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SMC keeps Brodit’s production rolling

With the experience of manufacturing thousands of products on 50 special production machines, the foundation of the long-term cooperation between Brodit and SMC is built on trust, automation expertise and a wide range of reliable products

Marcus Axelsson and Thomas Fransson, Brodit production technicians, and, Hans Frick and Marcus Andersson, SMC application engineers


Every year, Brodit in Karlsborg, Sweden manufactures over 2 million holders and fasteners for mobile phones, tablets and payment terminals. The company’s production facility features approximately 50 purpose-built machines largely made up of SMC products.

“SMC understands our needs and has a wide range of automation components that suit our demands,” says Technician Thomas Fransson. “We probably have most of the components from SMC’s product catalogue in our machinery at this stage. It’s only in situations where we need a specific solution that SMC cannot supply, where we choose other suppliers.”

Thanks to this long-standing co-operation there is a mutual trust between Brodit and SMC, with the latter often involved in the development of new machinery. Here, SMC can use its expertise and experience to influence the choice of optimal solutions.

“We fully trust SMC when they propose a new product or solution,” says Thomas Fransson.

A major technical challenge for Brodit is to design machines capable of handling the small and lightweight parts it manufactures. Here, electric actuators from SMC are a smart solution to move and position the various machine elements.

“We have electric actuators in many of our machines and SMC has developed a tailor-made solution with which we are very satisfied.”

SMC's electric actuators


One solution for each specific machine
The next challenge is to redesign a bending machine at Brodit’s production plant and find a gripper that can handle the small components it forms. A key requirement here is minimising gripper weight.

Says Thomas Fransson: “To keep the cycle time as short as possible it’s important to reduce the weight of the gripper. This requires compact components with high performance.”

Among other projects, Brodit is currently working on getting two new milling machines up running with SMC’s valve package and ionizers. The ionizers are important to avoid static electricity problems in the process.

Brodit has just started up two new milling machines where they use SMC's ionizers


“As we manufacture the vast majority of our parts from plastic, we have problems with chips that get stuck during our milling processes,” explains Production Technician Marcus Axelsson. “We use the SMC ionizer to prevent chips from sticking.”

A global supplier of reliable solutions
Brodit is also planning to redesign another machine, and again SMC’s electric actuators will prove central to the solution.

“We worked with another supplier for this machine previously, but it turned out that their components are not reliable over time and the solution was more expensive in the end,” states Thomas Fransson. “SMC’s components guarantee a long lifetime, and the new electric actuator solution also offers improved control in comparison with the competitor’s solution – at half the price!”

Since 90% of Brodit’s products are made of plastic, the wear and tear on machines is quite low, resulting in longer operating life. The oldest machine is from 2006 and, apart from a few component replacements over the years, it still works fine and there is no need to replace it in the short term.

SMC´s Wireless Unit


More and more machines also feature SMC's wireless devices, which according to Marcus Axelsson offer several advantages: “There’s less cable routing and no risk of cable breakage, reducing production downtime and interruptions. We choose wireless wherever it fits. We received our first SMC wireless devices before the pandemic and are very satisfied with the results.”

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