What you have been waiting for all those years is now here.
TurboPlanere Laser robots of the future
- The fast reactions of linear motors are undisputed.
speed is not everything.
- Cost-effectiveness is what really matters.
- TurboPlane's planar
motor is about as cost-effective as you can get.
Non contacting laser materials processing is
a prime example of what TurboPlane can do, since beam-guidance
systems equipped with our TurboPlane two-dimensional drives require
virtually no maintenance and are easy to use, compactly designed,
and rugged, consist of few parts, and are easily assembled.
- Large travels combined with low moving masses.
- Virtually nonwearing,
require virtually no maintenance, simple to use, and highly
- Versatile, adaptable to suit virtually any application.
e.g., marking lasers and/or finished-parts handling mechanisms
may be readily added.
- Reasonably high translation rates and
accelerations, without the accompanying disadvantages or sacrificing
- Extremely accurate positioning, thanks to their position-monitoring
- Workspaces may be readily changed without readjusting
motor drive powers.
- Throughput may be doubled by adding a second,
independent, set of focusing optics.
- Readily adapted to processing
tubing or three-dimensional workpieces.
- Allow using any and
all types of workpiece transport and clamping mechanisms.
constant beam-path lengths when used with CO2?lasers.
- May be
used for beam guidance with high-power CO2?lasers and Nd:YAG?lasers.
a general-purpose CNC?controller equipped with a servomotor
- Unbeatably low capital costs and operating costs
compared to other systems with comparable performance.
The major prerequisites for rapid acceptance
by the laser materials-processing and industrial-automation industries
for use on handling mechanisms, automated assembly equipment,
and metrological and test equipment are thus met. All you need
to do is take the plunge and secure a position for yourself as
a leading-edge supplier to the market for cost-effective laser
We will be pleased to tell you more about how you can use TurboPlane
to build more cost-effective laser systems. Just give us a call,
drop us a FAX, or send us an e-mail.
Industrial Robots Equipped with
Extended-travel direct drives form the basis
for flexible, multipurpose, robot cells
- Rapid-response, precision, drives - simple, rugged,
- Determine their positions using internal sensors.
- Large 2m
x 4m stator that may be combined to yield total travels of
4m x 10m.
- Each stator plate has several active areas.
- Robotic cells
may incorporate several stator plates arranged in arbitrary
orientations with respect to one another.
- Several independently
controlled armatures may be installed on each stator plate.
tools, manipulators, or sensors may be installed on each armature.
high degrees of flexibility, due to its facilities for adding
or deleting armatures without totally dismantling
and reassembling the system. Armatures may be driven in
from, or driven back to, their neutral positions.
- Stators may be joined, which
will allow covering large areas incorporating changing directions
- Handles noncontacting or low-applied-force machining
operations, such as laser, plasma-torch, or water-jet cutting.
dimensional checks and quality-control testing and inspections.
both intracell and intercell workpiece transfers.
- Handles handling
and manipulation tasks, such as two-handed processing or
working from below.
The advanced drive concept for laser
Have traditional gantry-type laser systems
reached the limits of their capabilities? Have Stiefelmayr, Finnpower,
Trumpf, Salvagnini, and others launched a new era by introducing
linear-motor drives or sealed their fate by boosting their speeds
and accelerations to the limits of the technically feasible and
economically sensible? Who needs cutting rates as high as 20
m/min if all you can cut at such rates are 1?mm-gauge and thinner
sheet stock and you need 3,000 Watts of laser output power and
a high-pressure nitrogen jet to reach them? What costing benefits
does a system with a slewing rate of 300 m/min. provide if its
costs several hundred-thousand DM more, is less reliable, and
wears out faster? How long do you have to run without interruption
in order to recover your losses from just one single day of downtime
due to trying to save time by exploiting the faster positioning
provided by such systems, not to mention the repair costs involved?
What sort of sophisticated hardware and control systems do you
need to have before you can reach such speeds? Are any major
improvements in the current state of the art to be expected?
These questions lead us to ask the fundamental question:
Is there thus any sense in continuing to build faster, more complex,
and more expensive systems equipped with flying optics in order
to improve the cost-effectiveness of laser materials processing?
Our answer is a definitive
A measure of restraint on the part of many users of synchronous
linear-motor drives is already evident. They have literally paid
dearly for the undisputedly rapid motions of their drives. The
large attractive forces, high magnetic-field strengths, contamination
by metal particles, cooling problems, elaborate control systems,
and enormous inertial forces involved all have to be mastered.
Since travels of 3 m present many more problems than travels
of 2.5 m, what problems are to be expected on systems with axis
lengths of 4 m or 6 m?
We introduced our multifunctional TurboPlane cell based on planar
drives five years ago at the "EuroBlech '96." The design
that we had back then had several features that were not all
that convincing. The translation rates, accelerations, positioning
accuracies, beam-guidance accuracies in the case of CO2?lasers,
and the maximum travels that could be attained were unsatisfactory,
which relegated its obvious advantages to a back seat.
- We have been intensively working on solutions to
those problems for the past five years and now have a design
that differs from traditional gantry-type systems in that:
In spite of the fact the fact that it is simple, rugged, nonwearing,
and requires no maintenance, it remains an inexpensive planar
drive system with a low parts count.
- It enlarges workspaces, without need for changing drives and
without sacrificing any of its speed, since only its motor area
needs to be enlarged.
- Its low moving mass reduces the drive powers
and mechanical forces required by 90 %, thereby reducing the
demands imposed on supporting
- It is capable of reaching accelerations of 1 g and
translation rates of 0.8 m/s (50 m/min.), which is by no means
the last word.
Adding a second motor, which may be readily retrofitted, doubles
its performance. Employment of low-loss lamina will allow making
further major improvements in its performance.
- It features positioning
repeatability of ± 0.01 mm, full-travel
positioning accuracy of ± 0.1 mm, and may be equipped
with absolute/incremental encoders or our "smart" i?LBA
beam-guidance arm, for which a patent application has been filed.
also features maximum tracking errors, a specification that most
manufacturers avoid mentioning, of ± 0.1 mm, even at
top speed, thanks to its optimized servomotor regulator and
- All drive components are mounted above the workpiece
level, which allows employing materials-flow mechanisms that
access from three, or even four, sides.
- A shipping container or inhabitable container
may employed as an inexpensive, compact, mobile, housing for
systems, particularly those that are to be used outdoors in order to conserve
plant floor space.
- It enlarges workspaces along all axes by
allowing mounting beam-focusing optics on a rotary mechanism,
such as a Scara
- Its lightweight construction, for which a patent application
has been filed, reduces stator weight, which is proportional
to its total area of travel, to one-tenth that of our old design.
- A new manufacturing
method, for which a patent application is currently being prepared,
cuts manufacturing costs and allows
fabricating stators that are virtually arbitrarily long, which allows configuring
virtually arbitrarily large workspaces.
- It features a beam-guidance
system for CO2-lasers that provides constant-length beam paths
over the full extents of its virtually
- It is ideal for use with fiberoptic lightguides, which allow
reaching accelerations well in excess of 1 g.
- It allows employing
a second, independent, cutting head that may be activated or
deactivated at any time, without restricting
usable workspace areas.
- It is multifunctional, since it allows simultaneous employment
of additional, parallel, operations, such as marking, performing
dimensional checks, assembly operations, and workpiece manipulations, and sorting
and stacking finished parts, that may be independently activated
deactivated at any time.
- It allows readily incorporating tube-cutting
axes and large z?axis travels.
- It significantly shortens part-fabrication
and assembly cycles, since it requires no guides mounted on
machined surfaces on
- Its low parts count reduces the total number of replacement
parts that need to be kept in stock to a minimum.
- Cutting heads
may be aligned at up to right angles to the vertical, which
allows beveling edges prior to welding, cutting tubing
without employing a rotary axis, and cutting vertical surfaces.
- Its construction
allows its expansion into a full 3D-processing system at any
time, in the simplest case, by adding a small,
comoving, multi-axis robot that keeps the laser beam focused on workpieces.
simple construction and the relatively low cost of the necessary
guidance hardware allow configuring dual systems
in which a single laser alternately services a pair of cutting beds. If no time
is lost in switching from one cutting bed to the other, the
remain in continuous-duty operation at all times, and it will
still readily be possible to finish (mark, manipulate, sort, and manually
or automatically offload) cut panels.
- Its stator, i.e., its
running surface, may be tilted at arbitrary angles to the
horizontal, even oriented vertically, which will
allow arraying several systems around workpieces and operating them simultaneously.
Taken together, these features translate
into extremely flexible, modular, systems with high uptimes
and low operating costs that have drives and other mechanical
components with minimal maintenance requirements, without sacrificing
throughput, all at low capital costs, which, as is well-known,
constitute two-thirds of the hourly rates for operating items
of machinery. This is our pathway to greater productivity!
Even the most recent advances, which were on display at the "EuroBlech
2000" in Hanover, have proved that TurboPlane is still
ahead of its time. Many manufacturers are devoting considerable
thought to the matter of how the efficiencies of laser cutting
systems may be improved and have come up with more or less
expensive solutions that may be more simply, and less expensively,
implemented using TurboPlane. Like some examples of what we
MAZAK had brought out its Space Gear 48, a 2D/3D CO2?laser
cutting system, a hybrid flat-bed system that is equipped with
a tall bridge in order to allow accommodating a 3D?cutting
head and tube-cutting axis. This approach would seem to be
the obvious choice, since the bridge is stationary. However,
if flying optics are employed, the sacrifice in speed involved
would be excessive.
Such a hybrid system equipped with a moving bed would never
be as fast as a system equipped with a stationary bed and flying
optics. A system equipped with TurboPlane would be both faster
and readily retrofitted with both a 3D?cutting head and a tube-cutting
axis, and without changing any aspects of its design. All that
would be needed would be lowering the stationary workpiece
In the case of cutting tubing, tube-cutting systems equipped
with TurboPlane need no programmable-track tubing-advance mechanisms
as a third axis, just the mandatory additional rotary axis,
which makes a TurboPlane Tube, which may also be employed as
a 2D/3D?laser cutting system at any time, much simpler, and
much less expensive, than either a Trumpf Tubematic or an Adige
AMADA has brought out its FO-315 system equipped with flying
optics, which has a patented, built-in, single-part-offloading
system mounted on a second bridge that is capable of offloading
finished parts anywhere within the cutting area, sorting them,
and stacking them, which could have been much more simply accomplished
using TurboPlane and was patented by us five years ago.
Rofin-Sinar has demonstrated its Remote Welding Station, a
reflective beam deflector tiltable on two axes preceded by
a long-focal-length lens that moves relative to the beam deflector.
Its optical unit may be translated along another axis in order
to extend the available workspace. Employing TurboPlane would
allow translating its optical unit, complete with its lens,
along two axes, where comovement of the laser beam would be
handled by a built-in TurboPlane drive, which would allow both
extending the available workspace and varying the orientation
of the laser beam over much larger ranges at any given processing
location. The latter could also be provided by employing a
Scanlab Power Scan beam-deflector unit, which provides the
same features as Rofin-Sinar's Remote Welding Station. The
efficiency of a welding cell of that type may be doubled by
employing a second synchronously driven, or independently controlled,
optical unit. A welding cell equipped with several TurboPlane
units oriented at various angles to workpieces, e.g., arrayed
around an automobile body, could also be employed, depending
upon the type of workpiece involved. Combinations of several
cells, which might be employed for laser cladding or laser
heat treating, are also readily configured.
A few weeks ago, several trade publications reported that NVL.
Balliu had recently employed a laser marking system equipped
with a galvanometer-scanner beam-deflector unit that was connected
to its laser via a fiberoptic lightguide as a second tool on
a dual-head laser system. TurboPlane has been able to handle
that same operation for several years, and without restricting
access to all locations.
This tremendous flexibility and adaptability to the tasks
at hand, without need for any major modifications, are the
criteria that make TurboPlane your best choice, but are not
the only ones. Its simple, rugged, construction, nonwearing,
maintenance-free, operation, along with the lower capital costs
involved, represent the other major criteria that you should
not fail to consider when specifying drives for your laser
materials processing systems. If you would like additional
information on TurboPlane and/or its capabilities, just give
us a call or drop us a line.
The "Smart" Laser-Beam-Guidance
Our i-LBA 42 laser-beam-guidance system, which
is based on our position-control system for planar motors, combines
the function of a beam-guidance arm for high-power lasers with
that of a three-axis position-control system for the tool centerpoint
(TCP) of a beam-focusing unit. The high-strength aluminum alloy
employed in its construction provides high rigidity and positioning
accuracy. The design of its mirror mounts allows replacing mirrors
without need for realignment. Although our i-LBA 42 laser-beam-guidance
system has been developed primarily for use on laser processing
systems equipped with our TurboPlane robot, increasing the total
number of positioning data points acquired allows its use on
systems having more than three degrees of freedom, such as systems
equipped with articulated-arm robots or three-axis or five-axis
- Equipped with seven gold-coated, 60?mm dia., water cooled,
- Standard arm length 850 mm (1,500 mm max.)
- Min. clear aperture
42 mm, reaching a max. of 54 mm in its tubular beam enclosures
laser-power-handling capacity 10 kW
- Uses a pair of PC-ISA plug-in boards
accuracy ± 0.2 mm (varies
with arm length)
- Repeatability ± 0.1 mm
- Positioning output signals available
a) 1-Vp-p analog
b) TTL-compatible serial (RS-422)
c) 32-bit parallel (IEEE 488)
- Outputs numerical values
of position, velocity, and acceleration on all three
axes for display on a
- May be calibrated for any set of reference points.
- Equipped with four
inputs for rotary or linear encoders supplying TTL?compatible
BCD or analog output
- The fourth encoder may be used to generate a moving
reference point in order to allow extending
the length of travel on one axis.
Special versions with
full freedom of movement on all axes are
available on request.
Compact, multi-purpose, laser materials-processing
EASY RIDER is a compact, multi-purpose, laser system designed
for cutting and engraving nonmetals equipped with a 100-Watt
CO2-laser and driven by a nonwearing TurboPlane air-bearing planar
motor with a virtually infinite service life. EASY RIDER is available
in two versions having workspaces of 700 mm x 850 mm and 850
mm x 1350 mm, respectively. Beam guidance is via a permanently
aligned, hermetically sealed, and thus dust-proof and maintenance-free,
articulated mirror-arm fabricated from a CFC-material that provides
a constant beam pathlength for uniform processing results. Among
its major features are its ability to handle workpieces of unlimited
length, width, and height, which allows, e.g., cutting and engraving
complete, large, housings. Equipped with an optional rotation
axis, EASY RIDER may also be used for cutting and engraving rotary
workpieces, foils and web materials. A height-controlled worktable
will allow performing 2-1/2-D processing of 3D-workpieces. EASY
RIDER is compact enough that it may be positioned above bulky
and/or heavy objects, such as stone slabs or lithographic plates,
to be engraved. EASY RIDER is controlled by a PC, which allows
preparing graphics or contours to be cut using Corel Draw. The
drivers supplied allow performing laser processing at resolutions
of 1200 DPI, varying laser power and advance rates during processing,
making tooling corrections, reflecting and inverting texts and
graphics, generating positive or negative embossing dies having
varying flank inclinations, and simple cutting of complex contours.