innovation, we also developed a thread rolling process for manufacturing ball screws.
...routinely customizes its products to meet customers' exact application specifications? We understand that our standard products may not always match your needs, so our experienced engineers work closely with you to ensure your part selection is right the first time.
...has been producing electric linear actuators for nearly 60 years? Our engineers have been dedicated to innovating this product line over the years, introducing the game-changing Electrak® family in 1982. Our latest actuator, the Electrak XD, achieves a remarkable level of power, controllability and ease of use, pushing the boundaries of current electromechanical, all-in-one designs.
...offers its customers more than 75 years of global application experience? The diverse range of industries that we serve includes packaging, factory automation, material handling, medical, mobile off-highway, clean energy, printing, automotive, machine tool, and aerospace and defense, and continues to grow.
"With the Thomson actuators, we have reduced installation time by about 75 percent, and we don't need band parents searching for hydraulic leaks from fittings during startup."
— Drew Taylor, Co-Founder,
Clubhouse Trailer Company
"Load capacity is a key differentiator for cobots. Ball screws enable handling of higher loads than gears, and the Thomson ball screws had the highest load capacity of those we evaluated."
— Yvan M. Measson,
"The way that Thomson has designed the components on this is really slick. They get the cost down by keeping components to a minimum. Using a motor with an integrated lead screw instead of a ball screw cuts the cost of coupling screw and motor together and all the support hardware that goes along with that."
— TJ Merry, Production Manager,
"The Thomson quick mounting technology helps us do things modularly. We assemble the machines in our shop, then remove our shutters and curtains and put them all in the trailer with the rails and deliver to the customer. We reassemble everything there after installing rails. It’s just six pieces going back together."
— Mark Abel, Engineer,
"We needed to have the strength to move load-carrying walls easily and the intelligence to be able to do so on demand. The Thomson technology provided the robustness we needed and the built-in electronics and communications that enabled them to participate in the home network at the right level of energy consumption. A smaller unit would not have done the job, and a bigger one would have added unnecessary cost and energy consumption."
— Joe Wheeler,
Virginia Tech University
"The Thomson virtual design session helped narrow our choices to determine exactly what product we needed to meet our design specifications. The online tool was easy to use and got us going, while Kyle Thompson, Innovation Manager at Thomson, was instrumental in helping us customize and optimize our motion. The way in which they helped us solve the anti-rotational issues is a great example of why it helps to have consultation with a motion design expert."
— Connor McCallum,
University of Waterloo
"We developed the software that we embed in the system. Integrating this with our sensor architecture enables us to compute the motions that need to be done and tells the actuators what to do. Our PC sends messages through Ethernet, then Ethernet signal CAN converters relay those messages to the actuators. The Thomson smart actuators provide all this capability plus exact feedback on their position along their stroke. With a hydraulic actuator, we would have to add that."
— Eric Cabrol,
Head of Robot Engineering,