Thursday, January 21, 2010

Renishaw Exhibits Motion-Control Products At ATX

At ATX 2010, taking place in Anaheim, California, from February 9-11, Renishaw will focus on its latest range of motion-control products. These include a true absolute optical encoder for rotary and linear applications, a track-mounted linear-encoder-scale system and magnetic-encoder chip. Also on show will be the QC20-W wireless ballbar, which assesses machine-tool positioning and servo-control performance, and now includes a volumetric testing capability, plus a range of touch probes and probe software that increase machine-tool automation and improve process control.

For visitors sourcing offline measurement products, there will also be the opportunity to discuss Renishaw's retrofit service for coordinate-measuring machines (CMMs), including Modus - the company's first metrology software. Resolute is a true absolute optical-encoder system featuring dirt immunity and a specification said to break new ground in position feedback. Resolution is 1nm at 100m/sec for linear-encoder and angle-encoder applications.

Absolute position is acquired immediately at system switch on, so the exact orientation of axis and motor-commutation angle are known without the need for a reference (datum) return. Large setup tolerances also enable easy installation and high reliability, while low jitter and SDE (Sub-Divisional Error) meet the demands of high-precision stages. Fastrack is a track-mounted linear-encoder-scale system that combines +/-5um/m accuracy with the ruggedness of stainless steel and the quick and easy installation of a carrier-type encoder system.

Designed for applications that demand high accuracy and easily removable scale, the Fastrack scale system consists of two miniature guide rails that securely retain Renishaw's low-profile scales and allow them to freely expand at their own thermal-expansion coefficient with almost zero hysteresis. If damaged, the scale can be pulled out of the guide rails and quickly replaced, even where access is limited.

Renishaw's AM4096 magnetic-encoder IC provides UVW outputs with 16 poles (eight pole pairs) and incremental, absolute, linear (potentiometer), tacho generator and sinusoidal outputs. Resolution is to 12-bit (4096 steps per turn), with a programmable zero position, and it is capable of operation to 30,000rpm. Typical applications for the on-chip magnetic encoder include commutation and high-speed motor control, position and velocity control, potentiometer replacement and optical-encoder replacement.

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