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LADDER DIAGRAM. An industry standard scheme for representing control logic relay systems.

LEAD SCREW. A precision machine screw which, when turned, drives a sliding nut or mating part in translation.

LEAN PRODUCTION. (1.) Manufacturing activities performed with a specific objective of minimizing inventory related costs and activities. (2) A term developed by MIIT researchers to describe companies which have implemented the Toyota Production System. (See JUST-IN-TIME).

LEARNING CONTROL. A control scheme whereby experience is automatically used to provide for better future control decisions than those of the past.

LEVEL PRODUCTION. Scheduling final assembly so the demand for components and subassemblies is even on a daily basis.

LIMIT SWITCH. An electrical switch positioned to be actuated when a certain motion limit occurs, thereby deactivating the actuator causing that motion.

LINEAR ARRAY CAMERA. A television camera (usually solid-state) with an aspect ratio of l:n; today, n is typically 128, 256, or 512.

LINEARITY. (1) The degree to which an input/output relationship is proportional. (2) The degree to which a motion intended to be in a straight line conforms to a straight line.

LINE BALANCING. (1) The assignment of tasks to work stations or allocation of work stations to tasks so as to minimize the number of work stations and to minimize the total amount of unassigned time at all stations. (2) A technique for determining a fairly consistent flow of work through an assembly line at the planned line rate.

LINE SYNCHRONIZATION. The ability to synchronize the operation of an industrial robot with a moving production line so that variations in line speed are automatically compensated for.

LOAD CAPACITY. The maximum weight or mass of material that can be handled by a machine or process without failure.

LOAD DEFLECTION. (1) The difference in position of some point on a body between a non-loaded and an externally loaded condition. (2) The difference in position of a manipulator hand or tool, usually with the arm extended, between a non-loaded condition (other than gravity) and an externally loaded condition. Either or both static and dynamic (inertial) loads may be considered.

LOAD LEVELING. The procedure of moving operations or orders in such a manner as to smooth, in accordance with the capacity, manpower, and machine requirements over part or all of the planning horizon.

LOCATING SURFACES. Machined surfaces on apart that are used as reference surfaces for precise locating and clamping of the part in a fixture.

LOCAL AREA NETWORK. Data communication network that interconnects workstations, computers, machine tools, robots, and/or other digital devices.

LOT SIZE. The number of units within the same order.

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