X-Y positioning bases are ready to run

Paul Boughton
Baldor is launching a ready-engineered linear stepper X-Y positioning base that is said to be capable of dramatically increasing productivity in a wide range of machinery applications. A novel honeycomb-structured composite material used on the base greatly reduces the cost of applying advanced linear motor technology — to prices starting from around $7000 or EUR4900 — providing machinery builders with a highly competitive alternative to traditional alternatives such as rotary motors and ballscrews or belts.

Designated the Honeycomb Series, Baldor's new X-Y bases are available in a choice of seven standard sizes with square or rectangular working areas ranging from 375 x 375 to 750 x 1500mm. Baldor will also make custom size bases on request. This range supports a wide variety of applications in markets including design prototyping, semiconductor fabrication, electronics manufacturing and biomed sample handling.

According to Baldor, the new X-Y bases offer very high levels of positioning performance. They are capable of move speeds of up to 1.5m/s at resolutions to 2.5 microns and with a repeatability of better than 2 microns. They also offer friction-free mechanics with zero backlash and no wind-up —resulting in a major performance improvement over traditional mechanical transmission design technologies, as well as maintenance savings.

The base's moving element, the forcer, floats on an air bearing and integrates two linear stepper motors mounted at right angles to each other to provide thrust in the X and Y directions. The forcer is available in six sizes and in two- or four-phase configurations, depending on the application's force and resolution requirements. The maximum static holding force is up to 134N.

Application versatility is enhanced by the base's ability to have multiple forcers mounted on the same base with overlapping trajectories if required. A high level of attractive force (up to 1780N) also means that the base can be applied vertically or face down if the application demands. The base's composite honeycomb structure simplifies such applications, as the weight of the positioning system is reduced by up to 70 per cent compared with previous Baldor models. Complete base weights with platen and forcer start at less than 10kg.

Bases are supplied ready to use; all the customer needs to supply is power to the forcer and compressed air to the bearing system.

<a href="http://www.baldor.com"target=_blank> Honeycomb Series X-Y</a>

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