Heason Technology helps to redefine the kilogram

In 2015 Heason Technology designed, built and supplied a very special three-axis vacuum-compatible and completely non-magnetic micropositioning manipulator that was custom manufactured for Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the German national metrology institute. The manipulator was used as part of the enabling technology for the world-wide Avogadro Project that was formed to redefine the kilogram as the SI unit of mass in terms of the Planck constant and the atomic mass of Silicon-28.

On the 20th May 2019, on World Metrology Day, the global metrology community formally announced the new definition, replacing the constant based on the physical artefact known as the international prototype kilogram (IPK) with a much more precise, natural and stable definition that will not change over time. Whilst everyday use of the kilogram will be totally unaffected, the new definition has significant benefits in measurement and calibration for science and industry. Heason Technology continues to support the ongoing work to maintain the new definition with the design and supply of an additional two-axis module that has been added to the original manipulator.

Heason's manipulator is used to microposition pure Silicon-28 spheres for synchrotron beam X-ray spectroscopy and fluorescence analysis in a vacuum chamber. These 1kg spheres measure approximately 93.6mm diameter and are produced with meticulous precision with a total roundness delta of less than 50 nanometres. They are believed to be the roundest objects in the world and by determining the exact number of atoms they contain in relation to their volume, the sphere's mass can be affirmed with an exceptionally and never before realised standard uncertainty. However, even minute amounts of surface contamination on the spheres could contribute to an increase in their mass at such extreme levels of precision, which resolves to a few millionths of a gram. The X-ray analysis is used to make sure that the surface layers of the sphere are entirely free of contamination before they are transferred in a sealed container and still under vacuum conditions for the mass determination analysis

Universal use in vacuum chambers

For the original three-axis manipulator, Heason Technology worked closely with PTB - one of many international metrology research organisations that have collaborated over several years on the Avogadro Project with research partners in Italy, Belgium, Japan, Australia and the USA. When, in 2018, PTB supplied silicon-28 spheres to the Taiwanese R&D organisation ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute), there was a need for additional sphere manipulation to match ITRI's requirements and allow its more universal use in various vacuum chambers. Heason Technology was called in and a new module was added to the original three-axis manipulator design; integrating a rotary and vertical micropositioning module that included a three-point support cradle for the sphere.

The completely non-magnetic five-axis manipulator features piezo-ceramic motor drives for all axes, supplied by Nanomotion through Heason Technology. Servo position feedback is taken care of using optical rotary and linear encoders from Numerik-Jena with glass disks integrated into the assembly closest to the optimum point of measurement. The original three-axis manipulator comprises base and upper rotary axes with 370 degree and 110 degree travel, respectively, while a central horizontal linear stage has 55mm travel. With specifications including angular positional repeatability of 0.01 degrees and a linear bi-directional repeatability of 10 microns, the design required extremely tight radial and axial runout values for the rotary stages and equally limiting pitch, yaw and roll values for the linear stage. The new two-axis module required similar specifications and Heason have measured the overall mechanical precision of all five axes to within 10 microns - without any kind of software error mapping - which is well inside the required specifications.

Design complexities

To complete the non-magnetic material prerequisite throughout the assembly, ceramic ball-type caged bearings, an aluminium support structure and stage housing, as well as vacuum-compatible materials such as Peek are specified throughout. Vacuum-compatible terminal block connections and all cabling are arranged with simple cable management outside of the manipulator housing. Designed for up to 10-9 bar vacuum levels, the manipulator includes sufficient air gaps and spacing to allow trouble-free operation and is subjected to up to 120degC for outgassing. The restricted vacuum chamber volume used for the synchrotron beam and transfer system further influenced the complexities encountered in the overall design.

Heason Technology enjoys a high reputation in the synchrotron science community for beamline-based research, with many successful motion systems installed in prestigious sites including Diamond Light Source - UK, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory - UK, Brookhaven National Laboratory - USA, Synchrotron Soleil - France, and PTB - Hamburg. These systems typically call for vacuum compatibility and many also involve the sole use of non-ferromagnetic materials to ensure trouble-free sensor measurement.

Heason's distribution partnerships with specialised motion component suppliers and its own in-house design and build capability, plus dedicated support and technical expertise, all combine to make certain that its precision mechanical systems, motion control electronics and software systems meet and exceed customer requirements. Projects begin with and continue through close cooperation with research scientists and engineers from the initial design concept phase, through to approval, installation, lifetime service and support - with comprehensive acceptance testing, documentation, training and site visits.

Learn more at www.heason.com.

Heason Technology Ltd

Motion Solutions Centre
Spring Copse Business Park
Slinfold
RH13 0SZ
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1403 792300

sales@heason.com

www.heason.com

More from Heason Technology Ltd

Electric actuators for high duty-cycle positioning tasks

Posted 4 months ago

New Platinum Line servo drives from Heason Technology

Posted 11 months ago

New managing director at Elmo Motion Control

Posted 1 year ago

Kollmorgen announces obsolescence of Servostar 400 Series

Posted 1 year ago

Motion control improves waste recycling performance

Posted 1 year ago

Expanded range of high-precision gear units from Heason

Posted 1 year ago

Heason components used in hexapod-based robotic camera system

Posted 1 year ago

Improved mounting system for faster integration of motors

Posted 1 year ago

Elmo Motion Control inertial platform stabiliser at Heason

Posted 1 year ago

Hybrid stepper motor actuators are cost effective and efficient

Posted 2 years ago

Servo drives and motors offer high power density, safe motion

Posted 2 years ago

Gold Twitter servo drive modified for deep-sea application

Posted 2 years ago

Thomson T-Case LinearRace shafting now available from Heason

Posted 2 years ago

Thomson Linear Electrak HD series linear actuators at Heason

Posted 2 years ago

Frameless brushless motors offer benefits for machine builders

Posted 2 years ago

Slip rings offer longer life for small wind turbines

Posted 2 years ago

Play Heason's ball-and-maze game at the Engineering Design Show

Posted 2 years ago

Heason supplies Zettlex elevated pressure IncOder encoders

Posted 3 years ago

Sophisticated servo control now with easier integration

Posted 3 years ago

Heason Technology at the Engineering Design Show

Posted 3 years ago

Heason Technology at DSEI 12th- 15th Sep 2017 - ExCel -London

Posted 4 years ago

Heason motion control for high-end vehicle simulation

Posted 4 years ago

Multi-axis motion and machine control with EtherCAT

Posted 4 years ago

Spinea's new DS 095 DriveSpin expands DriveSpin range

Posted 4 years ago

Heason designs and builds motion systems for beamline physics

Posted 4 years ago

Heason design & supply custom-designed pan and tilt positioners

Posted 4 years ago

Platinum Maestro multi-axis network motion controller at Heason

Posted 4 years ago

Spinea adds flexible installation model to DriveSpin series

Posted 4 years ago

Kollmorgen ICH direct drive motors for high-throughput tasks

Posted 4 years ago

Heason adds Elmo Motion's Gold Bee to servo drive range

Posted 5 years ago

Kollmorgen's ERD series IP69K linear actuator at Heason

Posted 5 years ago

Thomson's new motorised lead screws available from Heason

Posted 5 years ago

Kollmorgen AKD servo drive range expanded

Posted 5 years ago

Heason Technology at Drives and Controls 2016

Posted 5 years ago

Heavy-duty linear positioning: Thomson's Electrak HD actuators

Posted 5 years ago

Gold Oboe servo drive range available from Heason Technology

Posted 5 years ago

Dover Motion's direct drive linear stage from Heason Technology

Posted 5 years ago

Heason adds Kollmorgen's PMX series hybrid steppers to range

Posted 5 years ago

Hygienic servo system design for food processing and packaging

Posted 5 years ago

Nanomotion's autofocussing stage provides dynamic performance

Posted 6 years ago

Heason builds EtherCAT-controlled hexapod demonstration rig

Posted 6 years ago

Brushless torque motor has integrated servo drive

Posted 6 years ago

Thomson lifting column actuators for vertical positioning

Posted 6 years ago

ABB MotiFlex e180 three-phase servo drives available at Heason

Posted 6 years ago

UHV-compatible and non-magnetic motion system technology

Posted 6 years ago

New G-series Spinea TwinSpin high-precision gear reducer

Posted 6 years ago

IncOder inductive angle encoders now from Heason Technology

Posted 6 years ago

Heason appoints Andrew Dowell as Regional Sales Manager

Posted 6 years ago

Heason Technology at the Engineering Design Show 2014

Posted 6 years ago

Heason Technology adds Gold Twitter to servo drive range

Posted 6 years ago

Heason Technology appoints new UK and Europe Sales Manager

Posted 7 years ago

Heason linear actuator used in novel valve design

Posted 7 years ago

Custom-designed submersible electric actuators and servo drives

Posted 7 years ago

Kollmorgen's HP/HT brushless servo motors available from Heason

Posted 7 years ago

Thomson's PC-series linear actuators now available from Heason

Posted 7 years ago

Heason Technology: Drives & Controls 2014, Stand D192

Posted 7 years ago

Kollmorgen's single-cable interconnection system from Heason

Posted 8 years ago

Motion technology meets art: the Last Train art installation

Posted 8 years ago

Kollmorgen VLM series servomotors suit value-conscious needs

Posted 8 years ago

Heason Technology launches new motion products website

Posted 8 years ago

Slip ring assembly range expands motion system capability

Posted 8 years ago

Heason Technology partners Elmo Motion Control

Posted 8 years ago

Heason Technology goes Gold with Kollmorgen Europe

Posted 8 years ago

Kollmorgen adds PROFINET interface to motion control platform

Posted 8 years ago

Heason expands technical support team with new appointment

Posted 8 years ago

Customised precision "˜slit' packages used at ISIS facility

Posted 8 years ago

New catalogue for sub-miniature ceramic servo motors and drives

Posted 9 years ago

Miniature goniometer stage for motor-driven micropositioning

Posted 9 years ago

Miniature precision rotary servo motor uses piezo technology

Posted 9 years ago

Delta Tau Geo Brick LV eight-axis motion and machine controllers

Posted 9 years ago

Baldor motion control products from Heason Technology

Posted 9 years ago

New Nanomotion FBR60 piezo-electric miniature rotary stage

Posted 9 years ago

Thomson WhisperTrak linear actuators from Heason Technology

Posted 9 years ago

DDM series open frame X-Y positioning stage

Posted 9 years ago

Low-cost H series linear actuators are versatile for automation

Posted 9 years ago

New Z-wedge vertical stage for nano-scale positioning

Posted 10 years ago

Dover MAB-100 air bearing stage offers ultra-high precision

Posted 10 years ago

Thomson AquaTRUE stainless steel planetary gearheads

Posted 10 years ago

Custom control system developed for new synchrotron

Posted 10 years ago

MMG-AL Mini-MAG positioning stage for higher throughput

Posted 10 years ago

Thomson 400-Series ball profile linear guide bearing system

Posted 10 years ago

New Dover AirGlide ultra-precise air bearing system

Posted 10 years ago

Heason offers GMT Global Mini Stages for manual positioning

Posted 10 years ago

Kollmorgen names Heason as a Preferred Sales Partner for UK

Posted 10 years ago

Low-cost gantry system suits medium-precision, medium-duty tasks

Posted 10 years ago

Heason Technology names Jason Breslin as sales manager

Posted 10 years ago

Modular actuators suit life science and analytical applications

Posted 10 years ago

Heason expands engineering and support teams

Posted 10 years ago

Kollmorgen AKD Ethernet-based servo drives from Heason

Posted 10 years ago

Heason appointed Premier Partner for Thomson linear products

Posted 10 years ago

Ceramic motor system supplied for I12 JEEP beamline

Posted 10 years ago

Kollmorgen direct drive torque motors available from Heason

Posted 10 years ago

Thomson T60 precision ball screw linear actuator from Heason

Posted 10 years ago

Mini-MAG high-precision linear servomotor stages from Heason

Posted 10 years ago

Rapid delivery for wider range of planetary gearheads

Posted 10 years ago

Heason installs cleanroom assembly facility

Posted 10 years ago

Thomson Elektrak Pro series linear actuators from Heason

Posted 11 years ago

Kollmorgen AKD Ethernet-compatible servo drives

Posted 11 years ago

New compact, zero-backlash gearboxes and servo actuators

Posted 12 years ago

Open-frame X-Y tables feature sub-micron resolution

Posted 12 years ago

Heason introduces precision-grade planetary gearboxes

Posted 12 years ago

Miniature servo motor achieves sub-micron resolution

Posted 13 years ago

Custom control system incorporates ceramic motors

Posted 13 years ago

Megaflux thin-ring motors now available from Heason

Posted 13 years ago

Versatile one- and two-axis stages are ready to run

Posted 13 years ago

Spherical rolling joints offered in a wide range of sizes

Posted 13 years ago

Auto-focus stage offers long travel and ultra-fine movements

Posted 13 years ago

Alio tripods and hexapods available in UK from Heason

Posted 13 years ago

Heason delivers compact, zero-backlash, precision actuator

Posted 13 years ago

Spherical rolling joints offer low-friction 3-DoF motion

Posted 13 years ago

Flat servo motors offer exceptionally high performance

Posted 14 years ago

Seeking innovative applications for optical modules

Posted 14 years ago

Heason introduces Nanomotion's DuraMotor servo motor

Posted 14 years ago

Precision rotary actuators offer high power and torque

Posted 14 years ago

TwinSpin gearbox boasts exceptional torque-to-size ratio

Posted 14 years ago

More applications