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15 January, 2021

Linear motor XY base competes with ballscrews and belts

09 September, 2008

Baldor has launched a range of XY positioning bases incorporating linear stepper motors that, it claims, can compete on cost with traditional technologies such as rotary motors and ballscrews or belts. The bases are formed from a honeycomb-structured composite material that cuts costs dramatically, allowing starting prices of around $7,000.

Baldor XY base

The XY bases, called the HoneyComb Series (shown above), can produce movements at speeds of up to 1.5m/s, with resolutions to 2.5 microns and a repeatability of better than 2 microns. They offer friction-free mechanics with no backlash or wind-up.

The moving element – or forcer – floats on an air bearing and integrates two linear stepper motors mounted at right angles to each other to provide X and Y thrust. The forcer is available in six sizes and in two- or four-phase configurations, with a maximum static holding force of up to 134N.

Several forcers can be mounted on the same base with overlapping trajectories. A high level of attractive force (up to 1,780N) means that the base can be used vertically or even upside-down. The honeycomb structure cuts the weight of the positioning system by up to 70% compared to previous Baldor models. Weights, complete with platen and forcer, start at less than 10kg.

The XY bases are available in seven standard sizes with square or rectangular working areas from 375 x 375mm to 750 x 1,500mm.

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