Linear motor stage

MACCON offers linear motors in kit form i.e. the coil unit and the magnet track. This offering is interesting for machine builders who will build a large quantity of machines and wish to integrate the coil unit and magnet track into their own mechanical assembly. For projects with smaller quantities, it is also possible to purchase the linear motor as a complete axis, also known as a "stage". This is sometimes also referred to as a linear unit with direct drive. The linear motor stages from our manufacturing partner SINADRIVES consist of a linear motor (coil unit+ magnetic track), a carriage, the linear guides and a base unit. A built-in linear encoder system enables precise position or speed control. Power and feedback cables can be connected via connectors on the carriage.

The linear motor stages can also be combined into handling systems (handling systems), e.g.

  • Gantry
  • Portal
  • XYZ Robot
  • Cartesian robot
  • 4-axis system etc.).

You can see corresponding images in the column on the right. Please download the catalog on the top right-hand side for more details, or contact us to talk to an experienced applications engineer for technical advice.

MLE linear motor stages for a repeatability of ±10µm

The MLE family of linear motor axes enables a repeatability of ±10µm through rigid linear guides and mechanics and a corresponding position measuring system. The built-in linear motor has an iron core and therefore has some cogging torque, but thanks to the iron core in the winding it offers a lot of power. See below, our MLU series for zero cogging linear motor stages for precision applications.

The MLE families are as follows:

  • MLE3 series: peak forces from 105 to 420N
  • MLE5 series: peak forces from 400 to 1,600N
  • MLE7 series: peak forces from 1,600 to 4,000N

You can download the catalogue on the above right-hand side.

MLL linear motor stages for a repeatability of ±100µm

As a low-cost variant for applications with lower requirements on repeatability, we offer the MLL family, a new series of price-optimized linear motor stages. The stroke lengths of up to 2000 mm are comparable in price with traditional solutions, such as belt-driven linear units or spindle-driven linear units. This means that you have the possibility to integrate a direct drive technology into your machine at similar prices. Most important features:

  • Continuous forces up to 600N, peak forces up to 1200N
  • Position measuring system with resolution ±30 µm
  • Repeatability of the stage ±100µm
  • Acceleration 80 m/s2, speed up to 2 - 3 m/s
  • Maximum length 4 m / axis
  • Units stackable

You can download the catalogue in the top right-hand corner.

MLU stages for zero cogging (ironless motors)

Our linear motor stages of the MLU series consist of an ironless linear motor, linear guides and bearings and an integrated encoder system. The MLU linear motor stages offer peak forces up to 400N. The coil part of the linear motor is ironless (i.e. has no iron core). This means that although the motor has less  force than the MLE or MLL families, it can drive and accelerate considerably faster. This makes the MLU family well suited for applications with high dynamics. A further advantage: ironless linear motors have no cogging force. Cogging force is created by the fact that the iron core of a linear motor experiences an attractive force from the permanent magnets (in the magnetic track). Ironless motors have no iron core and are therefore free of cogging torque. Zero cogging torque is a great advantage in applications where either high speed smoothness is required or where extremely low speed is required.

Overview of the main features of the MLU family:

  • Repeatability of linear encoder: ± 1 μm
  • Repeatability of linear stage: ± 10 μm
  • Maximum speed: 9 m/s
  • Maximum acceleration: 200 m/s2
  • Maximum length without separation points: up to 1,000 mm

You can download the catalogue in the top right-hand corner.

Control of linear motors for high-precision applications.

For tasks such as positioning with micrometer or nanometer accuracy, or for tasks such as travel at very low speed, freedom from cogging force is a must for linear motors. However, this is by far not enough to achieve the task objective. Further requirements are: a high-resolution position measuring system and a linear servo amplifier (i.e. a non-switching servo amplifier or servo controller or servo inverter). In the field of high-resolution linear encoders we offer optical systems. You can find an overview of them under this link. For the linear servo amplifier we offer our own product of the LWM family. You can find more information under this link. Most servo amplifiers are switching i.e. use pulse width modulation (i.e. chopping up the voltage) to set the desired current. However, the switching leads to current ripple (i.e. superimposed alternating current). The current ripple in turn leads to force ripple.

It is precisely this ripple that makes it more difficult to successfully commission demanding servo tasks such as positioning with micrometer or nanometer accuracy, or for tasks such as travel at very low speed. The last and perhaps most important factor for success is the experience of a commissioning engineer who has often commissioned such complex systems. MACCON offers exactly such engineering services. With our wealth of experience, we have helped many customers in the semiconductor, optical, laser and space industries to success. Contact us to discuss your technical requirements with an experienced engineer!

Motivation to use linear motor stages

Linear motion is an important part of modern automation systems. The process of millions of cycles is constantly increasing the demand for automation, requiring ever higher repeatability and better quality of components. As an experienced vendor for direct drive solutions, we offer innovative products that are designed for fast and accurate positioning and repeatable accuracy. The linear motor stage, based on permanent magnet synchronous motor technology, offers significant advantages in dynamics, accuracy and reliability. The grease-lubricated linear guides allow operation without additional maintenance.

The aim of our linear motor axes is to make the work of technicians and engineers easier and to supply a complete stage with linear guides, linear motor, encoder, connectors, limit switches and a cable drag chain. Direct-driven linear stages can score points with numerous advantages - for example, they have a much better efficiency, a higher overload capacity and better cost efficiency compared to classic axes (e.g. spindle and toothbelt axes). There are no protruding motors and gears. Our MLL, MLE and MLU series are also compatible with the most common servo control amplifiers. This allows you to use your familiar servo amplifier and thus achieve faster commissioning.

Contact us to discuss your project with an experienced engineer!

Wireless energy transfer

For extreme conditions such as clean rooms or explosion-proof rooms, cables and drag chains are not allowed, so the electrical energy must be transmitted to the motor coil by other means. Another reason could also be: extremely high accelerations or space restrictions that preclude cable feed. For such cases, we offer special linear motor axes based on wireless power transmission. These are:

  • Energy transmission via sliding contact or
  • Inductive energy transfer

We deal with each topic separately in the following paragraphs.

Energy transfer via sliding contact

In this variant, the electrical energy is transmitted via sliding contact. Such sliding contacts usually have a lifetime performance of approx. 20,000 km. The servocontroller is mounted on the linear motor carriage, together with the encoder read head. This gives the servocontroller a direct connection to the encoder read head. The commanded values are sent to the servocontroller via "Wireless CANopen" (CANopen fieldbus via Bluetooth). This means that the linear motor stage does not need a power cable or a feedback cable. This also eliminates the need for cable dragging and the associated space requirements.

Inductive energy transfer

Inductive energy transfer has the advantage that the lifetime performance is not limited by wear-and-tear of sliding contacts. This solution is also suitable for applications under extreme conditions such as in clean rooms or explosion-proof areas. In contrast to energy transmission via sliding contact: with inductive energy transmission, there is no dust caused by mechanical abrasion between brush and electrical track.

As before, both the servocontroller and the encoder read head can be mounted on the slide of the linear motor. The commanded values are sent via "Wireless CANopen" (CANopen fieldbus via Bluetooth). This means that the linear motor stage does not need a power cable or a feedback cable.

MACCON conducts research and development on the subject of high-frequency inductive power transmission. The goal: to develop an inductive receiver coil with a significantly higher power density than previously possible. The high power density requires the use of significantly higher frequencies. In contrast to today's inductive energy transmission systems (apart from small power outputs, these are in the range of 20-140 kHz), working frequencies in the MHz range are necessary.

The magnetic circuits must be designed in such a way that the energy transfer is limited to the effective area and at the same time propagating waves must be prevented. We use specially designed stranded wire cables and PCB technologies with optimized geometries to reduce coil losses at high frequencies. We use power electronics with switching frequencies in the MHz range. We use power semiconductors with a large band gap to ensure the required performance at high frequencies while maintaining high efficiency

Contact us to discuss your project with an experienced engineer!