Category: Automation, Nano-Automation

Hexapod Robots in Automotive Applications

As the precision requirements in the automotive industry are increasing, the need for advanced robotics arises. Traditional robots are fast, can handle heavy loads, but lack positioning accuracy. Hexapod robots have a long history in precision alignment & micro-manufacturing automation, but were considered too precise for the automotive industry. The situation is rapidly changing. Modern […]

Air Bearings are Critical in CMM and Metrology Applications

Air bearings have played a crucial role in the development and construction of coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and other metrology tools for decades. Since they are inherently frictionless and highly stable, air bearings play a key role in delivering the precision required in metrology equipment. Performance criteria, such as repeatability and minimized error motions, geometric […]

Patterned Force Generation — A Precise Touch in the Time Domain

Computing’s inflection points occur when new user-interface concepts enter the mainstream. The advent of the graphical user interface is one example; the touch interface, now universal on smartphones and tablets, is another. Computing is in the midst of yet another inflection with the advent of voice control, but meanwhile the haptic revolution is still unfolding. […]

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, […]

Accelerated EDM Microstructuring Aided by Electroceramic Transducers

Piezoelectric high-speed motion improves performance of die-sinking EDM in the micron realm. The basic principle of the machining process, now known as electrical discharge machining (EDM), or die sinking, was discovered in the 1940’s by accident, when Russian scientists were trying to prevent the erosion of electrical contacts caused by sparking. Today, EDM is well […]

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 […]

Sinusoidal Scanning Motion Performance: Air Bearings vs. Mechanical Bearings

Application Description Most of the motion solutions we work on typically require either point-to-point positioning or constant velocity scanning motion. In these applications, customers are usually concerned with accuracy, repeatability, or velocity regulation. One special type of motion that is occasionally required is sinusoidal scanning motion. In these applications, the motion stage is expected to […]

Automation and Microscopy: Faster Test & Measurement, Surface Metrology – Piezo Speed is Enabler for 100% Testing

Everybody who commutes by car is familiar with the concept: constant velocity gets you faster to your destination than stop-and-go traffic. This well-known principle from the macro-world is now employed in the nano-world by scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany. Their solution speeds up microscopic testing of large-surface objects, […]

Hexapod 6-Axis Alignment System Provides Flexibility in Dimensional Measuring Machine in Automotive Applications

The ever higher demand on the performance of headlights in automobiles drives automation and precision requirements of suppliers. A novel compact dimensional measuring machine designed by the DYMACO Group now makes use of 6-axis parallel positioning and alignment system to provide more flexibility for in-line automated dimensional measuring of headlamps in the Automotive Industry. The […]

High Load Hexapod Test and Assembly

Testing and Qualifying Positioning Systems for Multi-Ton Loads The nano- and micro world is not limited to microscopic loads. Optics in astronomical telescopes and semiconductor lithography equipment are getting larger and heavier, while alignment tolerances that need to be met are getting tighter. Hexapod parallel-kinematic motion and positioning systems are often used in multi-axis alignment […]

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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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