Motion Control - robotics: Aerotech, Inc., ANT130-XY. The ANT130-XY provides design engineers with an extremely small footprint and profile XY stage that can deliver nanopositioning performance (1 nm mechanical resolution, 50 nm repeatability, 250 nm accuracy, and 1 nm in-position stability) in either a laboratory or factory floor setting while providing convenient, useful travel lengths from 60 to 160 mm in both X and Y. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
The ANT130-XY provides design engineers with an extremely small footprint and profile XY stage that can deliver nanopositioning performance (1 nm mechanical resolution, 50 nm repeatability, 250 nm accuracy, plus or minus 1 nm in-position stability) in either a laboratory or factory-floor setting while providing convenient, useful travel lengths from 60 to 160 mm in both X and Y. Previous systems with this level of accuracy and length of travel required a combination of piezo stages (for fine positioning) and ball screw/linear motor stages (for long travel load/unload). This resulted in a more complicated, less robust system with inferior throughput.
The ANT130-XY continues Aerotech's nano Motion Technology series that provides nanometer level precision, including the ability to make repeatable 1 nm steps, combined with exceptionally long travel. Flexure-based piezo stages can achieve nanometer precision but are typically limited to plus or minus1 mm travel. Competing linear-motor-based stages and prior technologies have precision limitations of a few nanometers. Rather than relying upon conventional ball-screw or linear-motor stages for macro positioning and then employing a piezo stage for fine nanometer-level positioning, the ANT130-XY can perform both operations and save customers the expense of a multi-stage solution, as well as the control and coordination complexity and larger footprint of the multi-stage setup. The ANT130-XY provides a low profile, small footprint, high speed, long travel, single-source solution for applications requiring nanometer-level positioning performance.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
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