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New resource guide brings together Aerotech's nano Motion Technology positioning mechanics and advanced motion controls

New resource guide brings together Aerotech's nano Motion Technology positioning mechanics and advanced motion controls
Aerotech's new nano Motion Technology resource guide provides design considerations and full specifications across its recently released range of ANT series linear and rotary nanopositioning stages, and the advanced motion controls that together provide high-throughput performance at fantastically precise 'one nanometre at a time' displacement intervals and exceptional levels of in-position stability.

The nano Motion Technology range has been introduced over the past several months and is now fully illustrated in the resource guide as a modular range of 95 mm and 130 mm wide ANT series nanopositioning components that include linear, rotary, and multi-axis positioning stages with single nanometre or sub-arc-second resolution. These stages are combined with highly advanced yet easy-to-use motion and machine controls for best-in-class performance that is characterised by extremely high positional accuracy and repeatability, fast high-throughput dynamic capacity for large loads, and long linear travel ranges from 25 to 160 millimetres or rotary travel ranges from 20 degrees to full rotation. The complete AnMT range has been developed to address the demands of the nanotechnology industries that require such high performance and precision to measure, manoeuvre, influence, and view nanometre-scale structures over large areas. 

The new resource guide, available as a downloadable PDF from the website or as a hard copy printed booklet, covers 128 pages beginning with a detailed introduction to the advanced mechatronics technologies that are realised to produce the nanometre level positioning systems -  materials, bearings, magnetics, feedback devices, electronics, software, motion controls, trajectory generation, system test and metrology. The White Paper style introduction will give the machine designer an appreciation of the different technologies that must be controlled and harnessed to achieve perfection. 

The ANT range comprises linear, dual X-Y, rotary, vertical lift and goniometric stages in modular designs with nominal stage widths of either 95 mm or 130 mm. Each linear stage offers a variety of travel range options with the ANT130 linear stage available for up to 160 mm travel. To enable the best possible price/performance all linear stages are offered in a choice of BASE, PLUS, and ULTRA specifications with varying levels of calibration from high precision to ultra-high precision performance. At the top end of the range, the ANT130-XY-ULTRA stage comprises an integrated low-profile X-Y design with an in-position stability of < 1 nanometre and overall 2D accuracy to within 300 nanometres with Aerotech advanced controls.

All ANT series stages use Aerotech's highly advanced linear or rotary direct-drive technologies in combination with high speed and nanometre resolution non-contacting feedback technologies in advanced designs that include linear or rotary crossed roller bearing systems. The resulting cog free drive systems provide backlash free and ultra-smooth yet powerful motion when combined with Aerotech advanced motion controls. They also provide exceptionally long life, typically 30,000 hours MTBF, and with non contacting motors and position feedback devices, require very low maintenance.

Each ANT stage is comprehensively covered in the new resource guide with full dimensions, options, detailed specifications and charts depicting velocity performance, step and settle times for nanometre resolution moves, accuracy/repeatability plots, straightness/flatness errors and much more.

The new nano Motion Technology range resource guide also includes a complete overview of compatible nano motion control systems available to realise the full performance capabilities of the stage mechanics. Covering Aerotech's Automation 3200, Ensemble(tm) and Soloist(tm) controller ranges, the 16-page section explains why nanometre resolution over large travel distances are intrinsically complex to achieve and what critical considerations need to be made for the complete system - and at the same time reassuring the reader that the advanced controls and utilities are easy-to-use and have proven performance improving capabilities. The discussion includes the choice of  direct-drive motor/feedback and how Aerotech's linear amplifier technology is essential for ultra-high resolution positioning. Also included is the relevant attributes that each controller techno logy offers to integrate with the customers own machine control systems and a full description of Aerotech's Motion Composer - the integrated  development environment (IDE) with comprehensive .NET motion library provide classes for motion, I/O, status, and diagnostic information. 

Motion Composer allows the user to program in Visual Studio and use the .NET library, or use the IDE to develop code with English-style commands or G code. A  LabVIEW(r) VI library is also available for NI users, while a complete C library is offered for those using VB6, C++, or C.  

Motion Composer may be used across all Aerotech controller platforms offering an extensive suite of easy-to-use diagnostic tools, configuration tools, a digital scope, and status utility that help to reduce development time. 

The new resource guide also covers the optional Motion Composer modules that include the Dynamic Controls Toolbox that provides control algorithms to increase system performance by influencing settling time, positional accuracy, in-position stability, and/or velocity stability. These controls include Harmonic Cancellation, Threshold and Dynamic Gain Scheduling. Also discussed is the Enhanced Throughput Module - an accelerometer sensor based solution that improves machine throughput by compensating for the effect of machine frame vibration at the workpoint, and the Motion Designer which may be used to graphically generate, evaluate, edit and modify motion profiles in single and multi-axis trajectories to further improve performance.

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