SMAC Moving Coil Actuators has announced its LPL30 low-profile electric linear moving coil actuators are being used by manufacturers of dosing and filling machines in Asia and Europe. The LPL30, introduced by SMAC earlier this year, is designed for speed, consistency and repeatability for use in dosing and dispensing applications. 

Repeatability is required for dosing and filling—the process of distributing small quantities of a substance such as medication, perfume, food additives or flavoring—to ensure a consistent amount of material is dispensed. “Machine manufacturers are quickly discovering the benefits of programmable electric actuators and switching from the air valves and air cylinders that have been the mainstay since the 1950s,” says SMAC Founder and CEO Ed Neff. “The precision the LPL30 provides means the exact quantity of is dispensed every time, even at very high speeds.” 

Precision dosing of materials and fluids is traditionally done with diaphragm-operated valves operated by air valves and cylinders. The drawbacks with air-operated diaphragm valves include: a response variation of plus or minus 10-15 milliseconds, which can result in the dosing volume varying by 10%; cycle rate 50% lower; they’re limited to a fixed speed and two positions; and a short lifecycle. SMAC LPL30 actuators use a DC linear servo motor and offer programmable speed, force up to 70 newton, micron-level positioning and a 30mm pitch that is meant for dosing and dispensing applications. 

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators Other features of the LPL30 include: 

  • Response time variation of plus or minus 1 millisecond and a dose volume variation of 1%.
  • Programmable stroke can be adjusted in real time to compensate for valve wear or change in diaphragm size because the LPL30 can measure the thicknesses as it operates and make adjustments on the fly.
  • Engineered for very low friction for fast and consistent response times and force that remains steady throughout the stroke.
  • Cycle rates up to 2,400 cycles per minute, three times faster than air cylinders, for increased output.
  • Inherently Industry 4.0 compatible.
  • Patented “Soft-Land” capability to gently locate a surface and then perform its function and provide real-time feedback for tracking, performance and quality control.
  • Compact size fits most dosing and dispensing machines.
  • Ingress Protection (IP) 67 and 69 rated.
  • Reportedly lasts more than 100 million cycles, 10 times longer than pneumatic devices. 

The LPL30 is designed to be cost competitive with the devices it replaces. The LPL30 actuators are manufactured with square steel tubing with high-strength neodymium magnets on all four sides for greater force than conventional linear motor designs. SMAC also uses precision shafts, bushings and anti-rotation dowel pins, rather than more expensive recirculating ball linear guides, which reduces moving mass and increases acceleration. SMAC manufactures the LPL30 actuators at its Carlsbad, Calif. facility, allowing it to deliver most orders within three weeks.