ABL8000 Air-Bearing Direct-Drive Linear Stage


Design Features

  • Available with up to 1000 mm travel
  • High-accuracy linear encoder

Leading-edge manufacturing, particularly in the semiconductor and data storage industries, demands positioning tolerances beyond the capability of conventional ball-screw and mechanical-bearing positioning systems. The ABL8000, with its air-on-air preload, exceptionally high stiffness and excellent geometric characteristics was designed specifically to meet those demands.

Air-Bearing Design

The ABL8000 incorporates an active preload on both the vertical and horizontal surfaces. The opposing thin-film pressure maintains the bearing nominal gap tolerance. This design, in addition to the large air-bearing surface that distributes the load over a large surface area, results in a stage with outstanding stiffness that is ideal for heavy or offset loading.

Proprietary manufacturing techniques result in a stage with unsurpassed geometric characteristics. The air bearing has an inherent averaging effect that maximizes performance. The thin film will fill small surface voids and allow for other irregularities. This characteristic yields superior pitch, roll, yaw, straightness and flatness specifications.

Linear Motor Drive

The driving force behind this stage is Aerotech’s BLM series brushless linear servomotor. Aerotech’s long history and experience as a motor manufacturer is reflected in this design. The BLM utilizes an ironless forcer, which means there is zero cogging and no attractive forces – resulting in unsurpassed smoothness of motion. Capable of generating high force and velocity, the BLM represents the ultimate combination of power and performance.

Zero Maintenance

Our totally noncontact air bearing, noncontact linear motor drive and noncontact feedback device ensure years of maintenance-free operation at the high performance levels that are expected of Aerotech equipment. Because there is no mechanical contact between moving elements, the ABL8000 experiences no wear or reduction in performance over time. Service life is virtually unlimited and since there is no lubrication – only clean, dry gas – air bearings are ideal for clean room and medical applications.

Cable Management

We carefully optimize the cable bend radius to ensure years of trouble-free operation. In the unlikely event of failure, Aerotech’s modular design makes cable replacement quick and easy with minimal downtime.

To facilitate integration into the final system, we include all customer-required cables, air hoses, etc. in our CMS bundle. Both ends are fully connectorized for simple integration into the customer’s machine.


ABL8000 Specifications

Total Travel(1) 200 mm 300 mm 400 mm 500 mm 750 mm 1000 mm
Accuracy(2) -E2 Encoder, Uncalibrated ±5.0 µm ±6.0 µm ±7.0 µm
-E1 Encoder, Uncalibrated ±8.0 µm ±11.5 µm ±14.0 µm ±15.75 µm ±18.5 µm ±20.0 µm
-E1 and -E2 Encoders, Calibrated(3) ±0.5 µm ±0.75 µm ±1.0 µm
Bidirectional Repeatability(2) ±0.2 µm ±0.3 µm ±0.4 µm
Straightness(2) ±0.4 µm ±0.75 µm ±1.5 µm ±2.0 µm ±3.0 µm ±4.0 µm
Flatness(2) ±0.4 µm ±0.75 µm ±1.5 µm ±2.0 µm ±3.0 µm ±4.0 µm
Pitch 2 arc sec 3 arc sec 4 arc sec 5 arc sec 7.5 arc sec 10 arc sec
Roll 2 arc sec 3 arc sec 4 arc sec 5 arc sec 7.5 arc sec 10 arc sec
Yaw 2 arc sec 3 arc sec 4 arc sec 5 arc sec 7.5 arc sec 10 arc sec
Maximum Speed(4) -E2 Encoder 1.2 m/s
-E1 Encoder 2 m/s
Maximum Acceleration 2 g (No Load)
Load Capacity(7) -SC Horizontal 70 kg
Side 30 kg
-LC Horizontal 120 kg
Side 50 kg
Operating Pressure(8) 517-551 kPa
Air Consumption(9) -SC 36 SLPM per Axis
-LC 58 SLPM per Axis
Moving Mass -SC 10 kg
-LC 16 kg
Stage Mass -SC 55 kg 62 kg 70.5 kg 78.5 kg 98 kg 116.5 kg
-LC 70 kg 77 kg 85.5 kg 93.5 kg 113 kg 131.5 kg
Material Aluminum
MTBF 30,000 Hours
  1. When mounting the ABL8000 in an XY configuration, the maximum upper axis length is 400 mm.
  2. Certified with each stage.
  3. Available with Aerotech controllers.
  4. Maximum speed based on stage capability; maximum application velocity may be limited by system data rate and system resolution.
  5. Maximum load based on bearing capability; maximum application load may be limited by acceleration requirements.
  6. To protect air bearing against under-pressure, an in-line pressure switch tied to the motion controller/amplifier ESTOP input is recommended.
  7. Air supply must be clean, dry to 0°F dew point and filtered to 0.25 µm or better; recommend nitrogen at 99.9% purity.
  8. Specifications are for single-axis systems, measured 25 mm above the tabletop. Performance of multi-axis systems is payload and workpoint dependent. Consult factory for multi-axis or non-standard applications.

Electrical Specifications

Feedback -E2 Encoder Incremental Encoder; 4 µm Fundamental Period
-E1 Encoder Incremental Encoder; 20 µm Fundamental Period
Electronic Resolution See signal period options on Order Information
Maximum Bus Voltage 80 VDC
Limit Switches 5 V, Normally Closed
Home Switch Near Center

Recommended Controller

Multi-Axis A3200 Ndrive MP/Ndrive CP/Ndrive HLe/Npaq MXR
Ensemble Ensemble MP/Ensemble CP/Ensemble HLe/Epaq
Single Axis Soloist Soloist MP/Soloist CP/Soloist HLe
  • ABL8000-specs
  • abl8000-specs2


Ordering Information

ABL8000 Air-Bearing Direct-Drive Linear Stage

-0200 200 mm travel
-0300 300 mm travel
-0400 400 mm travel
-0500 500 mm travel
-0750 750 mm travel
-1000 1000 mm travel

Carriage (Required)

-SC Short carriage - 250 mm length
-LC Long carriage - 400 mm length

Note:In an XY-assembled configuration, the -LC option is required for the lower (X) axis, and the -SC option with a maximum travel of 400 mm is required for the upper (Y) axis

Limits (Required)

-LI1 Normally-closed, 5V end-of-travel limit switches
-LI2 Normally-open, 5V end-of-travel limit switc

Feedback (Required)

-E1 Incremental linear encoder; 1 Vpp
-E2 Incremental linear encoder; high accuracy, 1 Vpp

Cable Management (Optional)

-CMS1 External cable management system for single axis
-CMS2 External cable management system for single axis w/air/vac line
-CMS3 External cable management system for single axis w/signal cable
-CMS4 External cable management system for single axis w/air/vac line and signal cable
-CMS5 External cable management system for lower-axis of XY
-CMS6 External cable management system for lower-axis of XY w/air/vac line
-CMS7 External cable management system for lower-axis of XY w/signal cable
-CMS8 External cable management system for lower-axis of XY w/air/vac line and signal cable

Metrology (Required)

-PL1 Metrology, uncalibrated with performance plots
-PL2 Metrology, calibrated (HALAR) with performance plots

Integration (Required)

Aerotech offers both standard and custom integration services to help you get your system fully operational as quickly as possible. The following standard integration options are available for this system. Please consult Aerotech if you are unsure what level of integration is required, or if you desire custom integration support with your system.

-TAS Integration - Test as system
Testing, integration, and documentation of a group of components as a complete system that will be used together (ex: drive, controller, and stage). This includes parameter file generation, system tuning, and documentation of the system configuration.
-TAC Integration - Test as components
Testing and integration of individual items as discrete components that ship together. This is typically used for spare parts, replacement parts, or items that will not be used together. These components may or may not be part of a larger system.

Accessories (to be ordered as separate line item)

ABF Air bearing filtration kit