XY & XYZ Gantry Stages / Cartesian Robots

What Is a Gantry Stage / Cartesian Robot?

A gantry precision positioning stage is sometimes called a linear robot or Cartesian robot. Gantries typically provide 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, and welding applications. These precision motion 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 gantry motion system is its ability to cover a relatively large work area on a relatively small footprint. Gantries often include a manipulator / gripper mounted on a vertical axis. 

PI offers several standard and custom Gantry designs, adapted for different applications, from mechanical bearings and hybrid systems to all air bearing designs, all equipped with linear motors and absolute measuring linear encoders. High-end PI gantry stages can provide nanometer resolution and excellent repeatability, together with high throughput.  Air bearings provide frictionless, wear- and maintenance-free motion without particle generation – important for photonics, optics, and semiconductor applications. Several options are available including the integration of Z-positioning stages (both screw-driven and linear motor-driven), mounting holes for scanners, cameras, lasers, or customer specified tooling. 

Gantries for 3D Printing

 

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XY & XYZ Overhead Gantries

Air Bearings & Linear Bearings, Linear Motors
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A-341 Hybrid XY / XYZ Gantry Stage

Air Bearings & Linear Bearings, Linear Motors

  • 300x300 to 500x1000mm XY travel
  • 10kg load
  • Absolute encoders, 1nm resolution

  • Z-Stage options: linear motors or ball screws 
  • Dynamic error mapping
  • 2m/sec max velocity (cross axis)
A-351 Overhead Gantry XY / XYZ Stage
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A-351 Overhead XY / XYZ Gantry Stage

Linear Bearings, Linear Motors

  • 300x300 to 500x1000mm XY travel
  • 20kg load
  • Absolute encoders, 1nm resolution

  • Z-Stage options: linear motors or ball screws 
  • Dynamic error mapping
  • 2m/sec max velocity (cross axis)
MReck Gantry Video
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Gantry System for 3-D Printing, Laser Machining Software

As Seen at Photonics West

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PI's A-341 hybrid Gantry System for 3-D printing, laser processing with software is explained at Photonics West.

Gantry-Type, Planar XY Air Bearing Stages

The PIglide HS planar air-bearing stage has been designed to maximize throughput while providing the ultimate level of precision. This stage is ideal for wafer inspection and scribing applications, as well as other ultra-precision motion applications such as flat panel inspection. The cross-beam mounts to the Y axis via a highly engineered flexural coupling that provides yaw-compliance without sacrificing system stiffness. The gantry axis is a dual air-bearing design that incorporates dual linear motors and dual linear encoders. Ironless linear motors provide smooth motion and no cogging or attractive forces. Both incremental and absolute encoder options are available. The PIglide HS incorporates three high-accuracy linear encoders, one for the bridge axis and two for the gantry axis. The PIglide HS is coupled with industry-leading digital controls that offer superior servo update rates (up to 5 kHz), advanced control algorithms to improve dynamic performance and error compensation, and a wide suite of software development tools.
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A-322 Planar Air Bearing Stage

3&4-Motor Designs, Granite Base

  • 3 Models: Base, Plus, Ultra
  • 500x1000mm max. travel
  • 15kg load
  • 1nm resolution
  • Active yaw control flex coupling
  • Dynamic error mapping
  • 1m/sec / 2g max. acceleration
Video: How Do Air Bearings Work?
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Video: How Do Air Bearings Work?

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PI's Gantry-Type Air Bearing Stages, together with ACS motion controllers provide exceptional accuracy & geometric performance.

Controllers for Gantry Stages

These high performance controllers feature state of the art ACS SPiiPlusEC motion control modules and EtherCAT® master, and includes ServoBoost™ for up to eight axes of motion. ServoBoost™ provides better, more consistent servo performance that is insensitive to noise or (load) changes in the system.

This series of motion controllers from PI offers a completely integrated electronics solution, with controller, drives, and power supplies packaged together. The A-81x is in a compact 19-inch rack-mount enclosure for 1, 2, or 4 axes of motion, while the slightly larger A-82x is capable of controlling 4, 6, or 8 axes. These controllers are designed and optimized to work with the PIglide line of air bearing stages which feature direct drive linear and rotary servo motors and high resolution encoders.
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A-824/6/8 PIglide Motion Controller

High Power: 4, 6 & 8 Motion Axes

  • Fully integrated closed-loop servo, amplifier module & power supplies
  • 2000 W continuous, 3900 W peak
  • 3-Phase BLDC / voice coil / DC
  • Quiet PWM drives
  • Sine/cosine and BiSS-C encoders
  • 20A peak output current/axis
This series of motion controllers from PI offers a completely integrated electronics solution, with controller, drives, and power supplies packaged together. The A-81x is in a compact 19-inch rack-mount enclosure for 1, 2, or 4 axes of motion, while the slightly larger A-82x is capable of controlling 4, 6, or 8 axes. These controllers are designed and optimized to work with the PIglide line of air bearing stages which feature direct drive linear and rotary servo motors and high resolution encoders.
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A-811/2/4 PIglide Motion Controller

Compact: 1, 2 & 4 Motion Axes

  • Fully integrated closed-loop servo, amplifier module & power supplies
  • 600W power supply
  • 3-phase BLDC / voice coil / DC
  • Quiet PWM drives
  • Sine/cosine and BiSS-C encoders
  • 10A Peak output current/axis