EtherCAT®: Ethernet for Control Automation Technology and its Advantages for Precision Motion Systems

The fastest Industrial Ethernet-based fieldbus system keeps gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. EtherCAT® is a modern, cost efficient, open real-time Ethernet-based fieldbus system. It is a registered trademark and patented technology, licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany. EtherCAT is short for “Ethernet for Control Automation Technology” and is used by control and system […]

Metrology for Precision Motion Systems at PI USA

1.  Introduction When building high precision positioning systems using our PIglide air bearing products, performing the metrology and testing is one of the most critical steps in the process. Only with proper metrology can we verify that our products and systems meet the specifications that our customers demand. In this article, we discuss the various […]

Precision Motion and Positioning Equipment on Mars Rover Curiosity – Still Going Strong

Almost 4 years after Curiosity landed on Mars, it is still up and running – and while it has not discovered current life forms, the basic question whether Mars could have once supported an environment for primitive life forms is a clear “yes”, according to NASA scientists. The rover identified carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, […]

Piezo Flexure Actuators, Nanopositioners, and Other Piezo Mechanisms for Precision Motion Control Applications

Flexure-guided and motion-amplified actuators and positioning stages provide convenience and performance for the OEM designer and scientist. Piezo actuators, a special form of electro-ceramics, are the gold standard when it comes to precision, speed, and force in a small package. To make them more accessible for the OEM designer, manufacturers package the actuators inside an […]

High Performance Motion Control – Systems Approach Provides Nanometer Precision for Industrial Applications

High performance motion control plays a key part in positioning and handling applications, such as those in semiconductor manufacturing, laser and materials processing, optical inspection systems, additive manufacturing or industrial digital printing. In addition to providing reliability and robustness, deterministic behavior with minimized latency, high-speed synchronization with external devices, such as lasers and cameras, is […]

Patterned Motion Generation: Precision in the Time Domain

Complex patterned motion generation is becoming increasingly important for applications such as vehicular simulation and airborne platform simulation and test.  However, many other emerging fields of structural and active mechanical subsystem analysis, validation, and design can also benefit from flexible, six-degree-of-freedom motion simulator mechanisms capable of generating specific motion patterns in real time. Previously, mechanical […]

Advances in Precision Positioning Stage Design-Optimized Outgassing and Motion Performance in Ultra-High Vacuum Applications

Many processes in advanced research and industrial manufacturing can only be performed in a vacuum, such as thin-film sputtering and ion milling, and technologies formerly reserved for exotic materials processing are seeing application in new fields. And of course the march of Moore’s Law means new types of equipment have been developed that impose vacuum […]

“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 […]

Why Google Engineers can make better Cameras using PI’s Direct-Drive Hexapod Multi-Axis Motion Platform

Google’s Pixel 2 has one of the most advanced cameras found in smartphones today. In a recent YouTube video by “Nat & Friends” on how Google built the Pixel 2 Camera, PI’s H-860 “shaker” hexapod is shown in a motion simulation application. Modern cameras use electronic image stabilization algorithms to reduce side effects from motion […]

Hexapod for Drone Testing – 6 Axis Motion Simulator to Improve Image Stabilization

The human brain can do amazing things when it comes to image processing.  Everyone who has taken video while running or just walking has made that experience.  Our brain filters out all the jitter and shake and plays back a reality that is more virtual than real. For the longest time since the inception of […]

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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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