LaserTurn1 provides high-speed, high-resolution positioning

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LaserTurn1 provides high-speed, high-resolution positioningAerotech is expanding its LaserTurn range of integrated linear/rotary motion subsystems aimed at high-throughput cylindrical laser processing applications. Using Aerotech's brushless direct-drive positioning technology, the new LaserTurn1 provides high-speed and high-resolution positioning for 100mm of linear travel and full 360-degree spindle rotation, and comes complete with collet and automated materials handling built-in. It fulfils smaller component production requirements for material diameters to 3.0mm for wet cutting and 7.9mm dry cutting, while Aerotech's LaserTurn2 and LaserTurn5 series are available for processing material diameters to 30mm with a linear travel range to 300mm.

The LaserTurn1 utilises an integrated linear/rotary design with a low moving mass and a high bearing stiffness that has been well proven on the larger -2 and -5 models. This design compares very favourably against separate linear and rotary stages used in similar applications by minimising dynamic pitch error under the rapid acceleration and direction reversals generated from its high-power brushless direct-drive motors. When compared with traditional ball screw- and wormwheel-driven mechanics, direct-drive motors produce a much higher throughput, and their non-contact design - when used in conjunction with non-contact encoders - provides smooth motion, zero-backlash performance, and micron-level precision and repeatability; a long operating life with minimal maintenance is also guaranteed for a 'minimal' overall cost of ownership.

Aerotech’s LaserTurn1 is available in a standard accuracy grade of +/-2.0 microns or with the HALAR calibrated option to +/-0.5 microns. Repeatability is +/-0.2 microns linear and +/-4 arc-seconds rotary. Maximum speed on the linear axis is 300mm/s and 600rpm on the rotary axis. The small-footprint stage construction is black hardcoat aluminium with a 440C hardened stainless steel Type D collet. There are ample M4 threaded Helicoil inserts for clamping the optional attachments or customer-supplied components. An overlapping labyrinth-style hard top cover on the linear stage and sealed rotary stage fully protect against laser machining debris and the LaserTurn1 also includes an integral cable management system for electrical and pneumatic connections.

Control system

Aerotech's A3200 Digital Automation Platform is a powerful PC-based, software-only machine control system that complements the performance capability of LaserTurn laser processing systems. Available for one- to 32-axis control with decentralised digital servo drives interfaced via its high-speed Firewire network, the A3200 has integrated machine control function modules for HMI, vision, soft PLC and a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet interface for third-party I/O and PLCs.

Sophisticated motion and machine control commands aim to improve the finished quality and increase the throughput performance for demanding production and test applications. Examples include advanced trajectory generation with multi-block look-ahead to minimise geometry errors in tight profiles by speed/position regulation, and the Position Synchronised Output (PSO) command maintains precise 'on-the-fly' synchronisation between the exact real-time position of the Aerotech multi-axis system and the customer's laser by modifying its lasers pulse, power and firing characteristics.

As with all of its motion systems, Aerotech is able to modify and customise the LaserTurn series to suit application and budget requirements. All systems are delivered fully tested, calibrated and tuned with motor parameters and set-up data supplied, along with certification documentation.

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