Spindle controller includes control, drive and power supply

Paul Boughton

Aerotech's new Soloist SC spindle controller is an integrated control, drive and power supply for high-accuracy single-axis speed control applications. With dual 32MHz encoder input capability and speed up to 30,000 rpm, the Soloist SC can return a velocity regulation specification of better than 0.0001 per cent.

To maintain such high precision, the Soloist SC makes full use of Aerotech's linear amplifier power stage technology, which has a much improved linearity and bandwidth potential than PWM drive stage alternatives. This DSP-based linear amplifier type is already used extensively for nanometre-level positioning applications with excellent rate stability and extremely quiet EMC characteristics that are also of high importance for exacting speed control applications for metrology, test and ultra-high-precision machining in microelectronics and optical component manufacturing.

The Soloist SC can run as a stand-alone unit for pre-programmed velocity control or in host mode where speed and related commands are received via the integral Ethernet or USB ports from a host PC. The SC can also provide full networking access in this way. Aerotech's Windows-based IDE (integrated development environment) software is included with the Soloist SC, providing powerful diagnostics and program development tools for speed control.

Each Soloist SC also includes a direct-on-line power supply for an 85-240V AC input. The 10A peak, 5A continuous current drive also includes fault, brake and relay outputs and will interface with step-and-direction clock sources.

Aerotech's Soloist SC may be used with third-party brushless motor-driven spindles or supplied complete with Aerotech's own range of direct-drive, air bearing spindles for applications such as disk drive testing, imaging and precision wafer inspection.

For more information, visit www.aerotech.com

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