Aerotech revolutionises motion control with Automation1

Aerotech has updated its Automation1 control platform, which comes with several new features in the current release 2.2.

Complex motion systems such as hexapods that move relatively freely in six degrees of freedom often require positioning accuracy in in the nanometre range, especially in microscopy, metrology or even in the electronics industry and medical technology.

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.”

Automation1 is 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. “We only deliver new positioning systems with Automation1 as the control platform,” emphasises Smith. “The easy-to-learn and easy-to-use architecture alone makes it much easier for users with Automation1.”

While the latest release builds on previous versions, it includes a number of new features. For example, the previous CNC user interface is replaced by the new Machine Apps HMI development tool. With this fully customisable tool, Aerotech says it is setting new standards in user interfaces for drive systems.

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.

“With the new release 2.2 of Automation1, it now functions as a complete machine control system with all components and thus offers much more than a mere ‘motion control’,” concludes Smith.


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