Precise positioning of the laser – Aerotech at Laser World of Photonics

Aerotech will present its innovative motion control solutions at the 25th world’s leading trade fair “LASER – World of PHOTONICS” in Munich (26-29 April 2022, Hall A6 Stand 245).

In addition to a demo system with four linear stages, the “small” Hexapod HEX150 and the highly dynamic 2-axis laser scan head AGV-XPO will also be on display for the first time. Another highlight of the trade fair presentation is the new release 2.2 of the Automation1 control platform.

“We are very pleased that LASER can take place again this year; after all, for us it is the most important trade fair worldwide for everything to do with laser and scanning technology,” emphasises Aerotech European Director Simon Smith. “We have the knowledge, the experience and the products to take on the complex challenges of our customers in these industries and to develop optimal positioning and laser systems for industrial manufacturing. In Munich, we are using this excellent platform to present our latest developments for laser processing to a broad professional audience from all over the world.”


High processing speeds with the new AGV-XPO

Among other things, Aerotech’s motion control experts will be showing the new AGV-20XPO highly dynamic 2-axis laser scan head at the exhibition stand. This enables higher processing speeds with better dynamic accuracy compared to solutions on the market today.
The newly conceived galvo motor design achieves almost 30 % lower inertia than the standard AGV-HPO motor. Another benefit is the optimised drive electronics, which have a higher bandwidth and improved current loop.
The AGV-XPO has excellent point stability and tracking performance even at long focal lengths. Furthermore, it enables faster execution of aggressive trajectories while minimising tracking errors in parallel. Trajectory accuracy can thus be optimised even for difficult environments.
Seamless, coordinated movements can be achieved via servo stages, hexapods and piezos, and only one control architecture is required for an entire motion system or subsystem.


Highest precision in the submicrometre range

The HEX150-140HL will be on show live for the first time. This is a miniature hexapod positioning system with six degrees of freedom (DOF) that enables precise translation in the X, Y and Z directions as well as rotation around each of these axes. “The HEX150-140HL offers not only significantly better minimum incremental motion, but also greater linear travel than any of its competitors – all in a compact yet rigid platform,” says Simon Smith. “The combination of small size, high precision and excellent load capacity also allows for a much higher degree of flexibility. Users can rely on consistent, reliable six-DOF movement in every application.”
The HEX150-140HL is ideal for space-constrained applications with multiple DOFs that require fine positioning resolution, such as alignment, assembly and interconnection of photonic components, optical inspection and alignment, optical wafer probing, aerospace and satellite sensor testing, and sample alignment in synchrotron and beamline applications.
Other important features are the high load capacity of up to 7.5 kg with the ability to resist backdriving with force up to 100 N, the large range of motion for easy integration into complex applications, and the simple control and programming with virtual pivot point adjustment.
According to Aerotech, the HEX150 is currently the most precise hexapod on the market. Fast settling times allow high throughput with Bidirectional repeatability of less than 2 Micrometer, with minimum incremental motion of less than 20 nm in XYZ and 0.2 ?rad in ?x ?y ?z also allow a wide range of applications.
The “HexGen Hexapod” simulation software integrated in the Automation1 control platform also enables easy programming and control of the Hexapods in any user-defined coordinate system. The user can visualise and simulate the available working space in order to perform collision analysis with his Hexapod. In addition, you can also directly select preconfigured models from a stored library of standard designs.


Pro-Series linear motor stages live in action

The PRO-LM linear tables controlled by Automation1 can also be seen at stand 245 in hall A6.  The tables of the PRO series are optionally available with direct drive by a linear motor or with ball screw. At LASER, no less than four of the direct-drive ones will be on show: a PRO115LM installed on a PRO165LM, and a PRO190LM installed on a PRO225LM.
“The setup allows us to demonstrate our extensive know-how in the design of these linear tables, including cable management” explains Simon Smith. “The tables are able to travel at high speeds with very good speed control. But it is not only the speed and positioning performance that are characteristic, but also their robustness. ”
The sealed mechanical bearings also make the PRO-LM linear tables insensitive to any kind of contamination. The tables are equipped with a low-friction sealing system that sustainably reduces the maintenance effort in industrial use.


One platform for all applications

Trade visitors can also expect to see the innovative motion control platform “Automation1”, which received a new release in March 2022, at stand 245 in hall A6.
Replacing Aerotech’s previous control platforms (A3200, Ensemble and Soloist), the “Automation1 Suite” offers new, more powerful features in an easy-to-learn and use architecture.
Version 2.2 builds on previous versions and impresses with features such as the highly anticipated “Machine Apps HMI development tool”. This new and fully customisable tool replaces the previous CNC user interface and promises to revolutionise user interfaces for drive systems, according to Aerotech.
In addition, the Automation1 is now EtherCAT compatible, enabling connection to PLC-based systems, expanding options for high-precision motion processes when embedded in a conventional lower-precision system.

Other important developments of the new release 2.2 are:
* Improved interfaces with additional Labview VIs and a Python API
* Enhancement of the Dynamic Controls Toolbox (a popular feature from the A3200 controls), which combines Aerotech’s Harmonic Cancellation, Command Shaping and Cross-axis Feedforward functions.
* Stepper motor control with closed loop
* Asset-wide backup and restore functionality using Aerotech’s advanced API functionality

“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”, says  Simon Smith, naming the main advantage over comparable solutions.


Contact: Derrick Jepson