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Donnerstag 23.03.2017
AeroLas GmbH
Grimmerweg 6
D-82008 Unterhaching
Tel.: +49 89-66 60 89-0
Fax: +49 89-66 60 89-55
"If there is no competition,
there is probably no market."

(Brian Wood, Venture Capitalist)

The conventional applications of air bearings
Since the 50s, air bearings are used as machine components. When comparing to contacting roller and friction bearings, their market volume is relatively small. Air bearings, however, established themselves in some niche markets successfully. This is because air bearings allow a highest revolution speed and a ultra-precise guidance. The classic applications are linear guidance for measurement machines or stepper (wafer lithography) or high-frequency spindles (PCB drilling). The limitations of the market come from disadvantages of conventional air bearings and a lack of knowledge about their physics: for now oscillation sensitivity, a bad dynamic and high prices discourage many potential applicants.
Air-guided bushing for
PCB drilling
For many applications, in particular for the key areas measurement technology, backend (bonder) and PCB (printed circuit board), AeroLas already achieved significant improvements of air bearings. Moreover, thousands of faultless air bearings applied in series demonstrated their high reliability. In doing so, AeroLas gained the world-wide technology leadership.
Future applications of air bearings and air-guided drives
Roller-guided drive systems increasingly reach their physical limit in applications for the production, automation and measurement technology due to slip-stick-effects, mass inertia and friction. For this reason, they get in the way of further technical developments. The same must be mentioned for high accelerations as for instance for rotors with the highest revolution speed or with a high diameter.
Air-guided bushing in
(PCB drilling machine)
An innovative technology of air bearings ensure the revolutionary performance advance of AeroLas. Well-directed, distributed micro nozzles at the bearings’ face cause a very efficient air cushion. Geometry, number and distribution of the air nozzles are adjusted and rather exactly calculated and optimally arranged in order to meet the customer’s particular needs. With a combination of technology and a basic theoretical knowledge, we are able to achieve significant improvements for the classical applications. In doing so, the application spectrum of air bearings increases significantly. In particular, AeroLas focuses on air bearings and air-guided drives for manufacturers of automats and machines for the semi conductor and electronics production (pick&place systems).

As for other applications, ecological factors bring along the change from oil/fat to air lubricated bearings.
comparision of bearings
When comparing the patented air bearings of AeroLas with conventional air bearings, roller, friction and magnetic bearings, AeroLas’ air-bearings stand out, in particular for precise and high-dynamic applications.
General market situation for high-performance drives
As for linear and rotary drives, AeroLas’ innovative air bearings allow new performance dimensions. Products on the market, as for instance air-guided bonder and drilling spindles or rotors with a diameter of more than 1.5 meter prove this.

For linear drives, a precise positioning, acceleration and transient response are of particular interest; for rotary systems, revolution speed, damping and precise guidance of the rotary axis are tremendously important. In either case, a high performance requires an exact adjustment of all components (bearing, motor, measurement system, electronics/ control). As for this, AeroLas’ customers are assisted with a outstanding know-how of the entire drive technology.

By means of new (customized developed) and easier (supplied as an entire system) application possibilities for air-guided drives, the market faces a fundamental change. Besides the partial substitution of exhausted technologies, as for instance roller and friction bearings, the latest trends shows that no more acquisitions of single components but of entire system solutions for high-specialized providers are asked for. Performance improvements of key systems are not seen as a solo attempt of machine manufacturers, but in fact as a permanent benchmarking of internal performances with external ones of potential suppliers.