If you want to move something, you also have to be able to control the movement. Positioning movements in the nanometre range require high-precision control, such as the Automation 1 control platform from Aerotech.
Whether in mechanical applications, automation solutions or additive manufacturing processes, drive technology and motion are everywhere. Day in, day out, many design engineers think about how certain components, tools, workpieces and much more can be moved in their applications in a targeted and precise manner. The positioning solutions that have established themselves on the market are as broad as the areas of application. They range from simple single-axis systems to complex multi-axis systems. Such complex systems are, for example, hexapods that want to move relatively freely in six degrees of freedom.
The positioning accuracy can be controlled via three parameters: the drive, the guides and the motion control used. “When it comes to positioning down to nanometres, drives and guides can be as precise as you like, but it's the control software that makes the difference,” says Simon Smith, European director of Aerotech. “We can certainly achieve quite a lot with an extremely high constructive and costly effort, but ultimately the software must be able to precisely control and position the system.”
The software developers at Aerotech have therefore developed Automation 1, a motion control platform that can also integrate the entire periphery. It is intended to replace the previous Aerotech control platforms A3200, Ensemble and Soloist. The manufacturer only delivers new positioning systems with Automation 1 as the control platform. According to Smith, the easy-to-learn and easy-to-use architecture alone makes it much easier for users with Automation 1.
Other new features in Release 2.2 include the replacement of the previous CNC user interface by the new Machine Apps HMI development tool, which is fully customisable.
Seamless integration of PLC-based systems is also provided with EtherCAT compatibility. With this, Aerotech has extended the options for high-precision motion processes to PLC systems when they are embedded in a conventional system with lower precision.
Stand vom 23.03.2021
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