With travel lengths to 250 mm, anti-creep crossed-roller bearings, plus an optional center-mounted linear encoder for direct position feedback, the versatile features and options of Aerotech’s ATX series linear positioning stages enable convenient integration into larger machines or use as stand-alone positioning axes.
by Andrea Baty
Aerotech’s ATX series linear positioning stages combine the performance capabilities of a high-precision crossed-roller-bearing positioner with the convenience and simplicity of a ball-screw drive mechanism. Outstanding motion performance and a variety of advanced options and features make the ATX series an excellent choice for use in
Superior Motion Performance
Featuring anti-creep crossed-roller bearings and a precision-ground, fine-pitch ball-screw, the ATX series boasts excellent geometric performance and minimal angular error motion. With up to 250 mm of nominal travel, these linear stages offer superior minimum incremental step size and in-position stability compared to other stages that utilize recirculating ball bearings. This makes the ATX series ideal for many high-precision tasks such as vertical positioning of sensors and cameras, optics focusing, and beamline measurement and manipulation applications.
Integrated linear encoder option
ATX stages offer an integral center-mounted linear encoder to provide direct position measurement at the stage’s moving carriage. The typical effects of backlash commonly associated with screw drives are virtually eliminated when using the linear encoder as a position feedback device. Applications that require exacting work-point performance benefit greatly from the direct linear encoder. Options are available with either incremental
(1 Vpp and digital TTL) or absolute output signals.
Design and integration flexibility
The ATX series is designed with a variety of standard features and options allowing them to be easily integrated into a larger subsystem or machine, or to serve as a stand-alone positioning axis. They mount to both metric and English optical tables and feature a versatile customer mounting interface on the moving carriage to which other positioning stages or equipment can be mounted.
Brushless, slotless servomotors, with or without a holding brake, as well as stepper motors are available. The ATX series can be equipped with an optional motor foldback kit in order to reduce the overall length of the stage. This is particularly useful in vertical-axis applications where space is limited. Vacuum- and cleanroom-compatible variants are also offered.
A special feature is provided to mitigate thermal errors
Temperature changes and thermal effects are often the most detrimental sources of error in precision machines, and screw drives are particularly susceptible. All ATX-series stages are available with Aerotech’s ThermoComp® feature, an integrated temperature compensation solution that delivers accurate and dependable positioning performance in the presence of thermal disturbances. It protects the stage from the effects of variable-temperature environments and friction-induced self-heating, ultimately providing stability to the user’s process even in extreme industrial environments.