Our customer approached us to help with an issue with a tempering line, drifting synchronicity with the rest of the line. The problem centred on a cylinder that seemed to work fine when first installed, however the environment the cylinder was working in was very dirty. Water and lubrication running vertically down through the system was affecting the friction on the rod of the cylinder, which casued a slightly longer extend/retract time, in isolation this may not have been a problem but as part of a line this process needed to keep time well.
The constraints of the job were clearly defined, the process was there they just needed an accurate cycle time and it would need to be controlled using the current PLC system. The bad environmental conditions that the cylinder would run under could not be changed and it couldn't be repositioned.
Our working team visited the customer to assess the situation and see what we could do to contend with the tricky application and get the process running in time with the rest of the line.
The customer was technical and had tried various cylinders using in house expertise and had not solved the issue. The situation wasn't the right fit for a pneumatic cylinder as the frictional conditions would move outside the component's operating parameters. We set out to employ an SMC LEY actuator driven by a Moog Animatics SmartMotor, this motor would be able to provide a stable torque, increasing power as necessary to give the actuator the exact pressure required to meet the necessary stroke time.
Lots of our customers lines already had a lot of SMC components so this was a brand they already trusted. We used the SmartMotor as it has an integrated controller and has onboard 24V IO, which meant that the only component needed to be added to the existing setup was the SmartMotor, which could communicate directly with the on-site PLC.
It doesn't give us an oportunity to take a nice glossy photo, in fact it's downright dirty. But that was the nature of the job and the setup worked great, without anything other than a regular hosing down the motor actuator has continued to keep time.