23 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Nanopositioning drive controls up to ten axes

Aerotech's desktop piezo drive supports real-time triggering of events

Aerotech has announced a high-performance nanopositioning piezo drive which, it claims, will allow coordinated motion between up to ten axes of piezo stages and servo axes at much higher rates than other controllers or drives.

The desktop-format Ensemble QDe drive is suitable for single- or multi-axis applications using Aerotech’s Ensemble family of drives and controllers, including point-to-point motion, linear and circular interpolation, and multi-axis error correction.

High-speed interrupts and data-logging capabilities provide a real-time link to external systems. A high-speed position latching capability and multi-axis position synchronised output (PSO) allow pulses to be generated based on actual position feedback.

The drive supports sub-nanometer positioning resolution at high bandwidths. A capacitive sensor feedback circuitry with a 20-bit resolution results in low noise levels over the full travel range. Aerotech has developed a linearisation technique that, it says, achieves a linearity of better than 0.01% over the full travel range in closed-loop mode.

The drive uses PID servo loops with advanced feed-forward and multiple integrators, coupled with eight programmable filters, to help optimise motion performance. Software is available that offers advanced, yet easy-to-use, tools such as learning control, harmonic cancellation, command shaping, and cross-axis feed-forward to improve tracking errors and provide faster step-and-settle times.