Application of Rotary Stages in Automation
Since rotary stages are positioning devices that provide the highest levels of precision and accuracy in centering, aligning, and positioning, in the automation industry, that’s been on the rise for several years now, has a wide range of applications for such rotary tables.
These motion stages play an essential, if not a crucial role, in a huge range of automation applications, as well as research.
In fact, since the motion stages are so common in modern industries nowadays, there’s a rising demand for industry-specific rotary motion stages that are specifically designed for the use and utilization in a wide variety of semiconductor processing, factory automation, and laboratory applications.
Regardless of the application being motion positioning, machining or scanning, there’s a rotary stage for every single application that worldwide industries require. With that in mind, it’s even safe to say that there is a revolution currently going on when it comes to rotary stages, as these are now present in every industry.
When it comes to automation applications, motion stages are most commonly used for beam steering, pan and tilt, rate table, alignment, wafer, optical positioning, machining, laser marking, laboratory and factory automation inspection operations, and so on.
The most important features
Rotary motion stages have a wide variety of useful features and characteristics, which is the main reason why these motion tables are so widely used in every industry.
When it comes to those features, some are more important than others and we’re going to focus on some of the most essential features that are directly related to the automation industry. Such features include:
- High platform angular accuracy
- High repeatability
- High resolution
- High angular velocity
- Strong axial runout
- Firm radial runout
- Exemplary wobble
When all these extremely important features are put together with a strong, high performance and immensely durable, compact design, you get perfect results. That’s why the use of such motion stages keeps errors at a minimum, especially when it comes to using such a design in conjunction with other motion stages or axes.
In applications such as factory automation or any laboratory research, there’s no room for mistakes, not even the slightest ones, as it could lead to a total disaster.
To avoid any tragedies from happening, extremely precise positioning devices such as motion stages are used, as these improve reliability and eliminate backlash. That’s why rotary stages are also common in the space industry as the most advanced, highest quality and high performance rotary stages feature optical encoders of the highest resolution.
This makes them perfect for applications such as homing. Since most of these stages come with the most accurate index mark, this also makes them perfect for routing high voltage lines or vacuum for a huge selection of wafer chucks.
When it comes to industrial automation, there are many tasks that require heavy duty positioning devices. The best devices for such applications are rotary stages for industrial automation, as these were designed for heavy duty and high load cycle applications.
Industrial automation would be completely paralyzed without such applications, but thanks to the right motion solutions, all these applications are taken care of.
These heavy duty rotary motion stages also include some of the very useful features that make them perfect for this specific type of automation. They come with features such as:
- High torque brushless rotary motors
- Linear brushless rotary motors
- Zero wear air bearings
- Self-lubricating bearings
- Variable absolute encoder options
- Drag chains
- High-performance connectors
- Gantry XY systems
- Gantry XYZ systems
Different drive technologies
Thanks to different drive technologies, precision rotary motion stages are able to match every application.
In the case where industrial automation requires self-locking or high holding torque capabilities, rotary stages can be mounted with worm gear drives. In other cases where high speed and acceleration are needed, motion stages can be mounted with direct drive torque motors.
Rotary stages with air bearings provide zero wear and friction, as well as the highest possible and most accurate geometric performance.
Custom or standard rotary stages are designed to meet any application requirements, which is the main reason why these motion tables are so widely used.
In situations where heavy and small parts require extremely delicate inspection and 3D scanning processes, such semi-automation industries can count on a wide array of custom and standard rotary motion stages.
With all this in mind, we can safely conclude that every industry that depends on automation needs rotary stages to achieve the highest levels of precision and accuracy during their everyday operations.