The term micro-machining covers a large scope of different processes and feature sizes. Common to all is the need for consistent and repeatable process performance to replicate parts, patterns or placements. Whether the application requires movement of the workpiece or locating a tool precisely, there is a motion system involved to accomplish this. NUTEC specializes in configuring motion systems for various micromachining applications to suit the needs of the equipment builder or end user.
Precision Micromachining with Nutec. Each type of application has a set of parameters that are critical to the successful implementation of the process. The following are most common to most systems
- Resolution-Smallest Increment of Motion
- Speed-Acceleration-Constant Velocity
- Cartesian Axes Orthogonality
- In-Location Stability
Interface – GUI – nuFace™
There is an abundance of technology available today in the global marketplace. For the user of such technological systems, the successful implementation often hinges on how easy it is for the end-user / operator to make use of the equipment. For this purpose, NUTEC developed a Graphic User Interface [GUI] to facilitate the human-machine interfacing and make it easy and intuitive for a person to control the machine.
This Windows™ based software set is designated nuFace and is most user friendly when deployed on a touchscreen LCD monitor.
Specs & Precision Level
One of the fundamental aspects of a positioning system is the level of precision that is required. Since the significant cost driver is the level of accuracy, a system should be carefully evaluated and specified for the positioning performance required at the point of interest. These are the first parameters that need to be addressed:
- Travel Range for each axis
- Motion Profile
Once these have been established, NUTEC will analyze and select the most advantageous architecture, translator and control product to achieve the given application parameters. The necessary drive and guide technology will be selected, the position encoding concept decided, control capabilities selected and customer’s preferences considered.
A critical capability in modern micro-machining applications is the ability of a system to
- make small incremental moves
- hold a once reached position and be stable
- make nice round circles, even very small ones
- control a movement with little velocity variation
Often, electronic resolution is considered a key element. The critical factor; however, is the mechanical stability to utilize the available electronic position resolution and make it work.
Today’s technology permits significant precision which was not achievable only a few short years ago.
Accuracies: with LIBEC, linear position accuracies in the low 3-digit nanometer range is easily accomplished over mid-range size 100-500mm
Resolution: 1-50nm resolution is common and with a small additional electronic effort picometer resolution is attainable
Stability: single digit nanometer stability is reachable with proper environmental control with special efforts, even more
Velocity: depending on resolution & payload, up to 2m/sec are commonly attainable
It should be pointed out that not all combinations of positioning performance can be achieved; sometimes there are conflicting factors and circumstances. In such instances, customization is often necessary.