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SMAC makes Moving Coil electric actuators. These products are the fastest actuators in the world. Cycle life is well beyond 100M. They have the ability to softly land on surfaces and then apply a programmed specific force. SMAC’s new LDL series of linear actuators has a list price of around $300 making them the first real electric actuator alternative to air cylinders. This price is based on SMAC’s contstent cost down program featuring pointed coils, in-house manufactured encoders, and laser cut parts. SMAC invented the Linear Rotary actuator 25 years ago. These are widely used in Electronic Pick and Place, Quality Thread Check, Bottle Capping, and beginning to find wide use in Automatic Screw Driving and SMART Drilling and Tapping. Interestingly a number of companies are making an effort to copy SMAC - but are not able to match technology or price. SMAC also has stepped up its efforts in inspection by launching the MLA series - a direct challenge to old tech LVDT devices.

Content Filed Under:

Industry:
Automotive and Semiconductor Automotive and Semiconductor

Application:
Simulation/3D Modeling Simulation/3D Modeling

8 Ways SMAC's Revolutionary SOFT-LAND is a Game Changer

POSTED 10/22/2015

“Soft-land” is the ability to softly land on a surface with a Moving Coil Actuator shaft and virtually instantly (in milliseconds) recognize that contact has been made and at what distance.  The “Soft-Land” is a patented unique routine which allows the actuator rod or gripper jaw to land on the surface of a component with a low programmed force. It gives extremely accurate sensing of product location or dimensions. This is particularly useful for handling delicate or high value components.

Why is this useful?

In Automation knowing where a work surface is - without distributing it - is very useful. For example:

  1. In Electronic Assembly, parts are very fragile so low impact assembly - now below 0.2 N - is required. Impact is 1/2MV squared so at the ability to soft land results in low impact and no damage to the chip.
  2. In Consumer Electronics, the "Softland" duplicates the action of a Human finger and results in a test of the various finger interfaces that is very close to the finger action it is testing for.
  3. In Packaging, moving products of different masses and sizes is easily done if the product surface is first located and then pushed at a specific force/speed that is appropriate to that product.
  4. Also, in Packaging, sealing and capping works much better when the surface of the bottle is first engaged at a low force.
  5. In the Automobile Industry, switches can be tested by first finding the surface - setting that as the datum - and then testing the switch in force/distance mode.
  6. Also, precision measurement is much more accurate when the dimension to be measured is not affected by the device pushing against it. SMAC Moving Coil Actuators are much more precise than old tech pneumatic LVDTs because of the "Softland" feature.
  7. Glass is brittle so the "Softland" is very useful when cutting or scoring is required.
  8. In general assembly, parts can be automatically assembled in a manner similar to Human assembly by using "Softland" to first bring parts in contact and then apply the correct force to make the assembly. SMAC MCAs can do this as well as feedback whether the assembled part reached its desired final assembly position.

The SMAC Patented "Softland" is one of the many useful features found in SMAC's 21st century Mechatronic Actuators.