Linear actuators offering soft-land capability

Electric cylinder actuators offer a high-speed, compact and price competitive alternative to pneumatic cylinders. Products from leading manufacturer SMAC also use moving coil technology to give the added advantage of a patented soft-land capability.

The actuators are also unique in that force, position, and speed are totally programmable. They can perform at exceptionally high speeds or very low speeds and with sub-micron accuracy and repeatability. Markedly, the patented Soft-Land function gives extremely accurate sensing of product location or dimensions.

SMAC electric actuators are suitable for a wide range of high cycle positioning, measuring, inspection, and pick and place applications. For applications requiring 100% verification, they can operate and verify accuracy at the same time, desirable for production lines.

Programmable Features

Customers desiring to increase up-time, ease of set up, and adjustment can make dramatic improvements by using mechatronic Moving Coil technology. SMAC actuators are totally programmable in force, acceleration and velocity. They give users the flexibility to run various products with a quick change-over at the touch of a button. Furthermore, many motion profiles (programs) can be stored/pre-set in the controller. The actuator can operate in three different modes, being:

Force Mode

Force Mode is open loop, using no feedback from the encoder. The actual position is still monitored but has no effect upon the output.

Velocity Mode

Velocity Mode allows the actuating rod to move at a given velocity, acceleration, force and direction. Typically used for a Soft-Land routine.

Position Mode

Position Mode will allow the actuating rod to move to various positions along the stroke using acceleration, velocity and force. It is possible to perform absolute, relative and “learned position” moves.

Benefits of Soft-Land technology

The Soft-Land is a unique patented routine which allows the actuator rod or gripper jaw to land on the surface of a component with a low programmed force. It gives very accurate sensing of product location or dimensions. This is particularly useful for handling delicate or high value components. For example: pick and place of delicate objects; gauging of fragile or pliant materials; switch / material testing.

Linear actuators offering soft-land capability

The routine consists of a controlled low-force approach in velocity mode, whilst continually monitoring the error position. Having made contact, the position error builds up until reaching a pre-programmed figure – resulting in the rod maintaining position on the surface of the component. Moreover, actuators can measure with a resolution of 1 micron and the force used can be set.

– Gentle touch – as low as 10g

– Detect objects / obstructions

SMAC Control Centre – GUI Programming Tools

The SMAC Control Centre is a graphical user interface allowing configuring and tuning of the SMAC LCC-10 controller. It is also an easy way of creating motion programs (macro sequences). Users can therefore create programs and check their application using live update of up to 4 variables. Other uses include fine tuning the control loop within the application.

SMAC Calculator

SMAC-CALCULATOR is an Excel based software tool for selecting the best actuator for an application. It also provides tools to simplify programming with LAC-1 or LAC-25 controller.