A precision gantry stage or gantry system is sometimes called a linear robot or Cartesian robot. Gantry robots typically provide overhead motion in 2 or 3 linear degrees of freedom (X-Y and X-Y-Z) and are often used for pick and place applications, 3D printing or laser machining, precision handling, and electronics applications. These precision automation systems only share the name and general layout with the high load gantry cranes often used in ports for loading and unloading of cargo.
The advantage of an overhead XY gantry or XYZ gantry system, in contrast to a split bridge granite motion system or traditional XYZ linear slides or XY slide assemblies, is its ability to keep the work piece stationary and move sensors, laser heads or dispensers above the work piece. Gantry linear robots also cover a relatively large work area on a relatively small footprint. Gantry granite motion systems often include a manipulator / gripper mounted on a vertical axis.
PI designs standard and custom motion systems, such as motorized direct drive, high speed, high precision XY gantries or XYZ gantry stages and split bridge granite motion systems, adapted for different high-performance applications. They are available with mechanical linear bearings, hybrid bearings or as full air bearing designs. All our granite motion systems are equipped with fast 3 phase linear motors and absolute measuring linear encoders. Standard configurations of PI high performance gantry stages are available with up to 2 meters (78”) of travel and customizations are available. All our precision granite systems are providing sub-µm to nanometer resolution and excellent repeatability, together with fast acceleration for high throughput. Several options are available including mounting holes for scanners, cameras, lasers, customer specified tooling as well as the integration of a Z axis (both screw-drive and direct drive options).
Air bearing gantries provide frictionless, wear- and maintenance-free linear motion without particle generation – important for photonics, optics, flat-panel inspection, and semiconductor applications.