Renishaw’s new FASTRACK linear encoder scale system brings high accuracy, stainless steel construction and quick, easy installation to large, sectional machines used in flat-panel display and photovoltaic manufacturing applications, as well as large CMMs that require removal of the scale for transit. Also ideal for linear motors with aluminum substrates, and applications where thermal expansion of the scale must be independent of the machine structure, or those involving dissimilar axis materials, the track-mounted scale can run across gaps up to 25 mm wide, while providing ± 5 µm/m accuracy.
The FASTRACK system consists of two miniature guide rails that secure low-profile scales (8 x 0.2 mm cross-section) while allowing them to freely expand at their own thermal expansion rate with almost zero hysteresis. The scale can be installed, removed and reinstalled as many times as required, and damaged scales can be pulled out of the guide rails and quickly replaced, even where access is limited, reducing machine downtime.
FASTRACK is available on reels for cut-to-length flexibility at the point of installation, allowing machine builders to minimize stock and lead-times. Generous tolerance makes measuring and cutting quick and easy. Easily installed, the self-adhesive guide rails feature integral pre-aligned sacrificial spacers which are removed after the rails are fitted to the axis. The scale is then fed in from either end and locked to the substrate at a single datum point anywhere along the axis using cyanoacrylate glue or a clamp.
Part of a modular solution, FASTRACK can be used with either the RTLC stainless steel incremental scale and super-compact TONiC readhead, or Renishaw’s new RESOLUTE linear absolute encoder and RTLA absolute scale. The encoders in both set-ups feature advanced optoelectronics with resolutions to 1 nm, low sub-divisional error (SDE) and very low jitter for smooth velocity control and rock-solid positional stability. For TONiC RTLC incremental scale installations, limit magnets and a reference mark selector are fitted to the FASTRACK and secured with a bolted clamp rather than using glue. The RTLC scale features multiple INTRAC reference marks at regular spacing.
The FASTRACK system is backed by Renishaw’s global sales and support network and, like the TONiC and RESOLUTE encoder systems, it is compliant with the WEEE and RoHS environmental standards.