Thursday 15 July 2010

High precision industrial positioning

Aerotech has launched a new 560 mm wide ball screw driven positioning stage as part of its PRO series hard top/side sealed precision table range. Available in standard and high speed versions, the extra wide cross section the new PRO560 and PRO560 HS stages provide optimal support for long travel upper axes or large footprint loads. With travel up to 1500 mm and load to 150 kg, the new stages perfectly complement and complete the PRO ball screw driven range which covers stage widths of 115, 165, 225, 280 mm, and now 560 mm.

The PRO ball screw range is characterised by its unique and fully protected side-sealed/hard top design and includes heavy duty linear motion guide bearings for arduous yet high precision industrial positioning applications such as laser welding or EDM machining. The aluminium hard top cover and vertical side seal deflects debris and fully protects the internal stage components. Optional tabletops are also available which can include a brush assembly to remove machining waste from the cover. This stage sealing system is much preferred to conventionally sealed stages that use bellows or slide plates which can ingest debris resulting in eventual sealing failure and replacement.

Through the PRO560 range, six models are available with travels from 300 mm to 1000 mm with maximum speeds of 220 mm/sec for the 300 mm travel stage (140 mm/sec for the 1000 mm travel version). For the PRO560HS, eight models provide travels from 300 mm to 1500 mm with speeds to 1050 mm/sec for the 300 mm version (300 mm/sec for the 1500 travel version). Both types offer a horizontal load capacity of up to 150 kg.

The PRO560 is equipped with a precision ground 5mm/rev ball screw and a 2500 line motor mounted encoder for a positioning resolution of 0.5 µm and bidirectional repeatability of +/- 1 µm. The 25 mm/rev ball screw and 2500 line encoder on the PRO560 HS yields a resolution of 2.5 µm and repeatability to +/- 2.5 µm. Nominal straight line accuracy for both stage types is +/- 17.5 µm for the 300 mm travel versions..

Motor mounting is via a NEMA 34 compatible flange which accepts a Aerotech high performance brushless servo motors or third-party brushed DC and stepper motors. Motor orientation can be in-line with the ball screw or side mounted on the right or left side of the stage with the 'foldback motor' option to save space. A motor mounted brake is available as an option for vertical mounting or for exceptionally safety-conscious applications. End of travel limit switches are available in 5V and 24 V options.

Further options include a wide choice of tabletops with metric or imperial threaded hole patterns to suit the various widths of matching PRO series stages or other Aerotech linear and/ or rotary stages. Alternative accuracy levels for orthogonal alignment are available for X-Y mounted systems and Toe Clamps are available for base mounting the stages. As with all Aerotech positioning mechanics, customised interfacing plates and brackets are offered along with complete machine base/frames, and mounting provision for air or hydraulic services, or other customer equipment.

Aerotech's PRO series also includes linear motor, direct-drive, versions with matching mounting configurations for higher dynamic performance, increased resolution and improved positional accuracy.

The PRO ball screw driven series can be supplied separately or together with a wide choice of Aerotech motion controls for complete automation system solutions - delivered fully tested and ready to run with all tuning and set-up parameters pre-programmed - guaranteeing fast commissioning into the customers application. A choice of PC-based software only, rack or panel mounted motion controls with compatible digital servo amplifiers allow optimal performance with diagnostics and comprehensive features that aim to reduce positioning errors, improve throughput performance and ensure time-saving and quality improving benefits.

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