Saturday 19 June 2010

Rated for precise angular positioning in hostile environments

Direct-drive rotary stage fulfils high precision and high performance in adverse conditions

Aerotech's new ASRT series rotary stages feature direct-drive brushless servomotor technology for precise zero backlash positioning in an IP66 sealed design that guarantees operation in hostile environments where dust, dirt and liquids are unavoidable. Aimed at applications involving washdown, dust or mist spray, or where coolants must be used as a part of a machining process, the series is available in three nominal widths of 185 mm, 245 mm and 300 mm in a dual bearing design that can support axial loads up to 175 kg whilst maintaining a tilt error motion of less than 3 arc-sec.

The ASRT series offers the exceptional accuracy and high throughput performance that is synonymous with Aerotech precision mechanics with the further benefit of suitability for harsh and unfavourable environments. A low friction seal between the fixed base and rotating tabletop minimises hysteresis due to direction reversal to allow precise angular positioning and high speed performance. A bi-directional repeatability of less than 1 arc-sec is specified for the optical encoder feedback version whilst a magnetic encoder version available on the smaller stages offers less than 10 arc-sec. The use of non contacting motor and encoder technologies helps contribute to a long life with low maintenance scheduling and particularly suits applications with frequent direction changes such as sensor test and range tracking equipment.

As with almost all of Aerotech positioning mechanics range, both standard and HALAR certified accuracy options are available for best accuracy to within 2 arc-sec for the optical encoder version with a positioning resolution of 0.018 arc-sec for the largest 300 mm width stage. Thanks to the high performance direct-drive brushless and cog-free motor technology used, the stage offers such precision with speeds up to 200 rpm and acceleration in the order of 150 rev/sec2 combined with extremely smooth low-speed motion and excellent in position stability. Users can specify continuous travel or a fixed travel range under 360 degrees rotation.

Other options include through apertures for all stage sizes allowing through-hole mounting of additional equipment or services such as electrical slip ring assemblies or pneumatic/hydraulic supply lines. The ruggedised stage construction includes a polymer based paint finish on an aluminium housing in a choice of colours and the rotating tabletop is finished with a durable hardcoat for maximum protection. Sealed connectors are standard and further optional accessories include an air purge variant for increased sealing performance and a desiccant cartridge system to offset condensation. The standard operational temperature range for the ASRT is 0 to 70 °C with the possibility to increase the lower limit to -20 °C with the air purge and desiccant cartridge options. A protective cover is also available for horizontal axis orientation.
The ASRT series can be used individually or as a part of multi axis linear/ rotary stage set ups and combined with Aerotech's advanced motion controls and servo amplifiers as complete motion systems. Aerotech has a number of complementary linear stages with durable side-seal/hard-top designs that can be combined with the ASRT.

Controller options include the A3200 Digital Automation Platform – a Windows™ based software-only controller for up to 32 axes of fully synchronised and deterministic high performance motion and machine control, complete with Firewire® interfaced servo drives and optional HMI, PLC and vision control modules. The multi-axis Ensemble™ Epaq is available in a 6-axis desktop or 19 inch rack mount, or packaged as series of discrete panel mounted intelligent drives for up to 10 axes. With a full complement of machine I/O plus Ethernet, USB and IEEE488 interfacing, the Ensemble can be configured with linear or PWM stage servo amplifiers or alternatively with stepper motor drives. Single axis applications can be accommodated with stand-alone, panel mounted Soloist™ - a high performance motion controller with integrated servo drive. All Aerotech controls include comprehensive diagnostics and commissioning facilities with programming options including .NET, RS-274 G-code, high level AeroBASIC™ or LabVIEW™.

Aerotech motion systems are supplied as fully tested assemblies complete with motor power and encoder cables with optional machine frames and bases. Full performance and calibration related documents are included and for straightforward commissioning, all motor parameter set-up data for the system is provided along with product training and comprehensive technical support.

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