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PI is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control and automation systems, hexapod 6-axis parallel robotic stages, air bearing motion systems, Gantry Systems, 3D printing, laser machining, and piezoelectric nano-positioning solutions. Applications include photonics, semiconductor technology, medical engineering, assembly, inspection, materials handling, and bio-nanotechnology. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research including industrial motion controllers (ACS). The PI group employs more than 1,300 people worldwide in 15 subsidiaries and R&D / engineering centers on 3 continents. ISO 9001 certified since 1994.

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Hybrid Gantry System Combines Air Bearings and Linear Bearings for Compact Size and High Accuracy

POSTED 11/07/2018

The bridge-like design of a gantry system provides the framework for controlled precise overhead motion that is often sought after for 3D printing, assembly, pick-and-place, alignment, inspection, and industrial automation applications. PI introduces the A-341 HGS hybrid gantry – designed to combine maximum throughput with smooth and highly accurate motion. 

PI’s novel gantry stage features a unique hybrid bearing design. The cross axis utilizes a frictionless air bearing guiding system, which allows for excellent velocity control, repeatability, straightness, and cleanliness. The lower dual-motor axis uses precision mechanical linear bearings for rigidity and reduced size. This combination of bearing technologies offers an overhead gantry motion platform optimized for step and scan applications in the smallest possible form factor. Absolute measuring encoders render homing procedures unnecessary and ironless linear motors eliminate cogging, providing smoother motion without vibration and better velocity control.

Optional Z-Axis

An optional vertical axis (Z-stage) with either ballscrew drive or linear motor and pneumatic counterbalance can be integrated with the gantry cross axis.

Features of the hybrid gantry system include:

  • 300x300 to 500x1000mm
  • XY travel
  • Absolute encoders, 1nm resolution
  • Z-Stage options: linear motors or ball screws
  • Dynamic error mapping
  • 2m/sec max velocity (cross axis)
  • Cable carrier option, e-chain
  • Water cooling option for high acceleration / high duty cycle applications

Industry-Leading Motion Controllers

The HGS Gantry is coupled with industry-leading ACS controls and drives that offer superior servo performance, advanced control algorithms to improve dynamic performance and error compensation specifically for gantries, and a wide suite of software development tools.