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.
For more, see www.controleng.com/awards.
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey