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Editorials

Impact Productivity Not The Product

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators, Inc.

A common side effect of using air cylinder to performing high-speed diverting and sorting of all types of products, and heavy products at any speed is the of the decrease in productivity caused by the higher energy the air cylinder imparts on the product at the point of impact.  This can cause content spillage, product damage and/or jams.  All these issues lower line productivity.  These drawbacks, and more, of using air cylinders can be easily overcome by using all-electric, direct drive electric diverters like SMAC’s actuators.

The Impact Energy (Ei) the actuator imparts on a product at time of impact can be represented using the equation Ei = mv2 where (m) is the mass and (v) is the velocity.  Since the mass of the actuator is constant, Impact energy is driven by the square of the actuator’s velocity.  Since the mass of the actuator rod is constant it is the square of the actuator rod’s velocity that influences the amount of impact energy.  Air cylinders are selected and set up to achieve a required energy, thus velocity, at the end of their stroke to achieve the necessary reject energy so the energy at time of product impact becomes a byproduct that can’t be controlled separately.  Electric actuators have programmable velocity, force and stroke so that they can be set up to have a lower energy at the point of impact whicl stil achieving the necessary energy for reject.  And they can do it with greater comtrol and higher speeds.

As the mass of the product increases the energy also increases so the side effect of the air cylinder not controlling the impact enegy further increases its negativeaffect.  This is in addition to the mass of the product varying within runs and between runs.  Electric actuator’s programmability can be optimized fro  every size and automatically changed.

Too high an energy at the time of product impact can cause the product can spill its contents all over the equipment. this can be costly if the product value is high and/or time consuming if the product is dangerous, caustic and/or can cause contamination.  High impact energy can also cause damage the product container so that it can’t be reworked and/or topple the container so that is causes a jam and line stoppage. All of these events significantly impact productivity.

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