20 years of breakthrough! Where is the first “Time Gate Technology” at home and abroad?

In the fields of precision machining and industrial measurement and control (dynamic measurement), the precision displacement sensor is an indispensable and important part. It is compared to the eye of intelligent manufacturing. Its performance directly determines the accuracy of the processing and manufacturing process.

Dilemma in the field of domestic precision displacement measurement

At present, the displacement sensors on the market are mainly based on sensing technologies such as strain type, inductive type, grating, capacitive grid, magnetic grid, etc. Among them, the grating sensor has the advantages of high precision, convenient installation, and easy digitization. It has been widely used in other industries . However, from the Paris Coordination Committee to the Wassenaar Agreement, as a core functional component, high-end grating technology is strictly and strategically blocked by foreign giants . Imported gratings have problems of high price, long delivery time and difficult after-sales. The domestic precision displacement measurement field is facing multiple difficulties, and the localization of high-end gratings has reached an urgent point.

In recent years, the intelligent manufacturing equipment industry represented by intelligent control systems, CNC machine tools, and industrial robots has ushered in high-speed and high-quality development. The current global epidemic and trade war have prompted the restructuring of the production chain, which has further released the demand for domestic high-end gratings in the intelligent manufacturing equipment market. At present, European and American suppliers such as HEIDENHAIN, Renishaw, Fagor and other European and American suppliers control the dominance of high-end gratings. Most of the domestic high-end intelligent equipment is equipped with foreign gratings, and domestic grating manufacturers mainly participate in the competition in the low-end market .

At present, my country’s high-end manufacturing industry urgently needs to break through the core bottleneck, solve the urgent problems of key technology being controlled by people, independent innovation system layout, and advanced manufacturing strong foundation. However, due to the weak domestic basic industry, the technical blockade of high-end grating manufacturing process and the limitation of numerical control system, the development of my country’s high-end manufacturing industry is slow. In order to get rid of the constraints of foreign technology and seize the commanding heights of a new round of international competition, under the general trend of domestic substitution, the localization and autonomy of high-end core equipment and the independent innovation of key functional components are the general trend.

It is difficult to achieve breakthroughs in domestic large-scale grating technology

Although my country has made great progress in the field of high-end manufacturing in recent years, compared with western developed countries, some domestic manufacturing infrastructure, manufacturing process and overall industrial level are still relatively backward. Foreign countries have been adopting discriminatory policies of high-tech blockade and high-end product restrictions, especially grating manufacturing equipment, which has seriously restricted the development of this technology in my country. Although our country can also engrave a grating prototype, but limited by the overall level of processing equipment and technology, it can often only achieve nanometer-level precision in a small range of local areas, and it is difficult to achieve large-scale manufacturing .

Revolutionary technology source innovation

The key core technologies cannot be obtained, bought, or negotiated. It must rely on independent innovation. Based on the current technological situation in my country, to achieve breakthroughs in this field, it is necessary to change research ideas, innovate in principle, and fundamentally solve the problem. question.

Chongqing University of Technology, a university located in an important industrial city in Southwest China, has taken a different approach from the source of technology and proposed an important original academic idea of ​​using “time to measure space”. After 20 years of difficult scientific research, it has developed a different The technology based on the principle of grating – time grating has broken through the problem of precision position detection of high-end equipment, and has mastered the independent intellectual property rights of the key core technology of precision displacement measurement .

As a pioneering achievement of my country’s independent research and development, time grid technology, by establishing the relationship between spatial displacement and time reference, takes advantage of the objective advantage that time is the physical quantity with the highest measurement accuracy for human beings, and uses time comparison to achieve displacement measurement, So as to achieve high-precision, high-reliability measurement purposes. It can be generally understood as: observing each other on two coordinate systems that are moving at a uniform speed, the difference (displacement) of one side’s position is expressed as the time difference observed by the other side.

Time grid technology has developed into a landmark achievement in the field of precision displacement measurement in my country. It has won 1 second prize of National Technology Invention Award, 1 Chinese Patent Gold Award, 2 first prizes of Chongqing Technology Invention, and successfully applied for 12 foreign patents and domestic patents. 25 patents. In October 2021, as one of 35 typical cases representing the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, “Large-Range Nanometer Time-Grid Displacement Measurement Technology and Devices” will appear at the National “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” Scientific and Technological Innovation Achievement Exhibition, as the first part of the transformation system of innovative scientific and technological achievements. A typical case was exhibited at the exhibition, showing the “intelligent manufacturing” level of research and development of key functional components of high-end equipment in China. In December 2020, the comparison results of two on-site tests conducted by the China Institute of Metrology, the highest legal metrology institution in China, and the national angle benchmarks showed that the accuracy and resolution of the time grid were on the basis of the “international leading level” in 2016. New breakthroughs have been made, reaching the limit of the level of existing testing instruments.

The time gate team began to explore the research and development of time gate from 1996 to 1999. Since 2011, it has successfully developed the third-generation nano-time gate comparable to high-end gratings. The nano-time grid uses the orthogonally changing electric field to construct an equivalent space domain motion as the motion reference frame, establishes the relationship between the spatial displacement and the time reference, and obtains the equivalent space domain motion by controlling the variation law of the electric field strength. In order to achieve “large range, nanometer precision, and high resolution” at the same time, the Timegate team has developed a new idea that is completely different from the development of existing technologies at home and abroad by continuously overcoming difficulties and improving and verifying the technology. Relying on the concept of Timegate , developed a new type of displacement sensor with high precision motion control and resistance to oil pollution and dust, achieving a milestone from idea to technology, from technology to product.

Nanoscale time grids include absolute linear time grids and circular time grids. The highest accuracy of the linear time grid can reach ±3μm, and it is widely used in equipment and equipment that requires extremely high position measurement accuracy, including ultra-precision machine tools and equipment, measuring instruments, measurement and production equipment in the semiconductor industry; the highest measurement accuracy of the circular time grid can be Up to ±1 arcsecond, it is mainly used in machine tool rotary table, servo motor, automation equipment, industrial robot and other fields, filling the gap in the field of high-end precision displacement measurement in China, breaking the blockade of Western technology and getting rid of foreign product dependence, and becoming domestic high-end equipment The strong backing of the enterprise development path.

The industrialization of nano-time gate technology helps the transformation and upgrading of the equipment manufacturing industry

Go out of the laboratory and move towards industrialization, so that scientific research is close to the enterprise and the market. In April 2021, General Technology Group Guoce Shizha Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Guocshi Shizhai”), jointly established by China General Technology Group and Chongqing University of Technology, settled in the Western (Chongqing) Science City, marking the official achievement of Shizhai. Open a new stage of transforming applications and serving market users, and the industrialization process of nano-time gates will be accelerated in an all-round way.

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