“Micropositioning” – Classical Precision Positioning Technologies still Going Strong

Striking the right balance between affordability, accuracy, and reliability Traditional linear and rotary “micropositioning” stages are based on servo and stepper motor-driven leadcrews and ballscrews and mechanical bearings. They are classical components for precision motion control applications, spanning from lab-automation to industrial assembly and inspection. “Micropositioning” got its name from precision levels in the micrometer […]

Nanopositioning Metrology, Gödel, and Bootstraps

Why External Metrology Matters in Nanopositioning More than 80 years ago, a discovery by Austrian Kurt Gödel put an end to the dream mathematicians had pursued for centuries: a final unifying “Theory of Everything” or the idea that a system could be devised strong enough to verify itself. Gödel’s findings may seem rather obvious, but […]

XYZ Positioning Mechanism Integrated in Automated Medical Instrument Developed in Partnership with ITL

Standard or Custom Engineered Solutions when Time is Critical? The old question – standard or custom – was one of the key considerations when ITL Group decided on what precision multi-axis motion system to use in one of their latest projects. In this particular case, ITL was approached by a client with an open frame […]

Nanopositioning stages help create and characterize laser-written waveguides inside silicon

The future of computing and data communications will rely on a combination of optics and electronics. Silicon photonics circuits are gaining in importance; new techniques and tools for test and production of SiP related technologies are being researched and developed around the world. Direct laser writing of waveguides deep inside the bulk of monolithic crystalline […]

Improving Accuracy of Long Travel Linear Positioning Stages with Error Mapping

Linear encoders significantly improve the accuracy and repeatability in stepper or servo-motor positioning stages based on lead or ballscrew drives – they remove drivetrain based play, backlash, and screw pitch errors. But even the best linear encoders are not perfectly linear. As long as these linearity errors are repeatable, there is a way to reduce […]

Piezo Flexure Nanopositioning Stages: Frequently Asked Questions

A piezo nanopositioning stage is defined as a positioning device capable of nanometer or sub-nanometer resolution. There are several types of nanopositioners – PI also makes air bearing stages, linear motor stages and magnetic levitation stages; devices featuring the highest dynamics and precision are piezo-driven, flexure guided and equipped with direct metrology position feedback, such […]

Hexapods and Parallel Kinematics Positioning Systems FAQs

Hexapod positioners are often referred to as Stewart Platforms. A hexapod is based on a 6-axis (XYZ, Pitch, Roll, Yaw) actuator system arranged in parallel between a top and bottom platform. PI parallel kinematics (PKM) precision positioning systems have many advantages over serial kinematics stages, such as lower inertia, improved dynamics, smaller package size, and […]

Advances in Piezo Nanopositioning Controllers – Digital vs. Analog

Digital piezo nanopositioning controllers have a reputation for being expensive and only cost efficient in high-end applications. A recent new design approach has changed this situation, making advanced digital control features affordable for main stream piezo motion applications. History of Digital Motion Controllers Position control for magnetic motors has been almost exclusively digital for nearly […]

Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy, Nanoscopy, and Nanopositioning Motion Control

Much has changed since the first optical microscope was designed in the late 16th century by Hans and Zaccharias Janssen, two Dutch spectacle makers. For the first time, their invention put multiple lenses to use, resulting in much higher magnifying power than a single lens could achieve. For almost 400 years optical microscopy did not […]

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 […]

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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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