Introduction

SmarActs Exchangeable Drive-Units (EDUs) are the solution for all industrial and high availability applications of stick-slip piezo drives.

The crucial stick-slip piezo motor is housed in a robust Drive-Unit which can be easily exchanged by customers without the necessity to remove the payload from the stage or the stage itself from the positioning system. Until now, the entire stage had to be removed from the positioning system and sent back for service and repair when the friction element of the drive became worn or the drive showed a malfunction. Previously, this lead to a longer downtime of the positioning system.

With SmarAct EDUs service intervals of piezo stick-slip stages can be planned and downtime is reduced to only a few minutes while exchanging the piezo motor of the stage. The unique and patented Drive-Units are available for linear stages in the CLS Product Series and high load tables in the CHS Product Series as well as in complete positioning systems, from serial multi-axis systems up to highly complex parallel kinematics like the hexapod-like the SMARPOD.

The Exchangeable Drive-Units have been designed to directly add value for customers in many ways:

Serviceable On-Site

The Exchangeable Drive-Units are factory-tested and preset so that one only needs to remove two screws to replace the module. The sophisticated design of the EDUs makes the exchange a simple task that can be performed by the user without a service technician.

Upgradeable and Futureproof

The concept of Exchangeable Drive-Units also allows to adapt stages to new usage scenarios or new drive technologies. This enables users to tune their positioning systems by exchanging the core components that defines speed, strength and accuracy whenever requirements change.

Planable Service Intervals

Due to the simplicity of the mounting process of the EDUs, their exchange can be planned and synchronized with other maintenance tasks on the components of the machine or assembly line.
As EDUs are shipped in a sealed and stockable packaging, EDUs could become a part of a scheduled maintenance.

Reduced Downtime

Stages equipped with EDUs do not need to be removed from the positioning system when exchanging a Drive-Unit.
Therefore, taught poses, saved positions and calibration data stay valid even when exchanging the core component of a stage.

One for Many

Exchangeable Drive-Units are interchangeable across compatible product series. This allows users to stock EDUs to have spare parts ready when they are needed.

Cost-Effective Solution

Compared to the acquisition costs of complete stages as spares, EDUs are only a fraction of the costs.

Compatibility

EDUs are currently available in SmartAct’s new product series of CLS linear stages and CHS lifting stages. All CLS and CHS stages are drop-in replacements for their SLS and SHL counterparts. This makes CLS and CHS stages a part of the SmarAct Modular System as they share connecting elements, mounting hole patterns and outer dimensions with the SLS and SHL product series.
Stages equipped with EDUs are fully compatible with all SmarAct Control Systems which guarantees an easy integration into already existing positioning systems and control infrastructure.

The Next Generation of Linear Stick-Slip Piezo Stages

Stages of the CLS Series were designed as drop-in-replacements of their SLS counterparts guaranteeing that all customers can benefit from this new generation of positioning stages. So far, the SLS Product Series has been the product of choice for customers who demand versitality, robustness and class leading accuracy.

As you can see from the table below, the new CLS series includes the full functionality of the SLS series and offers you the added benefit of Exchangeable Drive-Units:

 

  SLS Series CLS Series
Piezo-Drive Technology
Full Compatibility to SmarActs Modular System
Max. Normal Force at least 20N
Blocking Force at least 3.5N
Max Lift Force higher than 1.5N
Velocity higher than 20mm/s
Closed-Loop Resolution 1nm with S-Sensor and 4nm with L-Sensor
Closed-Loop Repeatability ± 50nm unidirectional and ± 100nm bidirectional
Atmospheric, high vacuum and ultra-high vacuum versions available
Drive-Unit easily exchangable  
On-Site servicability by Customer  
Reduces downtime of high availability applications  

 

Comparison between Stages of the SLS and CLS Series

This section mechanically compares the new CLS product line with the proven SLS series, so customers can be sure that the CLS Series is an excellent replacement - with additional benefits - for the SLS Series.

We are going to have a detailed look on different topics related to the mounting of payloads and mounting of the stage itself as well as the cable outlet and management.

Payload mounting face

The main difference between SLS and CLS stages is clearly the position of the piezo drive, which was mounted in between the slide ways at SLS stage and has now been transferred to the right hand side of the miniature slide in the CLS Product Series to gain easy access to the drive unit and to guarantee for an easy exchange procedure without the need to remove the payload from the stage or the positioning system. Because the exchange of the drive unit does not alter the calibration of the positioning sensor the system does not require any reconfiguration or recalibration after a new drive unit is mounted.

CLS-32 stages now use the inner technical design of the well established SLC-17 product series. Therefore all benefits and performance features like stiffness repeatability and accuracy of the CLS-32 stages can be directly compared to the stages of the SLC-17 Product Series.

The new CLS-52 stages also include an aperture of the same diameter as the SLS-52 stages allowing customers using these feature to replace older SLS-52 with the new CLS-52 stages.

The mechanical interface for mounting other stages and payloads has not been changed in any way between the two generations ensuring the use of the CLS stages as drop-in-replacements for SLS stages.

 

Stage mounting face

The mechanical interface on the base plate is identical for both generation of positioning stages allowing an easy replacement of SLS stages with the new generation of CLS positioning devices. Customers with existing SLS setups can use the same connection elements and screws when upgrading to CLS stages.

Cable Outlet

The position of the cable outlets of the new CLS stages have not been changed in comparison to SLS stages enabling an customers to upgrade without interfering with the applications existing cable management solution.

Application Example

Complex positioning systems like the depicted SMARPOD CLS-32 (a parallel kinematic with 6 DoF) that are being used for many positioning tasks in science and industry benefit the most from Exchangeable Drive-Units as their axis arrangement remains unchanged and they do not require reteaching of poses after the exchange of a Drive-Unit.

Products CLS Series

CLS-3232 - Linear Stage with EDU

The smallest of the CLS-32 linear stages offer a footprint of only 32 x 32 mm² and a travel range of 21 mm and is able to handle payloads of up to 30 N.

CLS-3252 - Linear Stage with EDU

The middle size stage of the CLS-32 Series offer a travel range of 31 mm while maintainig a footprint of only 32 x 52 mm² and is able to handle payloads of up to 30 N.

CLS-3282 - Linear Stage with EDU

The longest stage of the CLS-32 Series offer a travel range of 51 mm while maintainig a footprint of only 32 x 82 mm² and is able to handle payloads of up to 30 N.

CLS-5252 - Linear Stage with EDU

The smallest of the CLS-52 linear stages offer a footprint of 52 x 52 mm², a travel range of 31 mm and an aperture of 9 mm in diameter. Furthermore, it is able to handle payloads of up to 20 N.

CLS-5282 - Linear Stage with EDU

The larger of the CLS-52 linear stages offer a footprint of 52 x 82 mm², a travel range of 51 mm and an aperture of 9 mm in diameter. Furthermore it is able to handle payloads of up to 20 N.

CLS-92152 - Linear Stage with EDU

The larger SLS-92 linear stage has footprint of 92 x 152 mm² and a travel range of 103 mm. Furthermore it is able to handle payloads of up to 20 N.

CLS-9292 - Linear Stage with EDU

The smaller one of the CLS-92 linear stages offer a square footprint of 92 x 92 mm² and a travel range of 63 mm. Furthermore it is able to handle payloads of up to 20 N.

SMARPOD CLS-32 with Exchangeable Drive-Units

The SMARPOD CLS-32 is equipped with Exchangeable Drive Units and is perfectly suitable for all high availability applications