16 October 2019

Aerotech at Precisiebeurs in Veldhofen, Netherlands - laser scanner in comparison

The precision technology industry has been meeting in Veldhofen (13 -14 November 2019) in the Netherlands for 19 years now, and Aerotech has to be present of course: The manufacturer of high-performance motion control and positioning systems will be demonstrating the advantages of the AGV-SPO galvo scanner over an HPO at his stand. Other highlights include the new innovative Automation1 control system, the successor to the proven A3200, and IFOV (Infinite Field of View) for laser processing.

If you want to produce at the highest level and according to the best quality standards, you need the appropriate systems and components. At the precision trade fair in Veldhofen, trade visitors can get an idea of how Aerotech´s high-precision positioning systems work. “As a long-standing research and development partner for precision manufacturing, we are pleased to be able to present our innovative range of solutions to trade visitors at Precisiebeurs, enabling them to optimise their manufacturing processes in the long term”, says Simon Smith, European Director Aerotech. “The focus is on our AGV galvo scanner and the new Automation1 control platform.” 

With the AGV-SPO (Single Pivot Point) galvo scanner, Aerotech sets standards in high-precision laser technology. The AGV-SPO improves complex, laser-based manufacturing processes by enlarging the field of view, enabling higher throughput with measurably higher precision and consistency, and requiring less space. Its innovative optical design uses focussing optics more effectively and reduces distortion of light spots throughout the working area.

At the trade fair, both galvo scanners AGV-HPO and AGV-SPO will be compared in a demo system. This clearly shows how the synchronised motion of two mirrors of the AGV-SPO allows a larger uniformly illuminated field of view. “We can process workpieces with significantly larger dimensions precisely because the laser spot size remains constant over a significantly larger field of view.”

Aerotech offers the AGV-SPO with a variety of options including selectable laser wavelength, F-theta lens and cooling functions. “The AGV-SPO is ideal for achieving the highest precision and dynamic performance in laser processes, resulting in improved part quality, higher process yields and higher throughput”, says Simon Smith.

Dependence of spot size and field of view
Depending on which F-theta lens the manufacturer chooses, the size of the field of view (the available processing space) and the laser spot diameters (energy density) are predefined. Field of view and spot size are interdependent: If you need a larger field of view for e.g. larger additive components, you have to accept a larger laser spot diameter. 

To eliminate the interdependence between field of view and spot size, Aerotech uses a so-called Infinite Field of View (IFOV) function. Servo axis and scanner motion are seamlessly synchronised in a controller environment. The machine designer can now select the lens exactly according to the desired laser spot size to achieve the required energy density. By using the IFOV function, the production area can be variably extended and the motion between positioning tables and scanners can be easily coordinated. With the IFOV function, the user simply programs the desired motion path in a 2D space, and the profile is automatically split between scanner and positioning tables. The scanners also eliminate the dynamic subsequent errors caused by the positioning tables and produce consistent performance across the entire infinite field of view. 

If an AGV scanner is installed in the linear axes of an IGM, i.e. an Integrated Granite Motion System, this is done in the A3200 automation platform used as a plug-and-play extension of the XR3 high-performance control system and GL4 galvo control system. The coordinates can then be easily programmed. The new Automation1 control platform for integrating the scanner into a positioning system is also currently available. 

New, innovative control system
Anyone who uses an optimised control platform reduces the non-value added development effort and can sometimes supply their customers faster. Aerotech is now heralding the future of precision motion and process control systems with the “Automation1 Precision Machine - and Motion Control Platform”. It combines the control of positioning systems and their components on a platform equipped with a new software-based motion controller.

The platform controls drives for servo motors, galvo scan heads, piezoelectric actuators and a variety of other devices. The various drive modules are connected via the HyperWire motion bus, the most powerful communication bus in the motion control industry. 

The Automation1 hardware has a built-in digital and analogue I/O, allowing an easy integration of complex motion and associated process control. “Automation1 is the future of motion control”, says Simon Smith. “It is the first development environment which puts user experience and precise motion at the forefront of product design. The servo motor and galvo scanner drive modules already outperform all previous Aerotech driver hardware.” 

With the available new hardware products, the Automation1 platform forms a development environment with a modern programming language for motion control. The intuitive and easy-to-learn user interface sets a new standard in development environments for precise motion control.  Several users can log in at the same time, supporting engineering team collaboration. They can configure their own workflows, program and optimise motion sequences quite easily and thus work together much more effectively. And since the development effort is also significantly reduced, capacities are available for new projects. “Automation1 is the first motion control platform to offer a unique opportunity for collaboration: Several users can log in at the same time.” 

Aerotech will be present at Precisiebeurs in Veldhofen/Netherlands on 13 and 14 November, booth 157, for trade visitors.

Picture Caption: World debut: Simon Smith, European Director Aerotech, explains Aerotech´s new motion control platform Automation1. It functions as a complete machine control and outperforms a pure “motion control”.

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