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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  JEOL Ltd    6951   JP3735000006

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JEOL : Patent Issued for Actuator, Sample Positioning Device, and Charged Particle Beam System (USPTO 9618101)

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04/20/2017 | 10:13pm CEST

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- JEOL Ltd. (Tokyo, JP) has been issued patent number 9618101, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Yuasa, Shuichi (Tokyo, JP).

This patent was filed on October 28, 2015 and was published online on April 11, 2017.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Field of the Invention

"The present invention relates to an actuator, sample positioning device, and charged particle beam system.

"Description of Related Art

"A device (known as a positioning goniometer) for placing an electron microscope sample in position is used such that the sample is brought into a desired position and held there. Usually, an actuator having a magnetic motor is used as such a positioning device for moving the sample in the X- and Y-axis directions.

"An actuator of this type is disclosed, for example, in JP-A-6-300106 and has a composite shaft consisting of a threaded shaft provided with a ball spline groove that is formed in the outer surface of the threaded shaft so as to extend axially of the threaded shaft. The threaded shaft is formed with a ball threaded groove. An outer cylinder for a spline, a ball screw nut, and a hollow motor are incorporated in this order in the composite shaft from the load application side of this composite shaft.

"With the actuator of JP-A-6-300106, if the hollow motor is rotationally driven, the rotational driving force of the motor drive shaft is transformed into an axial thrust force of the composite shaft via the ball screw nut. An axial reaction force responsive to this thrust force is borne by the bearings in the hollow motor with the consequent linear motion of the composite shaft. The axial load acting on the composite shaft is borne by the ball nut screw, while the torque is borne by the outer cylinder for a spline. Radial loads and moment loads in all directions are borne by the outer cylinder for a spline and by the ball screw nut. Attachments such as fingers mounted to an attachment mounting portion are placed in position along the X-, Y-, and Z-axes and along moments Mx, My, and Mz around the axes.

"In the actuator set forth in JP-A-6-300106, the outer cylinder for a spline is cylindrical in shape and has an inner surface provided with a ball-rolling groove corresponding to the ball spline groove formed in the composite shaft. Multiple balls that bear the load are rollably mounted between the ball spline groove and the ball-rolling groove. A ball holder is mounted on the inner surface of the outer cylinder for a ball spline to hold the balls so as to move cyclically in alignment. The holder is provided with a plurality of cyclic ball paths to permit the balls to move cyclically between a loaded region and an unloaded region existing between the outer surface of the holder and the inner surface of the outer cylinder for a spline.

"In the actuator of JP-A-6-300106, the balls are preloaded when they are between the ball spline groove formed in the composite shaft and the ball-rolling groove formed in the outer cylinder for a spline. However, the balls are not preloaded when they are in the cyclic ball path formed in the ball holder. Therefore, when the balls move into the cyclic ball path from between the spline groove and the ball-rolling groove, the balls are varied from the preloaded state to the non-preloaded state. At this time, an impact acts on the actuator, vibrating the composite shaft. Furthermore, when the balls move from the cyclic ball path to between the spline groove and the ball-rolling groove, the balls are varied from the non-preloaded state to the preloaded state. Consequently, the composite shaft vibrates similarly.

"If the composite shaft, i.e., the output shaft of the actuator, vibrates, the driven object is also vibrated. For example, if the output shaft of an actuator of a device for placing an electron microscope sample in position vibrates, when the sample is moved in a given direction, vibration of the sample is caused as well as the motion of the sample in the given direction. Therefore, if a user attempts to move a sample while checking the field of view of the sample, for example, this is difficult to perform because the sample is vibrated, i.e., the field of view is vibrated."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In view of the foregoing problem, the present invention has been made. One object associated with some aspects of the present invention is to provide an actuator capable of reducing vibrations induced on the output shaft. Another object associated with some aspects of the present invention is to provide a sample positioning device including this actuator. A further object is to provide a charged particle beam system including this actuator.

"(1) An actuator associated with the present invention comprises: an electric motor; a ball spline having a finite stroke length and including a shaft provided with rolling grooves which are formed along an axis and along which balls can roll, the shaft having an external thread; and a nut having an internal thread with which the external thread of the shaft threadedly mates, the nut being operative to transmit the rotary force of the motor to the shaft.

"In this actuator, the ball spline of finite stroke length is used. That is, the ball spline does not have any cyclic ball path and so the preload applied to the balls can be made constant. Consequently, vibrations can be prevented. Thus, in this actuator, vibrations of the output shaft can be reduced during operation. Vibrations produced when a thrust force is applied to a driven object can be reduced.

"Furthermore, in this actuator, the rotary force of the motor is transmitted to the shaft by the nut having the internal thread with which the external thread on the shaft threadedly mates. Consequently, higher rigidity and lower vibration transmission efficiency can be achieved, for example, than where a ball screw is used to transform the rotary force of a motor into a thrust force by causing balls to cycle through a helical rolling groove formed in a ball screw shaft. As a result, minute (e.g., micrometer order) vibrations due to the magnetic hysteresis of the motor and minute vibrations caused by unintentional excitation of the motor due to servo noises can be suppressed from being directly transmitted to the shaft. In this actuator, therefore, vibrations of the shaft can be reduced. Also, vibrations produced when a thrust force is applied to the driven object can be reduced.

"Additionally, in this actuator, the driven object can be moved over a wider range, for example, than where a thrust force is applied to the driven object using a piezoelectric device. During a process in which the piezoelectric device expands or contracts, it is difficult to control the expansion or contraction of the piezoelectric device linearly in terms of time and so it takes long to permit the piezoelectric device to settle down. In the novel actuator, the rotary force of the motor is transmitted by the nut and shaft. Consequently, higher rigidity can be accomplished, and the settling time can be shortened.

"(2) In one feature of this actuator, the shaft and the nut may together constitute a sliding screw for transforming the rotary motion of the motor into a linear motion.

"In this actuator, the rotary motion of the motor is transformed into a linear motion by the sliding screw and, therefore, higher rigidity and lower vibration transfer efficiency can be achieved, for example, than where a ball screw is used to transform the rotary force of a motor into a linear motion by causing balls to cycle through a helical rolling groove formed in a ball screw shaft. As a result, minute vibrations due to the magnetic hysteresis of the motor and minute vibrations caused by unintentional excitation of the motor due to servo noises can be suppressed from being directly transmitted to the shaft.

"(3) In another feature of this actuator, the balls may roll only along the rolling grooves formed in the ball spline.

"In this actuator, the balls roll only along the rolling grooves and so the preload applied to the balls can be made constant; otherwise, vibrations would be produced. Therefore, in this actuator, during operation, vibrations of the shaft can be reduced. It is possible to reduce vibrations produced when a thrust force is applied to the driven object.

"(4) In a further feature of this actuator, the nut may be secured to a rotor of the motor.

"(5) A sample positioning device associated with the present invention is adapted to place a sample in position within a sample chamber of a charged particle beam system. The sample positioning device includes an actuator associated with the present invention.

"This sample positioning device includes the actuator associated with the present invention and so vibrations of the sample can be reduced. Especially, when the actuator of the sample positioning device is in operation, vibrations of the shaft can be reduced. Therefore, when the sample is moved in a given direction, vibrations of the sample can be reduced. This permits the user to observe the sample at high magnification while moving the sample in a desired direction.

"Furthermore, in this sample positioning device, the sample can be moved over a wider range, for example, than a sample positioning device using an actuator including a piezoelectric device. Also, a shorter settling time can be achieved. Therefore, in this sample positioning device, minute vibrations of the sample are possible, for example, throughout the sample. After the sample has been moved, drift can be made to settle down in a shorter time.

"(6) A charged particle beam system associated with the present invention includes a sample positioning device associated with the present invention.

"Since this charged particle beam system includes the sample positioning device associated with the present invention, vibrations of the sample can be reduced.

"(7) A charged particle beam system associated with the present invention includes an actuator associated with the present invention.

"This charged particle beam system can include an actuator capable of reducing vibrations of a shaft, i.e., the output shaft of the actuator."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Yuasa, Shuichi. Actuator, Sample Positioning Device, and Charged Particle Beam System. U.S. Patent Number 9618101, filed October 28, 2015, and published online on April 11, 2017. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9618101.PN.&OS=PN/9618101RS=PN/9618101

Keywords for this news article include: JEOL Ltd., Technology Companies, Scientific and Technical Instrument Companies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Technology Newsletters

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Financials ( JPY)
Sales 2017 99 033 M
EBIT 2017 -
Net income 2017 371 M
Debt 2017 13 917 M
Yield 2017 1,36%
P/E ratio 2017 -
P/E ratio 2018 23,27
EV / Sales 2017 0,65x
EV / Sales 2018 0,61x
Capitalization 50 128 M
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Gonemon Kurihara President & Representative Director
Hideyuki Nimura Director, Head-Finance & Information Technology
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Koichi Fukuyama Director & Deputy Head-Sales
Toyohiko Tazawa Director & Managing Executive Officer
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