Linear Air-Bearing Stage for High-Performance Scanning and Inspection Applications


Leading edge manufacturing, such as that in the semiconductor and data storage industries, demands positioning tolerances beyond the capability of conventional ball-screw and mechanical-bearing positioning systems. The ABL1500, with its fully active preload, exceptionally high stiffness, and excellent geometric characteristics, was designed specifically to meet the needs of the most demanding applications. Air-Bearing Design for High Dynamic Performance The ABL1500 incorporates an active preload on both the vertical and horizontal surfaces, and the opposing thin-film pressure maintains the bearing nominal gap tolerance. This design, in addition to the large air-bearing surface that distributes the load over a large surface area, results in a stage with outstanding stiffness that is ideal for heavy or offset loading. Proprietary manufacturing techniques result in unsurpassed geometrical characteristics. The air bearing has an inherent averaging effect that maximizes performance. The thin film will fill small surface voids and allow for other irregularities. This characteristic yields superior pitch, roll, yaw, straightness, and flatness specifications. Linear Motor Drive The driving force behind the ABL1500 is Aerotech’s BLMC series brushless linear servomotor. Aerotech’s long history and experience as a motor manufacturer is reflected in this design. The BLMC uses an ironless forcer for zero cogging and no attractive forces, resulting in unsurpassed smoothness of motion. The BLMC generates both high force and high velocity, making it the perfect combination of power and performance. Zero Maintenance Our totally noncontact air bearing, noncontact linear motor drive, and noncontact feedback device ensure years of maintenance-free operation at the high performance levels that are expected of Aerotech equipment. Because there is no mechanical contact between moving elements, the ABL1500 experiences no wear or reduction in performance over time. Service life is virtually unlimited and since there is no lubrication – only clean, dry gas – air bearings are ideal for cleanroom and medical applications. Cable Management System (CMS) We carefully optimize the cable bend radius to ensure years of trouble-free operation. In the unlikely event of failure, Aerotech’s modular design makes cable replacement quick and easy with minimal downtime. We include all customer-required cables, air hoses, etc. in our CMS bundle to facilitate integration into the final system. Both ends are fully connectorized for simple integration into the customer’s machine.


• Total Travel - 200 mm (8 in) • Drive System - Linear Brushless Servomotor (BLMC-192-A) • Bus Voltage - Up to 80 VDC • Operating Pressure(7) - 80 psi (5.5 bar) ±5 psig (0.3 bar) • Air Consumption(8) - <2 scfm • Stage Mass - 18.6 kg (41.0 lb) • Moving Mass (no load) - 5.1 kg (11.2 lb) • Material - Aluminum
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