In the News

Motion Control Market to Grow at a Robust Pace

Publication:
Open PR

The growth of the motion control market has increased, due to use of high- level automatic equipment, machine tools, high-level medical equipment, sensors, and many others. In recent years, equipment industries has begun to emerge from the traditional big industries and do depth development for motion control application segments. Motion control system is core part in every automated equipment. The high flexibility and quality products can be achieved by combinations of automation and motion control products.

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Printing a Better Actuator, Actually

Publication:
ChemEurope

One technology uses magnetic fields to generate mechanical work. The other enhances the magnetic properties of 3D-printed materials. Combined, they could lead to efficient, economical production of magnetic actuators used in everything from sensors, robotics, and mechanical devices to power generation.

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2018 Engineers' Choice Awards

Publication:
Control Engineering

We are honored to have an Aerotech product once again included as a finalist in the Control Engineering 2018 Engineers' Choice Awards. Our QNP3 series XYZ piezo positioning stages combine sub-nanometer resolution, high dynamics, and excellent geometric performance in a compact three-degree-of-freedom (DoF) package.

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Patent-Pending Parallel-Kinematic Design Provides Unmatched Geometric Performance

Publication:
Commercial Micro Manufacturing

Aerotech´s QNP3 series XYZ piezo positioning stages combine sub-nanometer resolution, high dynamics, and excellent geometric performance in a compact three-degree-of-freedom (DoF) package. They come with a 40 mm x 40 mm clear aperture with closed-loop travels up to 100 µm x 100 µm x 10 µm (open-loop travels to 120 µm x 120 µm x 12 µm). The design is ideal for optical and scanning probe microscopy or other inspection or manufacturing applications where two-sided part access is required with three-DoF manipulation.

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Aerotech focused on the financial well-being of employees

Publication:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

More employers are starting to focus on the financial well-being of workers. In addition to basic employee benefits such as healthcare and life insurance, financial wellness programs sponsored by companies are helping more workers overcome personal financial challenges, reduce their debt and prepare for retirement.

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Air Force Research Laboratory Creates 3D Printed Solar Cells

Publication:
3dprintingindustry.com

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has published research into 3D printed solar cells. Using Optomec’s aerosol jet technology, the AFRL intend​s​ to develop a more efficient production process for harnessing solar power. Optomec is currently using Aerotech stages across its Aerosol Jet product lines.

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7 tips when considering standard vs. custom motion solutions

Publication:
Aerospace Manufacturing and Design

Defining a motion system that fulfills technical requirements and fits a project’s budget can challenge even the most experienced motion control equipment buyers. Aerotech’s Brian Fink offers tips about the suitability of standard and custom solutions to ease this challenge early in the process.

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Recently Announced: Aerotech joins the University of Pittsburgh's MOST-AM research consortium.

Publication:
Aerotech Blog

Aerotech is pleased to announce its recent membership in the University of Pittsburgh's Modeling and Optimization Simulation Tools for Additive Manufacturing (MOST-AM) Research Consortium. The Consortium will work to develop the most industry-relevant simulation and optimization tools for additive manufacturing, transition developed tools to industry as quickly as possible, and focus R&D on topology optimization, fast process modeling, and integrated computational materials engineering.

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Aerotech profiled in new report examining global linear motors industry

Publication:
www.whatech.com

Aerotech is profiled in the newly released Global Linear Motors Industry 2017 Market Research Report that examines the current state of the industry with development trends and forecasts through 2021. With around 150 tables and figures, this report provides key statistics on the state of the industry and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the market.

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EasyTune is the most advanced autotuning tool available in a commercial motion controller

Publication:
Aerotech Website

Aerotech’s EasyTune Advanced Autotuning Tool is the most advanced autotuning tool available in a commercial motion controller. EasyTune puts the capabilities of an experienced control engineer at your fingertips with advanced features including automatic adjustment of servo loop gains and servo filters, and automatically analyzing system stability.

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Integrated Motion and Machine Control Solutions Updated Brochure

Publication:
Aerotech Website

Aerotech's new Integrated Motion and Machine Control Solutions brochure includes all Aerotech controls and software, advanced diagnostic and tuning capabilities, the integrated development environment, operator interface, a review of all controller and drive technology, standard and advanced control capabilities, hexapod and piezo controls, and controller and hardware comparison charts.

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Piezoelectric Devices Market to be Worth $31.33 billion USD by 2022

Publication:
Markets and Markets

Piezoelectric devices market estimated to be worth $31.33 billion USD by 2022. The driving factors for the growth of this market include increasing demand for piezoceramic devices, increased funding from government and investors, emerging energy harvesting techniques, rising demand in automotive sector, and growing popularity of miniaturization technology. Aerotech named major player in report by Markets and Markets.

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Elevation Gimbal System Market to Register Strong Growth by 2026

Publication:
Persistence Market Research

The elevation gimbal system market will register strong growth by 2026 according to a recent report by Persistence Market Research (PMR). In the report, Aerotech was named a prominent player in the global elevation gimbal system market and offers an extensive line of gimbal products. With major applications in military and commercial use, gimbals are ideal for directing optics, lasers, antennas, and sensors at high speed to very precise pointing angles.

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3D Bioprinting Global Market to Grow from 2016-2022

Publication:
P&S Market Research

According to a new report by P&S Market Research, the 3D bioprinting global market is poised for dramatic growth from 2016-2022. Growth is being driven by increasing demand for tissues and organs for transplantation and innovations and advancements in technology for 3D bioprinting. Aerotech was named as a major player in the market, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 35.9% from 2016 - 2022.

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Aerotech Named Key Player In Global Motion Control Market Growth

Publication:
Market Research Future

Aerotech was named a key player for anticipated global motion control market growth between 2016 and 2022 in the Asia-Pacific region in a new report by Market Research Future. With expected growth over the compound annual growth rate of around 6% from 2016-2022 and a forecasted market size of USD 22 billion in 2022, the global motion control market has been evaluated as a growing market and expected to reach high growth figures in the region during forecast years.

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Technavio Forecasting Global Motion Control Growth

Publication:
Technavio

Technavio's analysts forecast the global motion control market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.84% from 2016-2020, with Aerotech noted as a prominent vendor. The report anticipates a continuous infusion of capital for automation during the forecast period in numerous industries worldwide.

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Aerotech HEX500-350HL Chosen as Control Engineering 2017 Engineers' Choice Awards Finalist

Publication:
Control Engineering

We are honored to have an Aerotech product included once again as a finalist in the Control Engineering 2017 Engineers' Choice Awards. Our HEX500-350HL six-DOF positioning system is a high-load, ultra-precision hexapod ideal for applications in x-ray diffraction, sensor testing, and high-force device manipulation. With its high-load capacity, large travels, high speeds, and sub-micrometer precision, the HEX500-350HL means you don't have to compromise on your application specifications. We hope you will agree that our new hexapod is a fitting contender in this annual competition, and that you'll give us your vote!

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Pitt Mechanical Engineers Receive $350,000 NSF Grant to Develop Fast Computational Modeling for Additive Manufacturing

Publication:

As additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, becomes more commonplace, researchers and industry are seeking to mitigate the distortions and stresses inherent in fabricating these complex geometries. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and Pittsburgh-based manufacturer Aerotech, Inc. recently received a $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to address these design issues by developing new, fast computational methods for additive manufacturing.

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What's New in CADFusion 2.05.000

Publication:
Aerotech in Motion

Aerotech’s CADFusion software easily converts DXF and DWG drawings into AeroBasic motion programs. In version 2.05.000, we added Nmark GCL support to both the Bitmap tools and the PSO tools. We also added a Tool Catalog where you can save, edit, and organize all of your tools and use them again in different CADFusion projects. You can even import and export the tools in the Tool Catalog and share them with other CADFusion users. See the product release notes for details and a complete list of updates.

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New Webcast: Acceleration versus Error - Balancing Performance for Cylindrical Laser Processing Applications

Publication:

Aerotech’s Scott Schmidt, Laser Processing & Micromachining Group Manager, presented a webcast on May 12 titled Acceleration versus Error – Balancing Performance for Cylindrical Laser Processing Applications. Anyone interested in improving their cylindrical laser processing application can reap valuable information on how to improve their process. While the discussion centered on stents, the lessons learned are applicable to all cylindrical laser processing and micromachining applications.

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A Walk Through Time - Laser Stent Processing Over The Years

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Many of us are familiar with stents – interventional cardiac devices used to prop (and keep) open blood vessels that had been blocked. Although stent manufacturing may appear to have stabilized a little over the past few years, a look backward (and forward a bit) shows that we’ve come a long way to arrive at what many might consider a “standard” processing system today.

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Aerotech's New and Improved PRO Series - Improve Your Process by as Much as 98%

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Aerotech’s PRO Series linear motor and ball-screw positioning stages are now available with new features and higher performance, and in two new sizes. Improved stiffness, better specifications, competitive pricing, and 137 different standard models from which to choose make the PRO-LM linear motor and PRO-SL/SLE ball-screw linear stages worth a look, don’t you think?

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Introducing Our New A3200 Automation Motion Server

Publication:

All Automaton Motion Server products are shipped with a fully tested and verified installation of Aerotech’s A3200 motion controller operating in a 64-bit Windows® operating system. The Motion Server is ready to work right out of the box — apply power, connect the drives, and start developing. You’ll waste no more time on PC selection, operating system activation/configuration, controller installation, and managing deliveries from multiple vendors. Get started on integrating your value-added process as soon as you open the box.

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Advanced Motion Control Optimizes Laser Micro-Drilling

Publication:

"In micro-drilling process equipment, the most popular ways to create microvias (blind or buried vias with a diameter ≤150 µm) are mechanical drilling and laser drilling. Mechanical drilling is mainly used in larger apertures such as PCBs or IC substrates. Laser drilling is mainly used in finer apertures such as silicon wafers, ceramic substrates, and sapphire substrates."

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10 Insider Insights into High Precision Scanner Systems

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Scott Schmidt, Product Manager for Aerotech’s Laser Processing and Micromachining Group, recently interviewed Scott Tompkins, Senior Electrical Engineer with Innovative Laser Technologies, about the pros and cons of implementing high-speed scanners in precision laser applications. Let an expert in the field help you avoid the pitfalls and speed the commissioning of your next system.

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INtime for Windows Enables PCs for Advanced Motion Control

Publication:

Using a PC for an automation controller delivers state-of-the-art processing capabilities at competitive prices. Aerotech’s PC-based A3200 Digital Automation Platform uses TenAsys Corporation’s INtime® for Windows® to enable real-time control tasks to be executed alongside operator interface and program development functions on the same PC.

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Introducing Our QNPHD Series Single-Axis, High-Dynamic Piezo Nanopositioning Stages

Publication:

Aerotech’s QNPHD piezo nanopositioning stages provide the benefits of both a stage and actuator in one compact, high-stiffness package. With a direct-metrology, capacitive sensor feedback option, high resonant frequencies and high load capacity, the QNPHD is ideal for a wide range of high-speed and high-precision applications such as scanning probe microscopy, disc-drive testing, or semiconductor wafer articulation.

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5 Tips for Buying Galvanometers: What to Look for When Choosing a High-Precision Scanner System

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

A quick survey of galvanometer scanners yields a very broad array of devices, with a significant number of price points and performance levels. How can we sift through all of the available devices to choose the right one? Furthermore, once we find the perfect choice, how can we optimize its configuration to be perfect for the application at hand?

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Aerotech China at CIOE 2015

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

On August 31st through September 3rd, Aerotech China attended CIOE 2015, the 17th China International Optoelectronic Exposition. CIOE was a very successful exposition for Aerotech China, and we look forward to participating again. Thank you to all of our visitors – we hope you enjoyed the exposition and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

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Aerotech Named 2015 Top Workplace

Publication:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Aerotech is proud to announce that we’ve been named a 2015 Top Workplace! We’re thrilled to have been included on the list, and are very thankful to our employees, who made this happen. More info is available at www.topworkplaces.com

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Aerotech Taiwan at the Taipei Int'l Industrial Automation Exhibition

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Aerotech Taiwan recently presented our motion products at the Taipei Int’l Industrial Automation Exhibition at the Taipei World Trade Centre Nangang Exhibition Hall. Aerotech Taiwan demonstrated numerous motion control products including advanced motion controllers and control algorithms, as well as a complete motion stage demonstration. Our booth was adorned with a large mockup of our “Bring Your Machine to Life” mechanical wasp, as shown in the accompanying images.

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Print Your Heart Out

Publication:
Chemical and Engineering News

Could 3-D bioprinting one day replicate viable human organs? Find out what leaders in this fascinating field of research think the future holds for this new and exciting technology.

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Custom Gantries Optimized for Your Application

Publication:

Aerotech is introducing new custom direct​-​drive gantries with larger travel, higher load capacities​,​ and exceptional motion performance demanded by ​aerospace, ​government ​labs, and ​laser ​processing professionals.​ ​ ​Whether you require exceptionally long travels, extreme accuracy and repeatability, a complete control suite, a massive payload, or a fully functional motion subsystem, Aerotech can work with you to produce your ideal gantry solution.

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Laser Raster-Scanning Patterns on Cylindrical Workpieces Using Advanced Drawing Post-Processing Tools

Publication:
Medical Design Briefs

Manufacturing stents has traditionally employed two-axis systems consisting of a rotary “spindle” axis mounted on top of a direct-drive linear stage. “Free-running” the rotary axis and raster scanning the required pattern using high-dynamic galvanometers is a far more efficient method. Read more in our latest article in Medical Design Briefs.

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Watch as We Explain and Demonstrate Our AutoFocus Feature

Publication:

Autofocus is a standard feature on Aerotech’s Automation 3200, Ensemble, and Soloist controls that greatly simplifies sensor integration and increases system performance in surface profiling and scanning applications. Autofocus is particularly useful in applications where an external analog sensor is used to maintain a constant offset from a work-point.

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What's New in Aerotech Software Version 5.01

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Aerotech’s new piezo nanopositioning stages are now supported on A3200 and Ensemble controllers. New features in 5.01 include Easytune to get you started faster, improved trajectory generation, a parameter search feature in Configuration Manager, and an enhanced Axis Parameter Calculator. The 5.01 version does not support Windows XP or Windows Vista.

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Stepper versus Servo - A Comparison of Drive Technologies

Publication:

Many applications, such as X·ray microscopy and Computed Tomography (CT), require positioning of samples, detectors, and optics in order to perform measurements. Microscopy applications often require imaging of the structure of matter at the sub-micrometer and even nanometer level. Good holding stability, both short-term and long-term, is required because movement of the sample, optics, or detector over the time of measurement will cause poor images. Also, the ability to make small mechanical movements on the order of nanometers is often critical for alignment and adjustment of samples or optics.

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PlanarDLA Open Frame, XY, Direct-Drive, Mechanical-Bearing Stage

Publication:

Aerotech’s PlanarDLA-series stages offer a clear aperture, high dynamics, and exceptional geometric performance in a compact, low-profile package. These stages are essential for applications ranging from two-sided LED wafer processing where high-dynamics and micrometer-level straightness are required, to quasi-static optical metrology where high-accuracy and precise geometric performance are necessary. Regardless of the application, the PlanarDLA is designed to meet a variety of application needs with an array of configurable options.

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Precision Motion for Research and Development

Publication:

We have recently expanded our website to show precision motion control systems used in additive manufacturing, laboratory research, laser processing, micromachining, electronics manufacturing, and test & inspection. We invite you to peruse our Research Systems webpage to determine if our precision systems can advance your research projects.

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Tighter Integration and Programming Take Positioning Stages into 21st Century

Publication:
Design World

Few motion technologies show more recent innovation than positioning stages. Their hardware and software are increasingly custom to fit specific output requirements, thanks in large part to tighter integration and advanced programming. No wonder that today's positioning stages can make moves with incredible accuracy, synchronize complicated axis commands, and optimize travel from coarse to fine drives in tandem, closing the loop on one common position feedback.

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Small Steps: Nanoscale Positioning Requires Complete System-Level Design

Publication:
MICROmanufacturing

Emerging nanotechnologies have enabled advancements such as higher-resolution optical imaging and growing data-storage demands. Most of these technologies call for the nanoscale positioning of parts or samples. A nanopositioning system requires high-quality components, and all elements of the positioning system and its environment must be thoroughly examined to guarantee nanoscale-positioning performance.

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New Webinar: Nanometer-Level Positioning

Publication:
Photonics

Nanopositioning, or moving objects with atomic-scale precision, is a key enabling technology in areas such as semiconductor processing, microscopy and nano imaging, hard-drive and electronics manufacturing, and medical device manufacturing. In this webinar you will learn how a system-level approach is required to achieve true nanometer-level performance, as well as the basic design parameters for nanometer-level positioning performance including bearing, feedback, drive electronics, and controls algorithms.

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Bioprinting: 3D Printing Comes to Life

Publication:
Manufacturing Engineering

3D printing is driving innovation in many areas, from engineering and manufacturing to art and education. The technology is also being broadly applied in medicine—from printing prosthetic limbs to making patient-specific models of body parts that surgeons use as guides during reconstructive surgery. The next frontier in medical printing is bioprinting—using living cells to print replacement tissues and organs.

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Cutting-Edge Motion Shapes Laser Nano Fabrication

Publication:
Commericial Micro Manufacturing International Magazine

With the introduction of its new range of S-waveplates, the laser technology solutions specialist Workshop of Photonics (Altechna R&D) has successfully accomplished the first commercially available laser optical device to be manufactured solely by a femtosecond laser. The specialised super-structured waveplate converts the normally linear polarised laser light into radial or azimuthal polarisation and enables users in research or industry to achieve faster processing speeds, improved quality and higher definition with tailored polarisation beams.

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Planar HDX: Two-Axis Ultra-Precision Planar Air-Bearing Stage

Publication:

Aerotech’s long history of supplying ultra-precise positioning systems in high-technology fields such as semiconductor manufacturing has enabled ongoing development and improvement of key motion technologies. By building upon these technologies, Aerotech has developed the PlanarHDX, the most advanced commercially available planar air-bearing platform on the market. Designed using an FEA-optimized silicon carbide structure and optimized air-bearing compensation techniques, the PlanarHDX provides the highest possible dynamic performance while maintaining unparalleled geometric characteristics and positioning accuracy.

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Brochure Release: Laboratory and Research Motion Product Guide

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Aerotech’s Laboratory and Research Motion Product Guide illustrates our R&D-quality linear and angular positioning stages, designed and ready-to-order for use on your optical table. The brochure includes micron- and nanometer-level performance positioners in X, XY, Z, lift, theta, and goniometric versions, along with motion controllers. Also included is Aerotech’s new QNP-series of piezo nanopositioning stages for sub-nanometer-level performance.

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Infinite Possibilities - Easily Combining Scanner and Servo Motion

Publication:

High precision motion control applications such as laser micromachining, 2-photon polymerization, glass panel and film patterning, and additive manufacturing now seek to take advantage of the improved precision offered with many high-speed galvanometers. In the past, either very small fields of view had to be used to allow advanced optical configurations with these scanners, or exotic and error-inducing routines such as step-and-scan strategies would be needed to allow processing of larger work pieces. Now an advanced drawing post-processor, along with motion controller enhancements, allows simple interleaving of servo and scanner motion over large fields of view and virtually any pattern type, without the need for time-consuming optimization.

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Motion Control Manufacturers: Who Will Survive?

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

The nominal truth of any business’ bottom line is to make money and turn a profit. But as self-described “social ecologist” and management consultant Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of a business is to CREATE customers.” In the manufacturing world this translates into being innovative in product and technology development, with exceptional technical expertise and manufacturing capabilities. And not just being an early adopter of technology, but to truly be a pioneer in the field.

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Motion Control Basics: Linear Stage Terminology

Publication:

There are many factors that affect the ability of a linear stage to position precisely in 3D space. Accuracy and repeatability errors were described in a previous installment of our Motion Basics series. This installment will focus on five other errors – straightness, flatness, roll, pitch, and yaw.

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Motion Control Basics: Accuracy and Repeatability

Publication:

In the automation world, there are terms that people use interchangeably, but in fact mean very different things. For example, ‘accuracy’ and ‘repeatability’ – two of the most important specifications when you’re selecting a rotary or linear stage. In this Motion Control Basics video, we explain the difference between accuracy and repeatability, and show you how it relates to linear stage travel.

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Brochure Release: Advanced Motion Systems for Aerospace, Defense, and National Security

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Aerotech’s completely updated brochure Advanced Motion Systems for Aerospace, Defense, and National Security presents components and systems for the aerospace and defense industries including laser processing, additive manufacturing, large component test and inspection, electro-optic test, rotary and linear sensor test, vacuum, pointing and tracking, inertial test motion simulators, advanced controls, and standard products.

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Industry-Best Micron-Level 2D Accuracy

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

The highly repeatable and thermally stable feedback sensors used on Aerotech’s Nmark AGV-HPO scanner systems can be calibrated down to single-digit, micron-level accuracy over the field of view. With the extremely low thermal gain drift performance of the position transducers, complex, high-density laser machining applications that take long periods of time to complete will maintain consistent micron-level feature placement accuracy over the lifetime of the process.

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Aerotech Recognized in Presidential "Jobs" Speech

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

Aerotech was one of several local manufacturing companies commended by President Obama this month during a visit to the Pittsburgh area! The President and Vice President toured the CCAC (Community College of Allegheny County) Mechatronics Lab to promote initiatives that include $500 million in US job training and $100 million in apprenticeship program funding.

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Setting New Standards for Angle and Rotary Device Calibration

Publication:
Aerotech In Motion

If you calibrate angle encoders, sensors, indexing tables, polygons, or optical prisms, the μARC angle and rotary calibration system will help you make more precise products than your competition, increase your throughput by calibrating your devices faster, and give you the competitive edge in measuring and improving your product’s performance.

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Aerotech United Kingdom Moves to New and Larger Facility

Publication:

As part of continued expansion in the global precision motion and automation systems arena, Aerotech Inc. - the Pittsburgh-USA headquartered high-technology mechatronic motion products designer and manufacturer - has relocated its UK subsidiary to a new and larger facility in Ramsdell near Tadley. With additional office and operational logistics space as well as considerably more room for customer demonstration, training and conferencing, the well-equipped 500 m2 building will allow Aerotech Ltd to build upon and enhance its position as a premier motion system supplier to the UK and Europe.

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Aerotech's Harmonic Cancellation Algorithm Provides Performance Benefits for Elastomer Test Machine Manufacturer

Publication:
Drives & Controls

Prescott Instruments, the Tewkesbury-UK based specialist test instrument designer and manufacturer, recently introduced a new multi-function rheometer for rubber and elastomer materials testing that uses direct-drive brushless servomotor technology for a sinusoidal motion technique that offers greater flexibility and a wider range of test conditions. The new rheometer uses a single-axis frameless and brushless torque motor with a peak rating of around 20 Nm in combination with a high-resolution optical encoder together with Aerotech's Soloist™ HPe integrated servo drive and motion controller.

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Laser Makers Under Pressure: Do More, Faster

Publication:
Manufacturing Engineering

Lasers are superior for marking medical tools and devices because the marks they make are flat, which is crucial: Any crevice, no matter how small, can provide a home for germs to congregate and reproduce. So an impending new rule expected from Washington may help companies that sell laser marking systems to medical device manufacturers fatten up their bottom line.

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ASPE 2013 Spring Topical Meeting

Publication:
American Society for Precision Engineering

The American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE) 2013 Spring Topical Meeting will feature a tutorial on Control of Precision Systems presented by Aerotech's Stephen J. Ludwick and David L. Trumper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The tutorial will present key principles for the design and implementation of control systems for precision machines, as well as the interaction of these controllers with system hardware.

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Aerotech is Named Manufacturer of the Year 2012

Publication:
Pittsburgh Business Times

It is an honor to announce that Aerotech has been chosen as the Manufacturer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Business Times for the second consecutive year. The Manufacturer of the Year award has been presented by the Pittsburgh Business Times for the last nine years to select Western Pennsylvania manufacturing companies. The Award is given to companies that demonstrate all-around exceptional performance over an extended period of time.

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Nmark AGV/CLS is a Photonics Prism Awards Finalist

Publication:
Photonics Spectra

The SPIE Prism Awards for Photonics were developed to recognize innovative scientific products, processes, software, devices, materials, systems, instruments, and technologies that are newly available on the open market. The Industrial Laser category highlights new laser sources, advanced technologies, components and laser system designs that can benefit the development, commercialization, and fielding of new laser platforms. Aerotech’s Nmark CLS galvo controller paired with our AGV scanner has secured one of the three finalist positions in the Industrial Laser category for 2013.

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Reducing Machine Controller Design and Deployment

Publication:
NASA Tech Briefs

Machine design and deployment requires integration of various technologies such as controls, mechanics, vision, lasers, data acquisition, and software, to mention only a few. These mechatronic solutions usually target a specific purpose such as part manufacturing, marking, packaging, etc. Often the controller is a key focus in the design because it must connect and coordinate all of the processes on the machine. Using separate programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and motion controllers necessitates integration, which is costly and time-consuming. Using a single controller for the machine eliminates the need for integration and shortens design and deployment time and cost.

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Air Bearings Aid Assembly of Flat Panel Displays

Publication:
Assembly

Many manufacturing processes for flat panel displays (FPDs) require precision motion control for feature generation and inspection. Aerostatic bearings are an excellent choice for many of these processes, because they allow precise, repeatable motion; are clean-room compatible; and are maintenance-free.

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Kinematics and Precision Stages Drive Laser Welding

Publication:
Photonics Spectra

No longer an exotic manufacturing application, laser welding is now a common production tool for processing pacemakers, defibrillators and other implantable medical devices. Applying the weld to the seams of these devices requires precise firing control to maintain a consistent overlap in the laser welding pulses.

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Laser Micro-Drilling Applications

Publication:
Proceedings of the 2004 Advanced Laser Applications Conference & Exposition

Metalase Technologies and Aerotech are currently developing advanced techniques for laser micro-drilling materials with a thickness of 1mm or greater. There are two key enabling technologies: (i) a laser with short pulse duration, high peak power, and small wavelength, and (ii) a multi-axis motion system capable of high precision, high speed, and advanced blended motion paths. Metalase is working with Aerotech as the supplier of the high precision multi-axis motion system. This paper will describe a system designed for drilling precision apertures in thicker materials and discuss an application example for direct-injection diesel fuel injector nozzles.

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Minimizing Circular Path Errors in Laser Machining

Publication:
Industrial Laser Solutions

Laser machining comprises a variety of processes, including laser drilling, cutting, marking, scribing, welding, and micromachining. While a great deal of industry experience exists with these processes, many challenges remain in performing them quickly, efficiently, and with the highest process quality.

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Applications Dictate Gimbal Selection

Publication:
Laser Focus World

Precision motion-control systems have found widespread use in a number of broad markets. Each application requires certain critical motion performance specifications that define the motion technology or technologies best suited for the job. In many cases, one technology becomes an obvious choice. In other applications, two or more competing technologies may deserve consideration. The choice between direct-drive and gear-driven gimbals presents just such a comparison based on the application.

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Precise Triggering of External Events Based on Axis Position

Publication:
Design News

Precision motion control applications often require triggering an external device based on the actual position of the axis in motion. For many applications, traditional methods of triggering compromise part quality and cycle time. An axis-based trigger in the controller can significantly improve part quality, reduce cycle time, and eliminate other processing problems.

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Aerotech Pushes Mechatronics Envelope with Motion Systems

Publication:
Design News

To meet the demands of high-precision applications, engineers are turning more and more to mechatronics solutions, says Robert Novotnak, manager of Aerotech’s Advanced Automation Division. His firm supplies complete motion systems for machines ranging from a 5-axis laser cutting station to a high-performance stent cutter for the medical field. In an interview with Design News, Robert Novotnak discusses some of the essential building blocks of mechatronics.

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Motion Control Requirements for Hermetic Seam Welding

Publication:
Today's Medical Developments

Advances in electronics and battery technology have led to an increase in the number and sophistication of electronic devices that are implanted in the human body for treating an ever-growing number of afflictions. This technology has been used successfully for many years in pacemakers, defibrillators and other cardio- rhythm management devices.

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The Need for Speed

Publication:
Design News

Flexibility, connectivity and the need for speed are the main goals for packaging OEMs. The ability to handle different size packages, bottles and even different product lines means the machines need to be flexible. The need for speed is making manufacturers look for ways to decrease changeover times and drives automation to fully utilize product recipes to adjust automatically to new product requirements.

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Laser Processing in Stent Production

Publication:
Today's Medical Developments

Due to its unique capabilities, laser processing has become the predominant method of cutting, ablating, and welding materials for stent manufacturing. Compared to other cutting methods, laser processing produces very smooth edges that substantially reduce the finishing process. Another laser processing benefit is the ability to make intricate design cuts with extreme precision and accuracy. These factors allow the system to be more cost-effective to deliver improved throughput.

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Controller Retrofit Solutions

Publication:
Design News

Given the high costs of new machine tools, many manufactures are seeking to re-control their existing machinery. These re-control projects allow manufacturers to realize some significant cost savings, while modernizing the control system, which is typically the backbone of the machine tool itself. The re-control also eliminates costly obsolescence issues with older electronics. Some of these new control systems come with advanced features that allow manufacturers to compensate for minor mechanical imperfections, as well as mechanical wear that has accumulated over years of use. And quite often this can eliminate the need to do a complete mechanical rebuild.

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Linear Motor Basics

Publication:
Production Machining

A steady increase in practical industrial applications has secured a place for linear motors. Here's an overview of the various types of linear motors and what differentiates them from their rotary counterparts.

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Solar Nears Tipping Point

Publication:
Design News

As solar cell production gains momentum, manufacturers are focused on higher efficiency, sustainable quality, and incorporating more automation. Gain insight into how solar cell manufacturers are leveraging the latest precision motion control technologies, robotics, networked automation inspection stations, and automation solutions to make more units at a lower cost.

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Aerotech Positioning Stage has Nanometre Precision

Publication:
The Engineer

The University of Southampton's ORC (Optoelectronics Research Centre) uses an Aerotech ABL9000 series air-bearing stage and A3200 motion controller for groundbreaking research into direct UV laser writing of integrated optical circuits on specialized glass substrates and on its own patented 'flat' optical cable.

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New Life: Advances in Laser Machining Key to Stent Market Growth

Publication:
MICROmanufacturing

Aerotech looked at the (stent manufacturing) platform a few years ago and found that a fundamental limitation on increasing processing speeds was the stiffness of the system. As a result, Aerotech incorporated into its VascuLathe laser motion machine an integrated linear-rotary design capable of providing throughput two to five times greater than component systems, while still providing micron-level dynamic tolerances.

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Does this scan? Scan Head Technology for Micromachining and Ultrafast Lasers

Publication:
Electro Optics

Precision micromachining applications demand high speed and superior accuracy. Increasingly, there is also a need to process 3D geometries, requiring multiple-axis systems and synchronization between the galvo axis and linear axis. In this month's edition of Electro Optics Magazine, Greg Blackman interviews Aerotech's Advanced Automation Division Manager, Ron Rekowski, about the challenges faced by laser and scanner system manufacturers supplying components for precision micromachining tasks.

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Integrated and coordinated servo and galvo control for ultra-precise applications

Publication:
Industrial Laser Solutions

An innovative automation development, Aerotech's Nmark series, synchronizes both galvo scanner and servo motion to integrate both motion platforms and seamlessly allows the user to control both the servo and scanner axes in one environment. This marriage of servo and galvo axes allows both to move simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion. Because the A3200 motion controller "knows" the location of both the galvo and servo at any point in time, it can easily partition the commanded motion profile to issue long-haul moves to the servo and short, faster moves to the galvo. This allows the galvo's effective FoV to be the entire range of servo stage travel, yielding essentially an infinite field of view (IFoV).

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Performing the Architectural Flip-Flop

Publication:
Drives & Controls Magazine

There are two basic architectures for supervisory and control automation: distributed and centralized. Historically, design patterns have migrated between these two architectures and will continue to do so in the future. But will one win out?

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Compact Linear Motor Gantry

Publication:
Design News

Aerotech's new small-footprint AGS1500 gantry was designed for precise contouring accuracy in 2D space. The AGS1500 incorporates a variety of innovations in mechanical design as well as advanced control techniques that reduce angular errors, significantly improve contouring accuracy, and increase gantry speed and throughput.

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Design and Implementation of Remote Control System for Reactor Vessel Weld Inspection Manipulator

Publication:
AUTOMATIKA: Journal for Control, Measurement, Electronics, Computing and Communications

This paper describes the design and implementation of a remote control system for a weld inspection system used on nuclear reactor vessels. The system is based on the Automation 3200 that features a client-server TCP/IP software architecture that allows the operator to perform the entire inspection procedure remotely over a network.

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Position Synchronized Output Provides Flexibility

Publication:
Quality Magazine

Knowing the precise position at the moment of sensor triggering has powerful implications in a number of test and inspection applications. From defect detection and repair to surface mapping and profiling, the field of applications requiring a tight relationship between sensor output and location in 2- or 3-dimensional space is large and growing. Aerotech's Position Synchronized Output uses innovative circuitry to deliver the actual encoder-based positional information in real time.

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Harmonic Cancellation Algorithms Enable Precision Motion Control

Publication:
Motion System Design

Periodic disturbances are commonplace in precision motion control applications; any oscillatory or rotational motion generates some periodic error in both the active and ancillary motion axes. Harmonic cancellation algorithms, when properly applied, give control system engineers an additional tool that is both effective and easily analyzed with common frequency domain techniques — to eliminate tracking errors in precision motion systems. They apply when either the servo command or disturbance is largely periodic — for example, in machine tools, data storage systems, and sensor testing.

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True Moves - Motion Control Advances for Micromachining

Publication:
MICROmanufacturing

Key motion requirements for mechanical and laser micromachining systems include high dynamic contour accuracy, repeatability, speed and a flexible, advanced motion controller. Accurate and fast micromachining depends on carefully integrating mechanical, electrical, control and software elements. This article discusses the common micromachining motion system components and how they are combined to create a successful micromachining system.

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