SMAC Turns Supply-Chain Issues into Opportunity in U.S.

CARLSBAD, Calif. March 10, 2022 – Extensive slowdowns along the supply chain continue to prevent electronics manufacturers from buying the components they need, when they need them, suggesting broader problems across the economy.

However, Carlsbad, Calif.-based SMAC has found a creative solution. During a time when many companies are trying to weather the supply-chain storm, SMAC’s Derry, N.H.-based division, SMAC-EMC, is developing, testing and manufacturing its own line of optical encoders. Eliminating the supply-chain issues that plague its competitors helped lead SMAC’s record encoder sales in 2021.

“We are enduring the supply-chain challenges most companies are facing because we are proactive and finding alternatives that help us and our customers,” said Tom Riha, N.H. division manager. “We even sourced a controller chip that is used for drones to go into our new high-volume LDL actuators, which kept costs down because large quantities were available.

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“No company can create prototypes as quickly as we can, and only a very select few can deliver price-competitive encoder prototypes to U.S.-based companies as quickly as SMAC can.”

An optical encoder is a transducer commonly used for measuring rotational motion. Encoders are used in devices that need to operate at high speed with high accuracy, such as high-speed production lines.

SMAC-EMC’s engineering and manufacturing staff have more than 25 years’ experience designing and building optical encoders at SMAC and at other major optical encoder companies. This staff has designed large volume, optical encoder products for large semiconductor manufacturers in the New England region and receiving encoder orders from across the U.S. and around the world.

That experience, and rapid initial design, has contributed to SMAC-EMC’s success as an agile solution for encoders. Application engineers respond to most inquiries within hours and, depending on the customer’s specifications, can produce prototypes within a few weeks.