Air-bearing rotary stages use ultra-precise encoders

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Air-bearing rotary stages use ultra-precise encodersAerotech's new ABRT series rotary stages combine innovative air bearing mechanics, direct-drive servo technology and ultra-high-precision angle encoders to provide exceptional performance. Available in three models with nominal tabletop diameters of 100mm, 150mm and 200mm, they provide up to 70kg load capacity with bidirectional repeatability to less than 1 arc-sec and calibrated angular accuracy to +/-2 arc-sec.

The ABRT series stages feature large-area air-bearing surfaces that are preloaded to ensure maximum stiffness, high load capacity and extremely low axial, radial and tilt motion errors. Aerotech's high-torque S-series direct-drive brushless and slotless servo motors are directly coupled to the precision encoder feedback system, providing exceptionally smooth and backlash-free motion with excellent in-position stability.

Overall angular resolution when using Aerotech's A3200 automation platform controller and MXH500 multiplication is 0.133 ?radians for the largest stage.

The entirely non-contact design ensures an extremely long life with almost no maintenance required, making the ABRT rotary stage excellent for demanding high-throughput manufacturing and inspection applications found in semiconductor production, DVD mastering, and MEMS/nanotechnology fabrication. The range can also be used as an enabling technology for high-precision metrology and other positioning applications requiring extreme precision.

Versatile standard and custom-engineered versions

Each of the three stage designs includes a through-hole that provides a clear aperture for laser beam delivery, product feed-through or other application-specific requirements. Manufactured from aluminium, black anodised and with a hardcoat finish for extra durability, the ABRT series includes an assortment of mounting holes, T slots and a connector block for motor power and feedback connectors. Custom-engineered modifications can include adaptation for rate table and inertial navigation test stands with slip rings, pneumatic and hydraulic unions built-in.

The ABRT series can be supplied as part of a complete positioning system with linear air bearing stages and motion controls from the extensive Aerotech range. Single-axis and multi-axis linear air-bearing stages cover travel ranges from 150mm to more than

1.5m x 1.5m for gantry-style positioning systems.

Motion systems from Aerotech can include work handling components, special fixtures, machine base or other components and assemblies. Systems are delivered completely tested and fully cabled with performance and calibration-related documents included, along with motor parameter set-up data based on actual loading conditions.

Aerotech's software-based A3200 digital automation platform can control to 32 Firewire-interfaced motion axes and a vast complement of machine I/O. With optional machine control modules for HMI, PLC and vision control, the A3200 uses the Microsoft .NET development environment to help reduce project development timescales and simplify device integration. Programming languages include Aerotech's own AEROBasic or RS274 G-code, C, C++, VisualBasic, Delphi and Labview.

The A3200 delivers fully deterministic position, velocity and time-based motion updates to Aerotech's Ndrive amplifiers which are available in both PWM and linear drive technologies to enable users to select the right choice for highly dynamic or ultra-high-precision applications.

Aerotech's new Ensemble CP/MP/CL intelligent panel-mount drives provide an alternative where distributed control over Ethernet may be advantageous. With Aerotech's AeroNet deterministic high-speed serial network for up to ten axes, the new intelligent drive seamlessly combines a choice of PWM or linear amplifier technology and a powerful motion controller to provide tightly synchronised precision motion with a generous complement of on-board I/O.

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