Control 2023 Aerotech shows how to control movement precisely

Source: Aerotech Reading Time: 4 min

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In May, Control 2023 opens its doors in Stuttgart. For Aerotech, who will be in Hall 5, Booth 5425, the focus, as it relates to part quality assurance, will be on the motion control platform Automation1 with new functions of Release 2.4.

The Automation1 control platform is the standard version for software-based intelligent machine control and for the Motion Development Kit, supports iSMC PC-based or drive-based hardware platforms and offers users flexibility in setting up their motion control solutions.
The Automation1 control platform is the standard version for software-based intelligent machine control and for the Motion Development Kit, supports iSMC PC-based or drive-based hardware platforms and offers users flexibility in setting up their motion control solutions.
(Source: Aerotech)

At Control 2023, Aerotech will demonstrate the performance of the control platform Automation1 on the two-axis, directly driven, cross roller bearing based Planar DL linear stage and with the HEX150 and HEX300 hexapods. Also on the booth, the company will be showing its high-precision SMP multi-axis system for surface measurement applications.

“Our highlight of the show is the feature enhancements to the Automation1 motion control platform in release 2.4,” said Simon Smith, European Director Aerotech. “With Python API support, all of our control's Python help files are now available. If you have any questions about the Python interface, you can always refer back to it.”

The machine setup, data visualisation and the Homing Setup helper module have also been improved. In addition, the programmers have further simplified the uploading and downloading of MCD files and Automation1 now supports the Gantry-mode for XI4 and iXI4 Servo controllers with absolute encoder support.,The device catalogue and machine setup for linear gantries now guides you through the task of setting up gantry parameters for custom gantry configurations. 3-axis PSO with the GL4 module with IFOV (Infinite Field of View) and BiSS absolute encoders are now supported, which is important for the integration of galvo scanners and other lasers to synchronise moving servo axes with precise laser firing control, delivering better part quality. This also increases throughput, further improves positioning accuracy and eliminates stitching errors. In the machine apps, users can now drag and drop several machine app modules into the Module container, a separate area of a Machine App to allow more configuration flexibility. To increase usability, notifications and animations can be executed directly in the Machine App using indicators.

Planar linear tables — precise over the entire length

The Planar DL series of linear stages offers excellent geometric and dynamic performance, according to manufacturer Aerotech. The integrated low-profile XY stage is driven by a linear motor, features precision cross roller bearings with anti cage migration, and is available in nine model variations depending on travel and accuracy. The number of motors per Servo axes, air/vacuum lines for vacuum clamping devices or other process pneumatic components are available as standard options. Many different travel and performance options make planar linear stages ideal for a range of applications, from surface profiling to LED wafer scribing.

The XY design with its planar geometric performance shows its strengths especially in applications where straightness and flatness are important — straightness up to ±0.4 µm; flatness up to ±1 µm. The components of the linear stage are optimised from the point of view of high dynamics and rigidity to meet the most demanding dynamic applications. The linear stage allows speeds of 1 m/s and accelerations of 1.5 g, ensuring high throughput and maximum accuracy.

Hexapods: Safe positioning

The Hexapods from Aerotech provide true 6 degree of freedom positioning with high load-bearing capacity. The HEX150 and the larger, HEX300, can be positioned with Automation1, trade visitors can see for themselves at stand 5425. Simon Smith knows the features of the hexapod: “With the comparison of the two hexapods, we want to demonstrate the significantly better minimal incremental motion on a small and large hexapod positioning system, together with larger travel range than similar sized competitor products, all in a compact yet rigid platform.”

In addition the six degrees of freedom (DOF) enable precise translation in the X, Y and Z directions, as well as rotation around each of these axes. Which hexapod a user chooses for their positioning tasks depends on the load to be moved, travel range and the space available. “Our miniature hexapod is ideal for space-constrained applications with multiple DOFs that require fine positioning resolution.” Here, Aerotech particularly recommends applications such as alignment, assembly and interconnection of photonics components, optics inspection and alignment, optical wafer probing, aerospace and satellite sensor testing, and sample alignment in synchrotron and beamline applications. The wide range of motion as well as the simple control and programming with virtual pivot point adjustment simplify integration into complex applications and complete systems. Fast settling times ensure high throughput with repeatabilities of less than 2 μm at high payloads of up to 7.5 kg and a holding force of up to 100 N when deenergised. The small step sizes also allow for a wide range of applications for the HEX150.

The Automation1 control platform has its own Hexgen Hexapod simulation software integrated. This enables easy programming and control of the Hexapods in any user-defined coordinate system. For collision considerations, the user can visualise and simulate the available working space. Preconfigured models from a stored library of standard designs are also available.


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