Aerotech at the Spie.Photonex Expanding the field of view in micromachining
The specialist for motion control and positioning systems, Aerotech, will be exhibiting at Photonex in Birmingham from 07 to 08 December, at NEC on stand 317. The new IFOV function for expanding the field of view during laser scanning will be demonstrated on a demo system, as well as the latest features of the Automation1 control platform.
Photonex widely addresses solutions, components, instruments and systems, vacuum enabled techniques and processes bringing together the whole supply chain: supplier companies, consultants, industrial users, researchers, science groups and innovative start-ups. There will be an extensive Industry Programme for photonics and for vacuum technologies, including presentations on the latest insights on business networks, innovation, investing and market updates. The conferences and workshops brings active buyers to the event, technical topics will include Quantum Technology, Silicon Photonics, Biophotonics and Imaging, Photoemission Spectroscopy for Materials Analysis, Hyperspectral Imaging, Organic Semiconductor Materials, and more. “For Aerotech, Photonex, as a renowned trade fair, is an excellent address to demonstrate our in-depth know-how in microproduction and nanopositioning”, confirms Simon Smith, European Director of Aerotech. “With our focus topics laser and measurement technology as well as additive manufacturing support around high-precision positioning systems in the nanometre range, we find the right trade audience at Photonex.”
Laser scanning without stitching
A central topic of the Photonex Expo is also the production of micro actuators, micro sensors and micro displays. To improve structural accuracy and eliminate errors in “traditional” stitching, for example, Aerotech’s proven Infinite Field of View (IFOV) feature is a unique and industry-leading solution for synchronising linear or rotary servo axes with laser scanners. IFOV significantly improves throughput, eliminates seam errors and part quality issues caused by overlapping and mismatched laser processing. By combining the highly dynamic capabilities of galvo scanners with the travel range of servo stages, parts significantly larger than the traditional field of view of a scanner can be machined continuously without having to join individual work areas.
One example of this is the production of OLED displays. One of the biggest challenges here is cutting out the individual displays from a much larger substrate. Laser cutting has proven itself for this process step of micromachining. Since the laser spot size of galvanometer-based scanners is directly linked to the available working area, this poses a particular challenge: On the one hand, the speed of a galvo scanner is achieved, but on the other hand, the field of view is limited due to the laser spot size. Multi-scanner systems with IFOV controllers from Aerotech enable complex, large-area and highly dynamic laser processing between multiple axes and field-of-view expansion without the familiar stitching.
“Interested visitors can see how IFOV expands the field of view during scanning and at the same time increases throughput and quality live at our trade fair stand, 317 at NEC”, says Simon Smith.
All-in-one control platform Automation1
Another highlight is the new release 2.2 of the innovative motion control platform Automation1. Replacing Aerotech's previous control platforms (A3200, Ensemble and Soloist), the Automation1 suite offers new, more powerful features in an easy-to-use architecture. The latest release, 2.2, builds on the previous versions but additionally impresses with features such as the highly anticipated “Machine Apps HMI development tool”. This new and fully customisable tool replaces the previous CNC user interface and, according to Aerotech, promises to revolutionise user interfaces for drive systems. In addition, Automation1 is now EtherCAT compatible, enabling connectivity to PLC-based systems, thereby also expanding options for high-precision motion processes when embedded in a traditional lower-precision system.
Other important developments of the new release 2.2 are:
- Improved interfaces with additional Labview VIs and a Python API
- Enhancement of the Dynamic Controls Toolbox (a popular feature from the A3200 controls), which combines Aerotech's Harmonic Cancellation, Command Shaping and Cross-axis Feedforward functions.
- Stepper motor control with closed loop
- Asset-wide backup and restore functionality using Aerotech’s advanced API functionality
“With the new release 2.2, Automation1 functions as a complete machine control system with all components and thus offers much more than a mere motion control”, says Simon Smith, naming one of the main advantages over comparable control solutions and even talking about a small revolution.