Packaging, process and progress – Heavy Lifting by SMC


Today we get an update from the series sponsor of our Packaging, process and progress series, SMC Corporation, from the floor of this week’s AUSPACK 2022 expo.

SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand demonstrated its latest generation of heavy-duty electric actuators, the LEY100 series, in an interactive and eye-catching demo unit during AUSPACK 2022. The unit is fitted with a 750W servo motor and stand-alone driver, and can generate a force of up to 12,000 newtons with a stroke up to 1 metre. 

Stephen Tantaro, Global Accounts Manager for SMC (left) explains that the unit is fondly dubbed the ‘Colombian power lifter display’. “It’s named this because of the colour combination of weights – totalling 200kg.”

“We wanted to demonstrate that high load carrying capacity and position doesn’t need to be a complex job. In fact, this unit is running without the use of a PLC – just simple discrete inputs. The driver for the servo motor control can be programmed directly from a PC.”

In a nutshell, Stephen lists some of the key benefits of the LEY100 Series electric actuator as: 

  • Moving high loads with full control of the force, speed and position. 
  • Compact package. 
  • Easy to set up and program.  
  •  “Rod type’ design with a ball screw specified for such a high work load capacity as 1,200kg.
  • 1m stroke makes it unique to the market.  

 “At SMC, we’re all about flexibility and listening to our customer’s needs; for mounting, these units conform to ISO 15552, so they can be installed using the same mounting holes as conventional pneumatic ISO cylinders. They even have slots along the length to mount conventional reed switches.”

 He concludes saying: “For customers that prefer to use their own motors and drives, the LEY100 is available as a motor-less option with flanges to suit the compatible motors.”

Smart flexibility – quick wins for Industry 4.0 

Jozef Ceh, Global Accounts Manager (main picture) spoke to the topic ‘Quick wins for Industry 4.0’ at the AUSPACK 2022 seminar series on 17 May 2022. Aptly put, he says: “AI, big data stored in the cloud makes Industry 4.0 accessible today.”

“The conversations that we are having as an industry today are around leveraging the technology that we have today. We haven’t stopped automating, but how do we build on that?”

Jozef shared a road map to Industry 4.0 implementation/ quick wins as follows: 

  1. Drivers for change: “There has to be a reason to start the journey – be it more throughput, efficiency, energy savings etc. Whatever it is, let’s pick one or two objectives to streamline our focus and achieve the outcomes. It’s vital that we take bite size chunks in our journey towards the ‘bigger picture.”
  2. Digital assessment: Now that we know what our focus is, where do we start? “Interestingly, its estimated that 60 to 65% of components/ systems have extended capabilities. This means that some of the infrastructure that we have in place is already equipped and we simply need to build on it/ leverage it.” 
  3. Enablers: Here we look at “what are the enablers that we need to add to our current system to get us to where we need to go?” This looks different in every facility and it’s important that you work with experts to identify these. 
  4. Roadmap deployment: Once you have all of these factors in place, Jozef advises that you have a project team to back that. “You don’t have to go all out. You do however need experts in the field who are there to help get the job done and can best advise along the way.”  
  5. The big picture is the end result: Most importantly, Jozef says that it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start. “Take small steps to achieving the bigger picture.” 

@AuManufacturing’s editorial series, Packaging, process and progress, is brought to you with the support of SMC Corporation.

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