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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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SMAC Torques Capping Applications with the New CBR Actuator

POSTED 12/04/2019

CARLSBAD, CA - SMAC Moving Coil Actuators’ new CBR electric actuator has been released and is being utilized widely in Italian Packaging and Food Processing companies. The CBR electric linear rotary actuator is a cylindrical, IP-rated unit designed using the “MCA Inside” process; aligning with OEM requirements of "dropping into" the form, fit and function of an existing solution that is underperforming. This specific application is in the multi-head wheel (turret) arrangements found in many traditional capping applications. These CBR actuators are 100mm diameter - IP 65/67 rated with built-in controllers. The CBR incorporates SMAC's own HT rotary servo motors, known for their compact size and high torque per amperage. The linear force is above 100N and the rotary torque is in the 8-12NM range. Strokes are 75, 150, and 300mm currently.

The benefit of this solution aligns perfectly with companies looking to optimize their manufacturing systems using big data and industry 4.0 methodologies. In this specific application, the CBR Soft-Lands on the top of a container with cap, reverses to find the first thread (low linear force applied), rotate to cap (monitor torque, number of turns, linear position), final torque successfully (monitor both torque and final linear position). While completely programmable to dial in the perfect process, equally important is that the data for this process is available at the time each part of this process is occurring – assuring proof of a 100% capping process.

Pricing starts at around $2,500 list in the U.S. and operates with 48VDC, low current amperage, which minimizes heat (moisture build-up potential) and is inherently safe. Competitive solutions (based on moving magnets) are priced $6,000+ with much higher operational voltages and currents in the 20+/- amp range.

The CBR - like the LBL (linear only, high force, low cost OEM solutions) - are products aimed at the packaging and food processing industries. Product development has aligned with this market creating customized actuator solutions working closely with customers to solve their application challenges. This has been equally supported on the servo drive/controller side of our business, by creating low-cost hardware and industrial Ethernet options, such as Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT.

Future development will include the 75mm and 150mm diameter types. SMAC has a solution to back EMF (back electromotive force, aka actuator acting as its own dampener) so bigger sizes will remain fast with strong cycle times. Eventually SMAC will add 50 and 25mm versions, driven by customer applications.

The California-based company expects that sales to the Packaging & Food Processing markets will be 30% of total sales in 2022. SMAC is also seeing strong growth potential in Lab Automation and the DC rotary servo markets.

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators are true mechatronic solutions — 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. The Soft-Land capability is particularly useful when performing fragile part assembly, measurement, moving objects, and so on. Real-time feedback of these motion attributes provides proof the work is done to specification.