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From component supplier to system supplier in the automation process

From component supplier to system supplier in the automation process

Aerotech, manufacturer of high-performance motion control and positioning systems, is increasingly becoming a system supplier, providing customers with holistic support for their high-precision and industry-specific automation processes. Thus, Aerotech not only supplies suitable components for particularly difficult operating conditions and mission-critical application areas, but is also increasingly acting as a builder of automation systems for industry-specific applications. Customers can choose between a component-only solution, a customised motion subsystem, or a fully integrated system.

Since 1970, Aerotech has provided standard product solutions such as motors, drives, controls and positioning stages. Custom-designed motion subsystems include positioning systems on granite structures with underframes and vibration isolation, as well as external measurement systems. The integrated systems are almost turnkey machines developed together with the customers to perform an automated process. These not only contain Aerotech precision components for motion control, but also complete automation integration for the likes of parts handling, process instruments, safety elements and customer-specific software.

“We have been working closely with customers in a wide range of industries over the past few years and have also been moving further and further into process automation,” points out Simon Smith, European Director at Aerotech. “As a builder of automation systems, we support manufacturing companies in optimally automating their process with the precision motion components we produce.”

The manufacturer also intends to support companies that are currently setting up, expanding or modernizing production. “Particularly in the semiconductor and electronics sectors, many companies have neither the staff nor the vertical integration to develop mechanics and control systems in parallel,” Simon Smith continued.

In addition, the solutions are becoming smarter and more complex, so that a single company can no longer master all the implementation steps. As a result, the supplier's know-how is becoming increasingly important. “And this is where our real work as a builder of automation systems begins: We offer detailed integration consulting, at the end of which there is either the delivery of individual components, a subsystem that can be seamlessly integrated, or even a complete automation solution. Application training, education and services further round out our service portfolio.”

Aerotech has a high level of vertical integration, particularly with regard to drive components and control elements. On the mechanical side, Aerotech also supplies partially integrated systems, which the customer only has to complete. If, for example, an adjustment system on granite is required for the machine, Aerotech prepares this for the customer individually. The user can then integrate further additional applications such as laser beam guidance or sensor technology as required. As a single point of contact for surface metrology, Aerotech ensures that measurement systems are integrated with positioning systems. With measuring systems we supplies additional customer-specific equipment if, for example, a user needs to measure large-area samples that are beyond the scope of the standard equipment.

“We have grown with our customers over the years and gained application knowledge from many industries. Accordingly, we can now recommend the optimum components for the right use in the application,” states Simon Smith.


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