EC: HexGen hexapod positioning system

Motion control, motors: Aerotech's HexGen hexapods provide very high precision, six-degree-of-freedom positioning of heavy payloads at high speeds and large travels for applications in X-ray diffraction, sensor testing, and high-force device manipulation. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.

10/13/2016


Aerotech's HexGen hexapods represent a significant advance in six-degree-of-freedom positioning performance. The HEX500-350HL high-load, precision hexapod is 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 no compromising on application specifications. The HEX500-350HL is the only hexapod on the market today that provides guaranteed positioning accuracy specifications.

The HEX500-350HL is actuated with six high-accuracy struts that are built with precision preloaded bearings, ball screws, and drive components. Unlike competitive hexapods driven by dc brushed servomotors, the HEX500-350HL is driven by ac brushless, slotless servomotors that maximize device lifetime and performance. The servomotors are directly coupled to the actuator ball-screw enabling increased drive stiffness, higher positioning accuracy, and better minimum incremental motion (20 nm in XYZ and 0.2 μrad for θxθyθz) when compared to competitive designs that use belts or compliant couplings. The strut pivot-joints are engineered to provide low friction and high stiffness enhancing overall performance.

The HEX500-350HL is designed with flexibility and customization in mind. The platform and base can be modified with user-specific features or mounting patterns. It is designed with a 150 mm diameter clear aperture in both the platform and base for workpiece access from the bottom. The base is designed with mounting holes to adapt directly to English or metric optical tables. The hexapod can also be vacuum prepared for demanding applications in synchrotron sample or optics adjustment, semiconductor manufacturing and inspection, or satellite sensor testing.

Driving the HEX500-350HL is Aerotech's award-winning A3200 motion control software. Built on years of experience in difficult kinematics applications, the A3200 controller allows easy programming and control of the hexapod in any user-defined coordinate system. Aerotech's HexGen sizing software gives the user the ability to easily visualize and simulate the available workspace.

Aerotech Inc., www.aerotech.com 



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