Automation1 Servo Drives Improve In-Position Stability

Servo motor drives can be measured in many ways. When it comes to performance, few tests are more meaningful to system performance than in-position stability. In-position tests show how well the drive can hold a motor or stage in a target position without drift or jitter.

Aerotech has several new servo drives for the A3200 motion control platform. Each new drive outperforms the analogous previous generation drive. These new drives are part of the Automation1 platform, Aerotech’s precision motion control platform for the future. These new drives are available today and completely compatible with the A3200 software-based machine controller. They are also forward compatible with the future in motion control, the soon-to-be-released Automation1 controller, which will offer even more improvements!

The Automation1-XR3, Automation1-XC4e, and Automation1-XC4 are 100% new designs. These new designs allow current customers to easily migrate to higher performing electronics. They also give new customers an even stronger reason to consider Aerotech as their motion control supplier

Automation 1 Items

Figure 1. Aerotech XR3 3U, 19” Drive Rack.

The Performance Test

In order to provide meaningful test data, Aerotech tests servo drive performance on actual mechanical stages. For the Automation1-XR3, two different servo drives (amplifiers) were tested versus comparable A3200 servo drives. They were the XSP3 PWM amplifier and the XSL3 linear amplifier. The performance tests were conducted using an Aerotech ABL1500 air-bearing direct-drive linear stage. The stage includes an Aerotech’s BLMC series brushless linear motor and it was mounted to a granite base on a passive air isolation system, supported by a steel weldment. The in-position stability was measured using the integral encoder feedback signal, a 1 Vpp amplified sine-wave encoder with a 4 μm encoder scale pitch. The stage was commanded to hold position and the in-position noise, as read by the encoder, was recorded and analyzed.

Likewise, the Automation1-XC4e and Automation1-XC4 PWM servo drives were tested against comparable A3200 Ndrive products. These tests were conducted using the bridge axis of an Aerotech AGS10000 gantry. This axis was driven by an Aerotech BLM-264A motor and carried an ATS150 Z-axis. The gantry was on passive isolation material supported by a steel weldment. The in-position stability was measured using the integral encoder feedback signal, a 1 Vpp amplified sine-wave encoder with a 20 μm encoder scale pitch. The stage was commanded to hold position and the in-position noise, as read by the encoder, was recorded and analyzed.

Testing Results

Each of the Automation1 servo motor drives offers real improvements in performance that customers will realize today as they use Automation1 drive hardware with the A3200 controller. When the Automation1 controller becomes available, even more motion control improvements will be available.

The improvements offered by the new Automation1 drive hardware is summarized in the list and graph below:

  1. The Automation1-XR3 XSP3 PWM amplifier measures 1.5 nm (rms) of in-position noise while the Npaq’s DP32010e PWM amplifier measures 4.8 nm (rms).
  2. The Automation1-XR3 XSL3 linear amplifier measures 0.7 nm (rms) of in-position noise while the Npaq’s DL4010 linear amplifier measures 2.8 nm (rms).
  3. The Automation1-XC4e PWM amplifier measures 0.95 nm (rms) of in-position noise while the Ndrive HPe PWM amplifier measures 1.3 nm (rms).
  4. The Automation1-XC4 PWM amplifier measures 4.9 nm (rms) of in-position noise while the Ndrive CP PWM amplifier measures 7.9 nm (rms).

Graph 1. In-position noise test results.

Automation 1 Vs Legacy

In addition to the improved in-position reading, the XSL3 is also able to dissipate six times the peak power versus the DL4010.

For questions please contact sales@aerotech.com.