New Way® Air Bearings manufactures custom slides utilizing our proven Porous Media Technology™ to provide precision solutions for fast tool servo applications.
If you are diamond turning and machining free-form surface structures such as micro-prisms, torics, and off-axis aspheres for spheric and aspheric lens array formations, you need high dynamic movement of your machine tool with low levels of noise. Conventional mechanical bearing systems are fraught with friction, as they use rolling element bearings or contact type ways, leading to inevitable trade-offs between accuracy and move time.
Using New Way fast tool servo stages provides precision motion at high speeds by utilizing a naturally porous carbon substrate inside the air bearings mounted within each slide. When you apply a small amount of air pressure (60PSI or 0.4 MPA) to these bearings, a thin (5µm or 0.0002″) layer of air is distributed evenly across the bearing face through millions of sub-micron sized holes. This air film layer is incredibly stiff, enabling non-contact linear motion of the slide along the guide.
Our fast tool servo stages achieve precise motion in one axis as well as the high accelerations and short movements necessary to achieve tool motion frequencies of up to 1000 Hz. Because these air bearing slides have zero friction, following errors decay exponentially to within nanometers of the desired target position. All of this comes together to raise your device yields and throughputs to new levels by allowing your diamond tool to correspond to a spinning toroidal surface both accurately and quickly, for example.
The friction, backlash, and wear present in screw driven stages can also be eliminated entirely by using smaller positioners such as non-contact, brushless linear motors and voice coil actuators. This creates a platform where nanometer level resolution is possible and the machined surfaces often require little to no polishing, down to a 3nm Ra surface finish, depending on the material used and the manufacturer’s process.
If you’re ready to see how New Way’s Porous Media Air Bearings can enhance your fast tool servo process, contact us today to speak to our design and application experts.