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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.

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New Micro Gripper Allows Fragile Part Handling as Low as 2.5 Gram Force

POSTED 02/13/2018

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators introduced details for their new MGR6 Series Micro Gripper. The SMAC MGR6 Series Micro Gripper has a very low moving mass with two independent axes, and, thanks to a patented Soft-Land routine, is capable of light, controlled forces. It can be used as an end effector on third party robots. The unit sells for less than $1,000, providing a reasonable cost for the solution.

MGR6 Series Micro Gripper Specs:

  • Dimensions [mm]:    55x47.5x24
  • Stroke [mm]:             10 (5 each)
  • Peak Force [N]:         3.8
  • Force Constant [N/A]:          11.5

Applications that have been accomplished with the MGR6 include tiny semiconductor (0201) components handling, small lens handling, stent/catheter handling, sample tube handling, and electronics assembly. These applications make use of the company’s patented Soft-Land feature, programmable down to as low as 2.5 gram force (depending on controller), and two independently controlled gripper fingers to pick up asymmetric and/or off-set parts.

Small part assembly is increasing - due to consumer product trends - such as smart phones and watches. These parts are too small and fragile to be handled by most humans. The product also feeds back what happened during the process - i.e. pick up occurred - correct position achieved - part was put down - etc. The MGR6 enables increased small part assembly - particularly of complicated small products that are made in very high quantities.

Currently, small grippers are primarily pneumatic. Guides are not good, forces are too high due to seal friction, and grippers are single axis so off-set parts can be damaged.

SMAC’s built-in sensor feedback system gives SMAC’s devices, including the Micro Gripper, the unique mechatronic ability to “perform a task and verify its quality at the same time.” This would allow the actuators to quality check key processes 100% in real time and feedback the results.

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators is primarily known for their precision actuators with unique capabilities such as programmable and controllable position, velocity, and force, high accelerations, cycle life well over 100M, and a patent-pending “Soft-Land” capability for handling delicate tubes and vials, performing fragile part assembly, measurement, etc.

SMAC electric grippers incorporate programmable speeds, positions and forces with data feedback. The ability to independently control each jaw allows precise force control, measurement and positioning. This makes them ideal for a wide range of positioning, measuring, and inspection applications, particularly where 100% verification is required.