E-727 EtherCat Compatible Piezo Motion Controller for Nano-Scale Automation and Precision Positioning

(Nanowerk News) EtherCat® is becoming a communication standard in industrial automation. The continuous need for higher precision in R&D, test and manufacturing drives the demand for more high-performance, piezo-based nano-positioning and scanning systems; semiconductor manufacturing, optics and photonics are typical examples. PI (Physik Instrumente) now offers a new EtherCat® compatible version of its successful E-727 digital piezo controller family.
E-727 Digital Multi-Channel Piezo Controller with EtherCAT
E-727 Digital Multi-Channel Piezo Controller with EtherCAT. (Image: PI)
The piezo controller can be easily integrated into complex automation environments systems and operated as an "intelligent driver" for two- or three-axis piezo-based nanopositioning systems. PI also offers ACS based EtherCat® motion controllers for long travel precision positioning stages such as used in laser machining and gantry systems for 3D printing.
E-727 EtherCat® Datasheet

Digital Servo Piezo Controller

Piezo controllers with digital servos provide advantages over traditional analog piezo controllers, such as higher bandwidth, linearity, and easy optimization of the servo parameters by software. The E-727 also provides two notch filters that help suppress mechanical resonances in high-speed operation of piezo-mechanisms yielding higher bandwidth. A sensor sampling frequency of 100kHz and servo update rate of 20kHz provide excellent performance with minimized noise. Intelligent servo algorithms minimize the settling times and allow repeatability into the subnanometer range.

Advanced Features

Other advanced features of the digital piezo controller include 4th-order polynomial linearization for the piezo mechanics and control electronics, an integrated data recorder, an ID chip for fast and quick exchange of the system components, as well as subordinate, programmable drift compensation. In addition, there is the option of dynamic digital linearization. This DDL function lowers phase shift and trajectory errors to an indiscernible level in the case of dynamic-periodic applications. This is important for scanning applications that have to identify a particular position and reach it again accurately.

Software and Additional Interfaces

Like all PI motion controllers, the E-727 comes with extensive software support such as LabVIEW drivers and dynamic libraries for Windows and Linux. The E-727 can also be operated via TCP/IP or USB even without an EtherCAT master and commanded with PI GCS codes. Additional interfaces are SPI for fast serial transmission of position values to / from an SPI master, 4 digital I/O (each) and 4 optional high resolution analog I/O (20 bits) for external sensors, target values or external amplifiers.
Piezo Controller Overview
ACS-Based Industrial Motion Controller with EtherCat®
Hexapod Controller with EtherCat®

Standard and Custom

PI has in-house engineered solutions with over 4 decades of experience working with customers to provide products that meet application demands, and can quickly modify existing product designs or provide a fully customized OEM part to fit the exact requirements of the application.

About PI

PI is a leading manufacturer of air bearing stages, piezoelectric solutions, precision motion control equipment, and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. The PI group employs more than 1,300 people worldwide in 15 subsidiaries and R&D / engineering centers on 3 continents.
Source: PI (press release)
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