The LINAK history

It started with a friend in a wheelchair

About LINAK

In 1976, a newly graduated Bent Jensen took over Christian Jensen & Sons, a family business founded by his grandfather. Since its founding in 1907, the company had evolved very little. Its prime focus was still within agricultural manufacturing – e.g. flat belt pulleys, V-belt pulleys, grinding mills, and forges.

Jensen saw no future for this line of business, so it was with some reluctance he took the job. However, he and his wife, Lene Jensen, gave themselves five years to come up with a new and better business idea.

The idea manifested itself to Bent Jensen one day in a conversation with a friend from the days of study. The friend had a disability, and the two friends came up with an idea of a way to adjust the wheelchair – the electric linear actuator was born!

Bent Jensen loved the idea so much that he decided to develop it further. In 1979 – less than a year later – the first prototype appeared. And, when Jensen received the first large order for 2,000 units for forage harvesters, he never looked back.

In 1984, the company name changed to LINAK – short for ‘Lineær Aktuator’. To this day LINAK still uncovers new potential for electric linear actuators.

1907
Christian Jensen establishes a machine shop
In the town of Nordborg, Denmark, smith Christian Jensen starts his workshop. It grows to count seven employees who build all sorts of tools and aids mostly for agricultural use.

1976
Christian Jensen’s grandson, Bent Jensen, takes over
CEO Bent Jensen is put in charge of the company, now mainly engaged in manufacturing flat belt pulleys, V-belt pulleys, grinding mills, and forges. But, the young newly graduated mechanical engineer has ambitions and allows himself five years to develop a more future-proof idea.

1979
Development of the first electric actuator
After working on the project for a year, Bent Jensen develops the first electric linear actuator, the LA30, designed to improve various applications primarily within agricultural machinery.

1982
First large order for actuators
After delivering only small quantities of actuators for minor customers in Denmark, the first large order for the actuator LA30 is landed as Taarup Maskinfabrik (today Kverneland Group) asks for 2,000 actuators for its agricultural machines.

1984
The company changes name to LINAK®
Owner Bent Jensen decides to rename his growing company, LINAK – a contraction of the words ‘Lineær Aktuator’ (Linear Actuator) – as this fits better with the company’s new prime focus.

1985
First LINAK office outside Denmark
After a few years collaborating with a Swedish wholesaler, Bent Jensen decides to open LINAK Scandinavia AB in Stockholm.

1988
Electronics are introduced
The tentative beginnings of the electronics era as LINAK opens its first electronics department. Primarily to develop control boxes for actuator solutions in hospital beds.

1990
Complete actuator system for hospital and care is introduced
For the first time LINAK presents a complete actuator system for healthcare applications. The system consists of the control box CB10, actuators LA32 and LA28, and a control unit. The system includes an optional battery backup setting a new standard for hospital beds.
Business is expanding and the need for more subsidiaries grows. The UK and Denmark gets their own sales offices and by 1 November, Germany follows.

1993
LINAK presents the first Control Box with software
The control box, CB10 is launched with software. The versions: CB10M, CB10P, and CB10MP meet the market.
Later the small and compact actuator LA12 is launched.
Two more subsidiaries open – LINAK Benelux in April and LINAK Australia in December.

1994
LINAK US is established
To gain a solid foothold in the USA, LINAK opens a subsidiary in Louisville, Kentucky. First task was to build a sales network.

1995
First JUMBO® actuator solution is presented
LINAK introduces JUMBO™ – an actuator system designed specifically for patient lifts.
LINAK Netherlands is established and in July, LINAK France follows – primarily to service OEMs in the healthcare sector.

1996
Finland becomes the door to the North East
To serve Finland and later also potential markets in the Baltic area, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine LINAK OY opens office and storage facilities near Helsinki, Finland.
Linear actuator LA31 and control box CB9 are introduced and immediately sets new standards for low-noise performance.

1997
New LA34 offers strong and ultra-low-noise movement
As an improvement for patient lifts and other hospital related applications, LINAK launches the LA34. The product sets new standards for durability, noise levels, and introduces several new safety features.
In February, LINAK Malaysia – the first office in the Far East – is established.
In September, LINAK Norway opens in Drammen.

1998
A new world of actuators for desks
With the launch of the desk column DL1 the first complete actuator system for desks is born.

1999
First production facility outside Denmark
As a direct consequence of a fast growing market in the US, LINAK opens a manufacturing facility in Louisville, Kentucky.
In July, LINAK Italia opens just a few kilometres south of Milan.

2000
LINAK awarded Royal Mark of Honour
In June, LINAK receives the “Mark of Honour of King Frederik the 9th” for consecutive years of rapidly growing export and for remarkable success in difficult markets.
LINAK also wins the prestigious “Workplace of the Year” awarded by SID – Denmark’s largest labour union.
Another three subsidiaries are established – Barcelona in Spain, Krakow in Poland, and Auckland, New Zealand.

2001
Gazelle of the year
The leading Danish financial media, Borsen, appoints LINAK Gazelle of the year.
New products like the integrated desk actuator DB1, and the foot control FS2 for healthcare applications are launched.

2002
The first dedicated LINAK segment is created
Activities regarding adjustable desks accelerates and as a consequence our first dedicated segment, DESKLINE®, is created.
DESKLINE releases DESKPOWER™ – a system consisting of the lifting units DL4 and DB4, control box CBD4 and control DPA. The system sets the standard regarding low noise, high speed independent of load, and a long stroke length. The DL4 is also available in all RAL colours.
In September, the LINAK office in Zürich, Switzerland, opens.

2003
LINAK intensifies activities in Japan
After collaborating with wholesalers in Japan for 10 years, LINAK opens an independent subsidiary in Japan.
LINAK TWINDRIVE® is introduced – a dual actuator to make movement in leisure beds even smoother and more comfortable.

2004
LINAK U.S. expands to keep up
Adding another 7,000m² (75,000ft²) to the existing manufacturing facilities in Louisville, Kentucky, LINAK U.S. more than doubles in size to keep up with the growing demand.
DESKLINE® introduces six new products. Among them the DP1C – a new panel with memory function.
Sales offices in China and Czech Republic are established.

2005
Welcome to OpenBus™ - and to Brazil
In order to enhance solution flexibility, allow more functions, and create advanced motion control in applications used within healthcare, LINAK develops and introduces OpenBus™ communication platform.
TECHLINE® launches the powerful actuator LA36.
LINAK opens in São Paolo, Brazil.

2006
LINAK sets up manufacturing in China
The first actuators (LA27) leave a brand new LINAK manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China.
In May, an office in Turkey opens.
MEDLINE® & CARELINE® releases the CB20 – the first control box with OpenBus Communication platform.

2008
Manufacturing starts in Slovakia
In January, LINAK opens its fourth manufacturing facility. This time in Prešov, Slovakia.

2010
LINAK introduces green initiatives
In order to increase environmental awareness, minimise the company CO₂ footprint, and ultimately save energy, LINAK reveals plans for a solar panel plant featuring a LINAK Solar Tracking System.
LINAK releases ZERO™ - a technology that reduces standby power consumption from 1-2W to 0.1W

2011
New office established in Russia
During the summer, LINAK opens a subsidiary in Russia.

2012
Actuator solution for solar panels introduced
LINAK TECHLINE® presents the actuator LA37 designed for outdoor applications such as solar power plants.
In May, LINAK opens a subsidiary in Seoul, South Korea.

2013
Safety feature for Desk actuators introduced
DESKLINE® launches PIEZO™ - an anti-collision solution for desks and workbenches.
LINAK opens an office in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria.

2014
LINAK increases focus on climate change
2,800 new solar panels are installed at LINAK Headquarters in Denmark increasing the amount of green energy to 16% of total consumption. LINAK officially sets out to become CO₂ neutral by year 2029.
LINAK moves to a larger manufacturing facility in Prešov, Slovakia, and DESKLINE® presents LINAK Desk Control™ – a small piece of software connecting your PC to your desk, reminding the user to either sit or stand.
HM Queen Margrethe II knights LINAK founder, Bent Jensen.

2015
Kick & Click™ and an entirely new control box platform introduced
LINAK presents the top frame assembly system, Kick & Click™. It halves the time it usually takes to assemble height adjustable tables.
A brand new control box-platform (the CA and CO series) for hospital and medical applications is launched. It eases logistics, aligns worldwide approvals, and generally make LINAK systems even easier to integrate and use for customers.
LINAK welcomes employee number 2,000.