Category Archives: Blog

AC Laminate

High Force with the AC Laminate Series

September 3, 2021

AC Laminate Linear Solenoids from Johnson Electric have a T-shaped laminated designed plunger and laminated steel frame.

This platform has the unique ability to hold a hefty load, although with quiet operation. To minimize the humming or chattering of most AC solenoids, we machine the contact surfaces of the laminated frame and plunger to provide an especially smooth and flush contact surface.

Our Super-T Laminates are products developed following years of engineering, research, and manufacturing experience.

AC laminate solenoid, exploded view illustration with parts labels

Features and Benefits

  • 10,000 Cycles
  • Exceptionally High Force and Stroke Compared with DC

Common AC Laminate Solenoid Applications

  • HVAC
  • Business Machines
  • Industrial Equipment

This platform is available in various frame sizes with a variety of plunger and coil arrangements; consequently, this platform is ideal for most very high force AC applications.

For further information on the AC Laminate Series, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

SoftShift air damper

The Smooth Actuation of the SoftShift Series

August 27, 2021

Johnson Electric’s SoftShift linear solenoids provide slow, especially smooth position control or high-speed snap-action operation.

SoftShift solenoids have a unique construction that allows easy transition from snap action to variable positioning. Using the same power, the starting force is three to five times higher than standard solenoids at the fully de-energized position, which is advantageous for starting inertial loads or detent mechanisms and conserving electrical power.

This solenoid offers quiet operation, high power density, and also a variety of sizes. Custom engineered solutions additionally ensure that exact application requirements are met. With a life of 10 million cycles, the Soft Shift® platform is especially ideal for applications requiring closed-loop velocity and position control.

Softshift solenoid, exploded view illustration with parts labels

SoftShift Features and Benefits

  • Life of 10 Million cycles
  • Slow, Smooth Motion or Snap Acting
  • Can fit tight size restraints
  • Quiet Operation (65dBA)
  • Built-in Return Spring
  • Dual Shaft Extensions for Pull or Push Use

Common Applications

  • Impact sensitive applications
  • Medical Equipment Lock

For further information on the SoftShift Series, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

low profile solenoid

Compact Size with the Low Profile Solenoid Series

August 20, 2021

Johnson Electric’s Low Profile Linear DC Solenoids offer an extremely compact design which optimizes the magnetic flux path for maximum force versus stroke characteristics.

The construction of the plunger assembly provides an auxiliary flux path which consequently permits a significant increase in force.

The reliability and high performance of the low profile design also make it an ideal choice for applications in which consistent, reliable operation is critical.

Low profile solenoid, exploded view illustration with parts labels

Features and Benefits of the Low Profile Series

  • Extreme temperature applications (up to 200°C, in fact)
  • Forces up to 190 lbs
  • Can fit tight size restraints

Common Applications

  • Pumps
  • Packaging Equipment
  • Instrumentation and testing equipment

For further information on the Low Profile Linear DC Solenoids, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

ultimag centrifuge

The Powerful Ultimag® Series

August 13, 2021

Johnson Electric’s Ultimag® rotary actuator technology offers a bidirectional, center return function not found in traditional rotary solenoids.

Substantially faster than other solenoids, the Ultimag platform can operate in an on/off mode or proportionally, in both open and closed-loop systems.

Ultimag® actuators also offer a 45° stroke; however, the design can have a maximum stroke of 160°. For shorter strokes, you can of course use electronic or mechanical stops.

The Ultimag® Series was developed in response to application needs for higher speed and higher torque motion control components. This technology is also ideal for applications requiring high speed and high torque motion control.

Ultimag solenoid exploded view illustration with parts labels

Ultimag Rotary Actuator Features and Benefits

  • Highest Speed
  • Capable of 5ms movement time*
  • Long Life: up to 100 million cycles*
  • No axial travel limits wear on mechanical linkages

Common Applications

  • High-Speed Industrial
  • Medical Devices
  • Business Technology

For further information on the Ultimag rotary actuator, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

rotary solenoids

Versatility of the Rotary Series

August 6, 2021

Johnson Electric is the world leader in Rotary Solenoid technology. Rotary solenoids are electromechanical devices that convert linear motion to rotary motion by virtue of three ball bearings that travel down inclined raceways.

How Rotary Solenoids Work:

When the coil is energized, the armature assembly is pulled towards the stator and rotated through an arc determined by the coining of the raceways.

Our 3 Ball Race rotaries are capable of withstanding a high G load shock without worrying about accidental actuation thanks to the uniquely designed helical raceways and tri-ball bearing setup.

Our standard design is capable of -55°C to +80°C ambient temperatures and the high-temperature design is capable of up to 200°C.

These extremely high-speed actuation devices provide very long-life operations for the most challenging applications.

Features and benefits

  • High Durability up to 50 million actuations
  • Large variety of sizes
  • Custom engineering for environmental and torque requirements
  • High-Shock Resistance
  • High-Temperature Resistance

Common Applications

  • Door Locking
  • Machine Vending
  • Industrial Automation
  • Medical Diagnostic Equipment

For further information on the rotary solenoids series, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

Rotary solenoid illustration, de-energized and energized Rotary solenoid exploded view illustration with parts labels

STA Super Tubular Actuator

Long Life with the STA Series

July 30, 2021

Johnson Electric’s extensive tubular solenoid platform provides high force for short stroke applications; it is, therefore, ideal for applications requiring long life and high reliability. We construct our Super Tubular Actuator (STA) technology with low friction system bobbins, ensuring life up to 25 million actuations.

The customizable Super Tubular Actuator platform is available in various sizes in both push and pull engagement. This also makes them well-suited for lock/latch operations.

The STA Series provides high resistance to shock and vibration to withstand extreme ambient conditions. They are additionally available in magnetic latching versions.

STA (Super Tubular Actuator) solenoid, exploded view illustration with parts labels

STA Features and Benefits:

  • Strokes up to 1.5”
  • Built-in air gap spacer maximizes life while minimizing cost
  • Magnetic Latches
  • Rated at 25 Million Cycles
  • 7 Pull and Push Models
  • Easy nose mount installation also requires no additional hardware

For further information on STA technology, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

BTA - Brushless Torque Actuator

Extreme Speeds with the BTA Series

July 23, 2021

Johnson Electric’s BTA or Brushless Torque Actuator platform offers high-speed controllability in rotary stroke applications needed in material handling, valve control, high-speed shutter control, among others.

With a single-phase coil, stator bases, and a matching rotor pole, the design allows for a stroke of up to 45 degrees.

Since BTA technology does not require full stroke actuation, this product provides a much quieter operation due to the soft, shock-free cycling, eliminating the noise associated with end-of-stroke mechanical stops. With proper controls and application damping, it is possible to achieve exceptionally low dB levels.

The BTA product family is ideal for high-speed, high throughput diverting and sorting applications that require low noise and zero downtime for maintenance.

With the BTA series running at extremely high speeds, it works best in applications that require millisecond actuation speeds.

BTA (Brushless Torque Actuator) solenoid illustration with parts labels

Features and benefits

  • High Durability up to 100 million actuations
  • Fast Actuation Speeds with 10 millisecond actuation times unloaded
  • Near Noiseless Actuation
  • Optimized for torque and speed performance

Common BTA Applications

  • Material Handling
  • Sortation
  • High-Speed Shutter Control
  • Valve control
  • Fail-Safe Control

For more information on the BTA line family, contact our office to speak to a sales representative.

open frame solenoid

Open Frame Series Solenoids

July 1, 2021

Johnson Electric’s linear open frame solenoid technology is among the most convenient and efficient options available.

Open frame solenoids are the most economical of all the solenoid types and are typically selected for applications in which extremely long life and precise positioning are not critical.

This platform consists of an open iron frame, an over-molded or taped coil, and a movable plunger in the center of the coil.

These types of solenoids are available in either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) versions.Read More

parcels on a conveyor representing e-commerce growth

The Explosive Growth of E-Commerce

June 9, 2021

The continued pandemic of 2020 rocked the world — for good and bad. While we all implemented social distancing measures and new policies and procedures, we saw an unprecedented explosion of e-commerce growth.

While these shifts were projected as temporary, it’s clear that consumer behavior isn’t changing. Categories like food and beverages, along with necessities, are experiencing a permanent shift, and will continue to remain partly online for the time being, if not for good. According to Forbes, this idea is being backed by 74% of global retail and consumer brand professionals, as they project the e-commerce market to expand by one trillion dollars in the next four years.

Why? The two main reasons shopping online has become even more popular are convenience and an increased focus on personal hygiene with social distancing.

Through the demand for items like groceries, loungewear, computer desks, tech items, and other necessities, the e-commerce industry also noticed the need for intelligent technologies during the shipping, sorting, and packaging processes.

Why do we need smart technologies to deliver goods effectively?

As the saying goes, if you’re not first, you’re last. This society is no stranger to quick, fast, and convenient shipping, and the continued evolution of retail proves that. Items that are considered essentials are being ordered by millennials, and are in the top growing e-commerce product categories. Now products that would normally only be purchased at a brick and mortar locations like beauty products and produce are being purchased en masse by the younger generation, making efficient delivery paramount.

With the intensified online competition, the e-commerce industry saw big plays being made to retain their existing customers and recruit new ones through loyalty programs, subscription models, promotions, and expansions of products.

Through these measures, significant players could leverage themselves with existing customers and shut out the retailers who hadn’t quite jumped on the technology bandwagon.

Practical recommendations to transition your business to e-commerce

So, how can you buy some security to prepare for a future crisis? The bold companies that embrace new technologies and new realities — whatever they might be — are the ones who emerge as market leaders.

Taking action now is the key to preventing another surprise in the wake of another crisis. While unprecedented circumstances aren’t predictable, you can prepare your business to be resilient and sustainable.

The following recommendations are critical to consider when responding to a new reality:

Explore a digital business model

Revisit your business model’s foundation and make sure it’s still valid within the new e-commerce reality. Ask yourself if the current plan is sustainable in the event of another crisis. According to Forbes when polling business executives, “[o]nly one-third said that they primarily think of digital business models when they think about digitization”. This illustrates a large gap in the merchant-customer relationship.

Strengthen the customer experience

Do you understand how and why your (new) customers purchase the way they do? A simple, human-centered user experience is key to providing a straightforward and efficient shopping experience across devices.

By enhancing these experiences, you can take a great physical store experience and recreate a seamless digital connection online. To make this endeavor a successful one, recruiting new talent and investing in your current culture will be essential.

Upgrade your supply chain and fulfillment

Do you have what it takes to move, ship, and sort inventory quickly and efficiently? Creating a customer-centric supply chain will cater to more robust product availability, faster delivery, and easier returns. This will also translate your customer needs to the supply chain process by creating value for the end consumer with every dollar spent.

Test your e-commerce platforms

If your e-commerce platform crashes at every new product availability, consider expanding capacity limits to prepare for increasing consumer flow.

Invest in advanced technology to ensure great (and automated) customer interactions via chat and recommendations.

COVID-19 has permanently reshaped e-commerce as we know, separating the winners from the rest. Prepare your business by updating your business model, customer experience track, and platforms to sustain itself through another crisis.

Where Johnson Electric Fits

We produce technology in the form of solenoids that actuate and provide sources of movement. This is a pivotal part in the supply chain process, giving power and speed to material handling and sorting applications necessary to drive faster e-commerce transactions. Not only does this give companies who use our tech in their applications a competitive edge, we help drive cost efficiency by making durable equipment and reducing downtime.

For more information please contact us.

Material handling & robotics: Articulated robotic arm at packaging line in factory

Robotics in Material Handling

May 5, 2021

What to Expect?

  1. Benefits of Robotics in Material Handling/Why Use Robotics?
  2. Which Material Handling Robot Is for Your Business?
  3. Big and Small Material Handling
  4. Bin Picking
  5. The Future of Material Handling

Material Handling and Robotics go hand in hand, quite literally! The inclusion of tending systems and automated robots has become quite common in the industrial sector. It works with robotics arms moving the products on and off the conveyor belts during the material handling process.

In the increasingly competitive landscape, this allows you to streamline the repetitive tasks with the utmost ease. Anything needing shifted from Point A to Point B, programmable robotics can handle.

The market for robotics in material handling is set to touch the $39 billion mark by the end of 2022. The boom is largely accredited to the vast array of functions that can be moved into the robotics sector. Material tending, part transfer, palletizing, and pick and place applications are a few of the accepted ones.

Why Use Robotics in Material Handling?

The golden question that arrives when it comes to robotics: why should you invest in it in the first place?

Increased Uptime

Automated processes allow you to do more in less time. It also helps manage the tight delivery schedules through a radical shift in managing disruptions and reducing their overall potential.

Adaption and Flexibility

Instead of being driven by a web of wires, the technology can find efficient routes and change in line with the industries’ inventories and workforce—thus lending space for scalability and flexibility.

Controlled Outlay and Labor Management

Robotics doesn’t replace your labor; it makes them more efficient. The automated solutions make up for employee shortages, saving both time and money in the long run.

Adds to the quality

With the tasks being repetitive in nature, the space for scrap, rework, and human error is significantly reduced. Plus, when properly programmed, the robotics deliver a higher ROI and upgraded quality.

Which Material Handling Robot Is for Your Business?

The size and functions of the robot depend upon two factors – reach and payload. However, since reassignment allows you to capitalize on the investment, it is always prudent to over-specify these details.


While reach can be an issue depending upon the routing and handling belts, some unconventional options can never hurt. No rulebook makes a floor-mounted pedestal mandatory. You can get creative and select a wall or ceiling mount to go with your process as well.


Regarding picking and packing, you must take into consideration the speed and repeatability factors. For instance, in the case of a moving conveyor, swift actions with a sensory vision system could help with productivity and precision.

Big and Small Material Handling

The continuous growth and innovation in software, vision, and gripper technologies have given robotics the power to facilitate material handling at all ends. The machines are now faster and sturdier to handle a significant level of payloads. Big robots operating within work cells can even handle the larger materials. This has been made possible with compact manipulators and prominently shaped grippers.

Some robots can hold and move around 3000 pounds. Automotive companies use them to pick up buses and tractor frames, transferring fully or partially assembled pieces across different lines. The robots pick the structures, flip them over, and set them back onto a carrier for further processing.

On the other hand, for smaller tasks, more intelligent networks are being built within the cell. For instance, all the low payload robots work in sync, finally passing the product to a larger lift assistant to manage the higher load capacity. Plus, smaller robots optimize floor space utilization while also giving a remarkable boost to efficiency.

For fragile parts like electronics and food products, manufacturers are employing one-kg payload delta robots with certified grippers to handle the food appropriately. Similarly, robotic food and biotech handling operations are also on the rise.

Bin Picking

Bin Picking must be one of the most tedious ordeals of material handling. Hence, creating a fully robotic system to handle the process is nothing short of a manufacturing unit’s boon. However, it is a rather complex method and needs the manipulators to act accordingly.

The first step is to deploy three-dimensional scanners, which can guide the grippers for a better hold. The scanner builds an array of light points using a structured pattern to complete the tasks efficiently. It also eliminates the need for sensor heads on a robot.

Additionally, the robots are designed to travel on a rail, speeding up the picking and packaging processes for material handling, distribution, and manufacturing operations.

Automated bin picking is further suitable for the general industry, appliance manufacturing, plastic and metal products, and much more.

The Future of Material Handling

Robotics might be growing slowly in the Industry 4.0 revolution, but it’s building with an upwards line for material handling. With rapidly changing software, faster speeds, and continually improving structures, it shall be the new normal for manufacturing and warehouse units worldwide.

More and more managers now realize how to leverage robotics to increase their demand, production, and efficiency. As a growing area for innovation, it may change material handling as we know it. Warehouses that previously were only used as a distribution are now becoming equipped to also handle order fulfillment due to the uptrend in robotic technology according to Forbes.

Where Johnson Electric Comes In

Our BTA line of solenoids only needs milliseconds to successfully divert a package to its appropriate location with minimal effort and zero downtime. Also, with the silent operation and long life, with over 100 million actuations per solenoid, it is a perfect solution for sorting applications. We also supply a variety of open frame solenoids for the robotics industry.

For more information please contact us.

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