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Reducing Thermal Errors in High-Precision Stages

Aerotech’s ThermoComp is a complete mechatronic solution to thermal errors.

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Maintaining accuracy in the face of temperature changes is a real challenge. It is difficult — and often very expensive — to design a thermally insensitive machine. And the alternative — controlling ambient temperature to within 1 ºC — can also be difficult and expensive. This new approach combines integrated hardware and sensors with a proprietary compensation algorithm implemented via the company’s A3200 controller software to minimize stage inaccuracy due to thermal effects even over extreme temperature ranges. Up to 90% of the thermal-related errors can be eliminated, regardless of stage travel and range of temperature change. Internal self-heating is another major source of thermal-related positioning errors, particularly in stages without direct feedback devices such as ball-screw-driven stages. ThermoComp not only prevents environmental changes from affecting positioning performance, but also diminishes the errors caused through internal heating, eliminating up to 90% of the thermal-related errors caused by the self-heating of a ball-screw-driven stage. The new approach is now available on all the company’s PRO Series stages and operates through an intuitive and easy-to-use integrated command set within the A3200 controller software.

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Aerotech Inc.

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