10 January 2012

New APR series rotary stages provide high precision, low tilt motion errors and large load capacity

Aerotech continues to improve and innovate its direct-drive rotary stage capability with the new APR mechanical bearing series which offers positional accuracy to 1.5 arc-sec and axial load capacity up to 450 kg. Aimed at high precision rotary positioning for applications such as precision component testing, optical calibration systems, laser micromachining and sub-micron metrology, the APR's brushless direct-drive technology easily outperforms traditional worm/wheel stages, delivering considerably smoother and higher speeds, much improved angular precision, with zero backlash and a far superior throughput potential.

The range covers seven models in three frame sizes with nominal square footprint mounting dimensions of 150, 200 and 260 mm, offering a clear through-aperture of 50, 75, or 100 mm respectively for electrical or other services such as slip ring assemblies, laser feed or air supplies.

The APR series builds upon and improves Aerotech's previous performance characteristics for direct-drive/mechanical bearing stage construction. Through design optimisation, improved component precision and superior high-precision angular contact bearings, the resulting large moment stiffness and high load capacity yields exceptionally low error motion performance. Certified results throughout the APR series include total tilt error motion of 2.0 arc-sec with total axial and radial error motion of just 1.5 microns. Other specification notables include resolution to 0.04 arc sec, and bi-directional repeatability to 0.75 arc-sec for certain models.
The APR's direct-drive brushless servo motor is cog-free, allowing extremely smooth velocity performance with rapid acceleration and maximum speed up to 800 rpm for the smaller stage. Through the high resolution encoder system and Aerotech's advanced motion controls, position stability performance is unsurpassed.

Available for individual single axis use, combined for rotary azimuth/elevation positioning, or as a part of a complete linear/rotary multi-axis positioning system, the APR can be used in applications where the centre of rotation is either parallel or perpendicular to gravity.

The range includes standard and calibrated accuracy options, incremental or absolute encoders and a choice of direct-drive motor ratings to match load, torque and speed requirements. The APR series can be supplied for continuous rotation or fitted with limit switches for part rotation from 10 to 270 degrees. Further options include brakes and adjustable mechanical hard stops to restrict rotation up to 290 degrees.

The APR series housing and construction is anodised aluminium with a durable hardcoat finish. An optional tabletop includes a matrix of threaded holes for customer workpiece interfacing. With its non-contacting motor and encoder and long life bearing system, the APR is rated for 20,000 hours MTBF and requires minimal maintenance.

Single- or multi-axis motion control solutions for the APR series include PC based software-only or hardware based rack or desk mount packages with advanced motion commands that optimise performance, reduce commissioning times, increase throughput and enable higher quality finished parts or test quality. A wide choice of programming options include RS-274 G-code, AeroBasic™, IEC61131-3, Microsoft .NET Framework and LabVIEW™ for varying levels of advanced software and analytical functionality.

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