Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Category: Actuator

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What kind of power supply do I need?

All actuators run on either 24 Volts or 48 Volts DC and our coils draw no more than three Amps. Check with your distributor to discuss which voltage is best suited to your application.

How many points along the stroke length can it move to?

Infinite. The actuator can be taught to move or home to any position of number of positions along the stroke length.

Can I change speed mid-stroke?

Yes. Not only is it possible to change velocity mid-stroke, you can also instantaneously between the three operating modes - position, velocity and force.

What is the maximum force I can exert and how fast can it move?

We insist that our actuators operate within a 40% duty cycle. Speed is naturally dependent upon the actuator in question, but speeds are typically in excess of one meter per second.

What is Soft-Land?

Soft-Land is a routine which allows the actuator rod or gripper jaw to land on the surface of a component with a low programmable force. This is particularly useful wherever delicate or high value components are being handled. The routine consists of a controlled low force approach in velocity mode, while the position error is constantly monitored. Once contact is made the position error builds up until a pre-programmed figure is reached resulting in the rod maintaining position on the surface of the component.


What safety precautions are recommended?

Handle the actuator carefully. Do not drop it or subject it to excessive shock loading. Do not apply any side loads to the rod, as this can lead to increased friction and wear on the internal components. Avoid putting the actuator in wet, dusty, very hot (>50° C), very cold (<0° C) environments. Consult SMAC if the actuator is required to work in these environments. Use the optical index to home the actuator on a regular basis. This is especially important when the actuator is being moved around on another axis or subject to vibration. There is typically a rear limit and an extend limit available for additional conformation of the rod's position. Avoid powering the rod into the endstops (this is also related to duty cycle). Use the internal thermostat to protect from overtemp conditions. Get familiar with the actuator by first using it on a horizontal surface with no load and limited force.

How do I size an actuator for an application?

We recommend choosing an actuator capable of two to three times the force needed in your application. This would allow the maximum force needed to be a continuous value for safety. If your application requires a precise force accuracy, it is critical that the coil temperature doesn't increase. This would change the Ratio/Calibration between the output current and the out put force.

How do I set up my computer?

Start your Hyperterminal software Enter a name for the program (e.g. SMAC.trm) and choose an icon, then click OK. A phone number window will appear. In the "connect using" window, choose Direct to COM1 and then click OK. COM1 properties will appear - set as follows: Bits per second - 9600 Data Bits - 8 Parity - None Stop Bits - 1 Flow Control - Xon/Xoff Click Click OK. Select a file from pull down menu, select properties, and choose settings in the properties window. Click on ASCII setup, set line delay to 250ms, click on "wrap lines that exceed terminal width" and Click OK. Select the file from pull down menu and save. With RS-232 connected and power to the SMAC unit, pressing the ESC key should display a great than sign (>).

What is the maximum stroke?


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