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SMAC Moving Coil Actuators is a leading manufacturer of precision programmable electric actuators based on moving coil technology. With its patented “Soft-Land” function, the company’s electric actuators perform at exceptionally high speeds or very low speeds with extremely accurate sensing of product location or dimensions—making them suitable for a wide range of high cycle positioning, measuring, inspection, and pick-and-place applications, particularly where 100% verification is required.
In an interview with SMT Magazine, SMAC president Edward Neff talks about the strategies they implement in their production lines to reduce cycle times and go to market faster. He also talks about how using proven components can help manufacturers ensure the uptime of their equipment and processes.
Stephen Las Marias: what are the biggest bottlenecks in your process that contribute to longer cycle times?
Edward Neff: Cycle time is the time required to perform a repetitive specific task. There are several factors that can slow cycle time. The fragility of the item being worked on can slow cycle time—for example, an electronic chip. The durability of the device doing the work is also a factor. For example, air cylinders are limited to 1,200 CPM. Both ball screw and air cylinders have cycle life in the 10–20M range. Linear motors are 10x that and are much faster.
The repeatability of the device doing the work in position and time can also affect cycle time. A ±20ms time to reach a target means cycle time must increase. Other factors include the acceleration of the device doing the work, the mass of the object being worked on and the moving mass of the device doing the work.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of SMT Magazine.