Resources / Motion Applications / Indexer Control

Indexer Control

~ Performance Motion Devices

Indexers, sometimes also called front end loaders, are general purpose devices that operate in the vertical dimension and form the basis of storage and retrieval systems as well devices such as Semiconductor SMIF-pod access systems. The focus of this motion application will be control of the vertical axis motion, but many storage and retrieval systems couple the vertical axis with a robotic arm or actuator to deliver the carried object to its final storage location.

In this Motion Application:

  • Explore Design Considerations & Techniques
    Axes that operate in the vertical dimension to access or deliver carried objects typically use one of a few mechanisms to achieve this. The most common is a lead-screw, where where a rotary motor directly connects to a threaded shaft which uses a lead-screw (or ball screw) mechanism to achieve linear motion. An alternative mechanism uses a belt and pulleys to achieve linear motion from a rotating motor. In cases where faster and more accurate motion is desired, or where the system reliability and lifetime must be maximized, a direct drive linear Brushless DC motor may be used. Finally, in rare cases rack and pinion mechanisms are used to convert rotary to linear motion

  • Examine Application Architecture
    A diagram shows the control flow for a typical single axis controller with a profile generator outputting to a position servo loop which in turn outputs to a current loop. If step motors operating in microstepping control mode are used the control diagram would only have the profile generator and the current loop. All of PMD’s Magellan-based IC, module, and board products support the motion features described in this article, and more.

  • View Motion Control Solutions
    Since 1994 Performance Motion Devices products have been used in a wide range of vertical axis control applications including semiconductor wafer transport, incubators, tape & cartridge storage systems, automated warehouse storage systems, warehouse robotics, and more. Our Magellan Motion Control ICs, ION Drives, and Prodigy Motion Control Boards all provide the vital motion control technologies you need to successfully build your indexer controller application.

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