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Metrology Gets a Boost in Precision Thanks to New Way’s Air Bearings

Metrology Gets a Boost in Precision Thanks to New Way’s Air Bearings

How Air Bearings Improve Measurement Capabilities

New Way Air Bearings® is proud to offer our lineup of air bearing technology for all your metrological needs. Our Porous Media Technology™ is ideally suited to metrology related tasks including:

  • Coordinate verification
  • Roundness checking
  • Flatness control

The air bearings’ unique capabilities, provided through frictionless motion atop a micro-thin layer of air allows for an unprecedented degree of precision motion, exactly where you need it most.

Flexible Measurements

For the roll to roll conveyance of flexible substrates and materials, the New Way Air Turn is a highly effective solution for reducing roller induced defects while also allowed for in-process, continuous measurements of your manufactured medium. Due to the nature of air turns, wherein there’s air on both sides of the material being transported, this opens the door to integrating real-time interferometry techniques into your manufacturing process.

New Way Air Turns have already been used as the foundation for IBS Precision Engineering’s ARINNA, or Areal Interferometry for Nanoscale Surfaces. Via the air gap created by our porous carbon ARINNA measures the refractive index of a given material, and from changes in that index extracts data on flatness variation.

Whilst it was already impressive that New Way Air Turns reduced variation from 100 micrometers down to just six, the real boon comes from the ability to incorporate this technology into your process, allowing for on the fly adjustment and the knowledge that web variation is being minimized before you reach the end of a production cycle.

Coordinate Verification

New Way Air Bearing technology is uniquely suited to coordinate verification systems along planar surfaces. New Way Linear Slides and Flat Air Bearings offer unmatched precision thanks to their zero friction motion.

Calibers being used to measure the inner diameter of a part.Unlike ball bearings, where there is internal inertia in the bearings themselves, linear rails move along a 5-micrometer thin layer of air. This means an air bearing has near-zero friction and removes one more source of momentum that could cause overshoots during measurement. Hysteresis error impacts virtually every precision industry, and eliminating moving components from your coordinate system will further improve the accuracy and reliability of your system in the long run.

Furthermore, the very nature by which ball bearings move can induce defects of their own. As a traditional bearing extends further into its life cycle, the individual balls spall and flake at random intervals, creating a non-uniform platform and increasing flatness deviations. If coordinate measurement means business to you, then any additional source of error is unacceptable. Compare this to a New Way Air Bar, where microperforated carbon creates a uniform medium for linear motion, and the choice becomes obvious.

Roundness Checking

The automotive and aerospace sectors rely on precision measurement and metrology techniques to inspect driveshafts and other rotating components. The tolerances for defects in these parts is slim to none, as they’re often designed to withstand purely torsional loadings, and even the slightest defect could induce a catastrophic axial force.

New Way is pleased to present our air spindles and Servo Driven Rotary Stages, two new additions to the New Way product catalog that are ready-made for rotational metrology.

The air spindle is a non-contact solution for rotating components, and serves as the basis for the Servo Driven Rotary Stage; a comprehensive assembly combining the air spindle with a brushless, cogless motor and a high precision encoder.

The Rotary stage’ precision encoder converts angular positioning into a digital output and allows for the precision of 1.1 arcseconds, or 1/3600 of a degree. Coupled with the brushless and slotless motor, our servo-driven rotary stages offer a counts/rev of up to 1,184,000, vastly increasing your capability for defining damage tolerances and increasing measurement capabilities along circular surfaces.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about what New Way Air Bearings can offer to improve your measurement and metrology capabilities, please contact us!