Unrivalled speed and precision for micro-positioning

3 mins read

IKO’s state-of-the-art linear motor table is a moving magnet-type linear motor table with an extremely low profile.

The IKO Nano Linear ‘NT’ range is a compact linear motor table which has excellent functionality.

For the guided portion of the table, a C-Lube linear way assembly is used. The incorporated maintenance-free lubrication system offers in excess of 20,000km of maintenance-free running before any additional grease needs to be applied. An optical encoder is also utilised to further enhance the performance of the linear motor (connected to the movable steel table); the stator coil and head are connected to the steel bed. This configuration results in high performance in positioning.  IKO’s standard Nano linear table (NT...V) is capable of 0.1µm resolution and positional repeatability of ± 0.5µm, while the high accuracy version (NT…H) can produce results of 0.01µm resolution and positional repeatability of ±0.1µm. With the incorporation of high-performance neodymium magnets, a maximum thrust of 36N can be generated, and high-speed, high-response positioning is made possible. Furthermore, since the mechanical contact portion uses IKO’s C-Lube linear ways, high levels of cleanliness can be realised. With cableless moving parts system setup is not only easier, but cleaner and more efficient too.

The Nano Linear NT is most suitable as a compact positioning mechanism for many applications, especially within the optical, pick-and-place and life sciences sectors, for example alongside manufacturing equipment, inspection instruments and other assembly equipment that requires precise, accurate, high-speed motion.

With a range of size options, the IKO Nano Linear is available in four distinct variants. The standard type has a sectional height starting from just 11mm. This super low-profile design contributes to increased stability and performance that limits tilt and roll angle-induced errors.

The high accuracy table has high rigidity and smooth motion and no cogging. High attitude accuracy is less than 5sec; high running accuracy provides straightness below 1µm utilising anti-creep crossed roller ways. It remains stable at high speeds thanks to its coreless moving magnet and high-performance servo driver.

The pick and place type integrates both X and Y axes, but despite that remains less than 18mm thick. The ultra-thin profile four units can be installed in parallel within a 100mm width, increasing flexibility and efficiency in machine design. It also offers flexible operation patterns and stroke lengths that can be set to the work as appropriate. It also benefits from super-fast positioning cycle times, and is backed up with monitoring software that can verify track performance.

Finally, the high-thrust pick and place type again uses an integrated X & Y axis in a compact design. These units adopt a system to drive the moving table, which is achieved by utilising IKO’s linear ways in multiple axis. These guides are connected by an L-plate interface that provides higher-thrust force of the linear motor and weight reduction of the moving parts, which further reduces cycle time. A high-resolution response is enabled by fully closed-loop control by incorporating an optical linear encoder in both axes. Cooling of the system is handled via the base structure. Air cooling can reduce production times further.

Where higher loads, thrusts and/or longer strokes are required, the IKO LT linear motor table is a direct-drive positioning table featuring a low sectional height and lightweight aluminium alloy structure. It includes an AC linear servo motor and an optical linear scale, which are integrated into the moving table and bed. Three types are offered: the compact model (LT…CE), the long-stroke model (LT…LD) and the high-thrust model (LT…H). The variety of models allows designers to select the best fit for any given application. Capable of handling thrust loads of 20G, these lightweight tables can perform high acceleration/deceleration movements, further reducing cycle times and providing response times which alternative table constructions cannot achieve.

The IKO LT linear motor table is most suitable for applications requiring high speed operation such as surface measuring instruments, assembly systems, material transfer equipment and laser cutters.

IKO’s linear motor drives are compatible with EtherCAT, SSCNET III/M and Mechatrolink digital communication protocols. Maximum flexibility is achieved by allowing customers/designers the freedom to implement the use of drivers and controllers they are familiar with. In addition, IKO (UK) works with several third-party integrators, in various geographical locations, to specify and deliver a complete solution.

When used in conjunction with an advanced, ultracompact linear motor table such as IKO’s NT or LT Series, machine designers can achieve micron-level linear positioning that today’s automated machines increasingly require.

With the right positioning table, drive and controller combination, users can achieve precise linear positioning, accurate tuning and fast response and settling times. IKO’s wide range of positioning tables can be applied to various applications in many different industries, and when combined with the appropriate direct digital drives, offer an ideal combination of precision, speed and compact sizes to deliver reliable, high-speed motion that satisfies the demanding requirements for automated systems.