10 July 2018

Aerotech's alternative to traditional stage-on-granite

Machine components such as bearings, encoders, and drive mechanisms are engineered and assembled directly on the granite base and bridge structures in an Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) system. Therefore, IGM systems are distinct from traditional stage-on-granite systems where discrete positioning stages and components are used in the system design. Aerotech IGM systems are custom-engineered to fit the unique and specific needs of your application or process.

IGM systems can be designed with mechanical or air bearings, ball-screw or linear-motor drives, and a variety of feedback elements ranging from encoders to laser interferometers.   Additional axes of motion, such as rotary, lift, or piezo stages, or even galvanometer scanners, can be integrated onto the IGM axes, all of which can be controlled from Aerotech’s A3200 unified control platform.

IGM and traditional stage-on-granite systems each offer distinct advantages, and the choice of which to use depends largely on your application or process, as well as its technical and commercial requirements. IGM systems can have higher stiffness than a stage-on-granite solution because the IGM system has fewer parts in the structural loop, resulting in higher accuracy and better dynamic performance. IGM systems can be more compact due to the more integrated nature of machine components and granite. This provides for the possibility of smaller Abbe offsets and better machine positioning accuracy. In addition, it is simpler to optimize axis design parameters such as travel length and payload capacity because each axis of an IGM solution is engineered and built directly into the main granite structure.

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