Improve Machine Throughput with Enhanced Throughput Module (ETM)

The ever-expanding demand for consumer electronics is driving continuous improvements of equipment, particularly in terms of throughput limits. For example, manufacturers improve the UPH (unit per hour) of manufacturing machines every time a new model is developed. This article focuses on the application of Aerotech’s Enhanced Throughput Module (ETM) to reduce move and settle time and enhance throughput on a machine, without altering the structure or design.


Applications of Aerotech’s ETM can be used to reduce settle time of point-to-point moves, enhance throughput of current and novel machinery, minimize troublesome effects of frame motion on servo systems and advance contouring performance.

By calculating and adjusting to atone for undesirable machine frame motion, the ETM boosts the positioning performance of high-dynamic motion systems. An additional hardware sensor package can also adjust for low-frequency base motion.

Undesirable base movement arises when a stage is increasing in speed, for example when a motion axis is directed to relocate. As declared by Newton, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In this instance, the action is the relocation of the stage, and the reaction is the resultant force which is conferred onto the base of the machine. This reaction results in a fluctuating force on the base which overall alters the settling time of the stage axis.

Precise arrangement during high-dynamic movement requires the researcher to pause until the fluctuation settles. This can be avoided using an optimized base, but this is very costly. For an alternate, cheaper solution, ETM can be combined with the current machine, which dramatically improves the performance. It also does not require any structural alterations and is a much faster solution.

Mounting the ETM

The mounting of the ETM does not need a precision alignment but does need to be mounted facing the motion of the stage. The tuning gain can then be altered to offset for any misalignments.

Sensor Display

A bar graph is presented on the display which shows the motion in 25% increments, ranging from 0 – 100 %.

ETM sensor with blue LED display.

ETM sensor with blue LED display.

Test Setup and Parameters

A granite base is used for the test setup, which supports a precision linear-motor-driven stage. This stage is then pre-programmed to move 20 mm at a rate of 282 mm/s, with a move and settle time of 210 ms and an in-position stability requirement of 0.5 µm for 5 ms. The position and velocity commands and position error are then plotted.

Unwanted base motion affects settling time.

Unwanted base motion affects settling time.

Common Applications of ETM

This technology can be applied to many different industries, including semiconductor, machine tool and laser processing. It overall functions to advance high dynamic performance positioning and lower contouring error.

ETM installed on a HermeSys laser seam-welding system.

ETM installed on a HermeSys laser seam-welding system.

ETM installed on an AGS15000 linear motor gantry system.

ETM installed on an AGS15000 linear motor gantry system.


In summary, the ETM by Aerotech enables a cheap, easy and fast solution for enhancing the productivity of both current and new machines.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Aerotech, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit Aerotech, Inc.

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