Hexapod 6-Axis Micro-Robots – Enablers for Today’s Advanced Camera Manufacturing… and Tomorrow’s

Hexapod micro-motion robots are a novel motion technology that provides all six degrees of freedom in an unusually stiff, compact, and high-precision structure, composed of a single moving platform supported in parallel by six motorized struts arranged with optimized constraint (“parallel kinematics”). From a motion control standpoint, hexapods are the equivalent of an XYZ stack with […]

History and Future of Photonics Alignment Automation, Test & Assembly of SiP Components

From Electronics to Photonics The first computer link using optical fibers was commissioned four decades ago to safeguard communications from electromagnetic interference at the Cheyenne Mountain strategic command center [1]. Since then we have seen broad adoption of photonic communications technologies in an unfolding pattern of consistently diminishing physical scale: As a replacement for costly […]

Parallelism in Photonics Alignment Automation: Key to Economic Test & Packaging

Compared to the devices typical of the telecom revolution of two decades ago, today’s typical Silicon Photonics (SiP) devices present more channels, smaller form factors, and exponentially higher production quantities. Transverse alignment tolerances well below 50nm are common, and multi-channel inputs and outputs necessitate at least an additional theta-Z alignment in order to optimize and […]

Precision Robotics and Automation: Hexapods Advance Production Processes

Summary Hexapods, six-legged parallel-kinematic machines, are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after “learning” how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via fieldbus interfaces. As far as the semiconductor and electronics industry, automobile industry, and precision assembly are concerned, many production processes have become inconceivable without them. Today, […]

Stacks of Single Axis Stages vs. Hexapods

When faced with a multi-axis motion application, many users stack motion stages, and in fact that is a fine approach for assemblies of just a few axes. But as applications become more complex, so do the equivalent stacks-of-stages, and very real and practical considerations begin to come into play. Stiffness.  Some stage manufacturers publish stiffness […]

From IoT to IoP – the Internet of Smart Piezos

A discussion with leading piezo experts on ceramics, nanopositioning, intelligent piezo systems, and weather stations Q&A with Dr. Harry Marth, Head of Piezo Technology Innovation, and Dr. Mathias Bach, Head of Piezo Systems at Physik Instrumente (PI), Karlsruhe, Germany. Most people would be looking forward to retirement after a successful career of 45 years. But […]

Advances in Precision Motorized Positioning Systems: Selection Criteria

Motion drive and control technologies are advancing rapidly. This means engineers have access to an expanding spectrum of options to leverage previously unattainable performance and form factors. Rapidly evolving production processes have driven needs for motion control systems that provide higher accuracy, speed, resolution, and repeatability. The motion industry has responded with an expanding palette […]

6-Axis Parallel Kinematics for UHV Alignment and Active Vibration Cancellation for Semiconductor Applications

Inspection tools in the semiconductor industry, laser alignment and adjustment tools for the next generation of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) require highly accurate motion, often in all 6 degrees of freedom. Parallel kinematics structures provide an elegant and highly flexible way to achieve precise multi-axis motion. Different designs have found successful applications in 6D precision […]

PI Technology Blog

PI Technology Blog: Whitepapers and Application Insights on Precision Motion Control, Automation, and Piezo Technology PI’s tech blog offers over 40 years of insight into innovative applications of precision motion control, nanopositioning, and micropositioning in industry, science, and research. We hope the PI blog is an enjoyable and informative resource, and a starting-point for innovation […]

Fast Optical Alignment for SiP Production

Industry-leading speed and capability is an enabler for “photonomics” from wafer to packaged device;  2016 R&D 100 award winner! Problem The convergence of photonics and semiconductors promises a leap in data throughput, parallelism and energy efficiency. Design and materials challenges have by now been addressed. Practicalities of testing and packaging have not. Test and packaging […]

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About PI

PI (Physik Instrumente) is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with fifteen subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of more than 1,000.

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