The parallel-kinematic positioning system works with brushless DC motors. These are particularly suitable for high rotation speeds, can be controlled very accurately, and ensure high precision. Because they dispense with sliding contacts, they run smoothly, are wear-free, and achieve a long lifetime. Absolute encoders, which provide clear position information even when powered off, make reference moves superfluous, therefore improving the efficiency and safety during operation. The drives have been "folded" to achieve a compact design. Therefore, the hexapod has a height of just 195 mm with a diameter of 320 mm and it can position loads of up to 30 kg precisely, quickly, and over long operating times. It is suitable for travel ranges to ±27.5 mm and rotation ranges to ±11.5°. The minimum incremental motion is 0.3 μm in the X, Y, and Z axis with repeatability to ±0.1 μm or ±2 μrad.
Typical application fields include for example, microassembly, biotechnology, the semiconductor industry or when aligning optical systems.
Because the cables are compatible with drag chains, the hexapod can be moved in the system without any problems. PI controllers control the hexapod drives. It is also possible to use Cartesian coordinates for convenient commanding of complex motion profiles. The hexapod controllers can also communicate with the higher level controller via EtherCAT®.
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PI in Brief
Well known for the high quality of its products, PI (Physik Instrumente) has been one of the leading players in the global market for precision positioning technology for many years. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard and OEM products with piezo or motor drives for 40 years. By acquiring the majority shares in ACS Motion Control, a worldwide leading developer and manufacturer of modular motion controllers for multi-axis and high-precision drive systems, PI has made a major step forward in providing complete systems for industrial applications with the highest demand on precision and dynamics. In addition to four locations in Germany, the PI Group is represented internationally by fifteen sales and service subsidiaries.