ABL1500 Air Bearing Stage
Leading-edge manufacturing, particularly in the semiconductor and data storage industries, demands positioning tolerances beyond the capability of conventional ball-screw and mechanical-bearing positioning systems. The ABL1500, with its fully active preload, exceptionally high stiffness, and excellent geometric characteristics was designed specifically to meet those demands.
Air-Bearing Design for High Dynamic Performance
The ABL1500 incorporates an active preload on both the vertical and horizontal surfaces. The opposing thin-film pressure maintains the bearing nominal gap tolerance. This design, in addition to the large air-bearing surface that distributes the load over a large surface area, results in a stage with outstanding stiffness that is ideal for heavy or offset loading.
Proprietary manufacturing techniques result in a stage with unsurpassed geometrical characteristics. The air bearing has an inherent averaging effect that maximizes performance. The thin film will fill small surface voids and allow for other irregularities. This characteristic yields superior pitch, roll, yaw, straightness and flatness specifications.
Linear Motor Drive
The driving force behind this stage is Aerotech’s BLMC series brushless linear servomotor. Aerotech’s long history and experience as a motor manufacturer is reflected in this design. The BLMC utilizes an ironless forcer, which means there is zero cogging and no attractive forces, resulting in unsurpassed smoothness of motion. Capable of generating high force and velocity, the BLMC represents the ultimate combination of power and performance.
Our totally noncontact air bearing, noncontact linear motor drive, and noncontact feedback device ensure years of maintenance-free operation at the high performance levels that are expected of Aerotech equipment. Because there is no mechanical contact between moving elements, the ABL1500 experiences no wear or reduction in performance over time. Service life is virtually unlimited and since there is no lubrication – only clean, dry gas – air bearings are ideal for cleanroom and medical applications.
We carefully optimize the cable bend radius to ensure years of trouble-free operation. In the unlikely event of failure, Aerotech’s modular design makes cable replacement quick and easy with minimal downtime. We include all customer-required cables, air hoses, etc. in our CMS bundle to facilitate integration into the final system. Both ends are fully connectorized for simple integration into the customer’s machine.
1. Maximum speed based on stage capability; maximum application velocity may be limited by system data rate and system resolution.
2. Maximum load based on bearing capability; maximum application load may be limited by acceleration requirements.
3. Thermal limitations of positioning stage with respect to performance may limit continuous force output.
4. Force may be limited by amplifier output.
5. Values with Aerotech controls and HALAR option.
6. Dependent on flatness of stage mounting surface.
7. To protect air bearing against under-pressure, an in-line pressure switch tied to the motion controller/amplifier E-stop input is recommended.
8. Air supply must be clean, dry to 0° F dewpoint and filtered to 0.25 um or better; recommend nitrogen at 99.9% purity.
9. Maximum upper axis length is 200 mm when mounting the ABL1500 in an XY configuration.