AGS1000 linear motor driven gantry will provide lower cost solution for high-throughput production systems

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 June 2005




(2005), "AGS1000 linear motor driven gantry will provide lower cost solution for high-throughput production systems", Assembly Automation, Vol. 25 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

AGS1000 linear motor driven gantry will provide lower cost solution for high-throughput production systems

AGS1000 linear motor driven gantry will provide lower cost solution for high-throughput production systems

Keywords: Keywords Inspection, Manufacturing systems, Linear motion

Aerotech have released a new range of gantry style, X-Y positioning systems based on linear brushless servomotors and linear-motion-guide bearing technologies to provide a cost effective, single-source solution for high- accuracy/high-throughput production and inspection systems. The new AGS1000 range is ideal for OEM's and system integrators building high- speed pick-and-place machines, vision inspection equipment, dispensing stations and high-performance automated machinery (Plate 7).

Plate 7

The range covers four basic configurations with X-Y travel from 200 × 200 mm to 500 × 500 mm and with a complete positioning solution in mind, is offered with a large number of options and accessories including Z-axis and rotary stages, interfacing plates for automated parts handling equipment, baseplates and machine bases with integral cabinets to house all electrical and control systems.

Additionally, Aerotech supply a wide range of servo drives, motion control and automation systems and are able to supply complete turnkey solutions based on the AGS1000 gantry. Aerotech have calculated that customers purchasing complete systems can gain overall cost savings of over 30 per cent when compared to multi-sourcing and assembling positioning systems, drives, motion controls, mechanical interfacing components, machine base and cabinet assemblies.

To maintain the high accuracy and high performance requirements for demanding high-throughput applications, the AGS1000's drive system features synchronised dual linear servomotors for the lower axis and a single, linear servo for the upper axis. Combining the high stiffness and smooth performance characteristics of Aerotech's BLMC series brushless “cog-free” linear servomotors with rugged non-contact optical encoder feedback, the gantry boasts a maximum speed capability of 2 m/s, acceleration performance to 2 g and positioning resolutions from 20 nm to 1.0 μm depending upon encoder multiplication.

Linear motion guide bearings with wiper seals and grease fittings provide optimum stiffness and allow the AGS1000 to support a 15 kg central load with overall accuracy of ±5 mm and repeatability to within ±2 mm.

The basic table components are manufactured in black anodised aluminium with the table top benefiting from a Teflon® hard coating for increased durability. An optional electroless-nickel surface finish can be supplied for medical applications or as a protective coating for ESD machines.

The cable management system (CMS) employed on the AGS1000 gantry has been developed and field proven to provide high reliability and long maintenance-free life. The e-chain system has a large bend radius and high-flex cables are used for all motor power and encoders; in addition customer's own cabling and pneumatics services are routed through the CMS with interfacing g connectors provided, greatly simplifying machine design and commissioning time.

When compared to ball-screw-driven gantry systems, the simple and compact design of the AGS1000 benefits from reduced maintenance, improved performance and a smaller mounting footprint; an important requirement for manufacturing production applications, where space is at a premium such as clean rooms and temperature controlled manufacturing areas.

The AGS1000 has many of the advanced features used on the longer travel-range AGS10000 gantry systems which have been used extensively in high-throughput manufacturing and test applications for several years. By applying this application experience in combination with advances in design engineering, manufacturing procedures and linear motor technology, Aerotech have designed the AGS1000 with a specification and price/performance ratio which will be of significant interest to automated production machine designers seeking “lower cost of ownership” solutions.

Complementing all of their mechanical positioning systems, Aerotech manufactures a wide range of servo amplifiers and advanced motion controllers including the A3200 Digital Automation Platform. This breakthrough, software-based machine control system combines motion, HMI, PLC and vision control modules with an industry standard Firewire® high performance communication network for up to 32 axes of high speed motion; additionally a 10/100 Base T Ethernet interface may be used to add third party I/O and PLC's. Complete systems include all motor power and encoder cables plus performance and calibration related documents and a CD containing interconnection drawings to help integrators with their own system documentation; all motor parameter set-up data for system configuration is included, making commissioning straightforward. These features are standard for every Aerotech product and with full product training and comprehensive online technical support, the true cost of ownership is extremely competitive.

For technical information, please contact: Simon Smith at Aerotech Limited, Jupiter House, Calleva Park, Aldermaston, Berkshire RG7 8NN. Tel +44 (0)118 940 9400, Fax +44 (0)118 940 9401, E-mail:

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