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 […]

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 […]

X-Ray Microscopy & Quality Assurance of Optical Elements – The MiQA System

56-Axes, 20 Tons, Nanometer Precision MiQA is a 20-ton, 56-axis motion system of extraordinary precision, designed for beam lines around synchrotrons and will be used for x-ray microscopy and quality assurance of x-ray optics such as lenses. The system is equipped with 56 motors, 16 controllers, 7 air bearing granite sliders, and has an overall […]

Nano-3D Manufacturing Technology with Piezo Mechanisms and Laser Lithography

3D printing and additive manufacturing are gaining traction in prototyping and industrial manufacturing of complex parts. Typical 3D printers can produce feature sizes down to a few 10 microns. Significantly higher resolution is available with a new laser lithography system. Here the production of complex three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures is based on photosensitive materials. In […]

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 […]

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 […]

Adaptive Optics – the Next Generation. 11,000 Actuators to Aid Search for Exoplanets with the E-ELT

PI and Fraunhofer IOF Cooperate on New Large Scale Adaptive Optics Project   Piezo-driven active mirrors (tip/tilt motion) and adaptive mirrors (multiple actuators deforming the mirror surface) have been employed in most high-end astronomical telescopes for more than two decades. The resolution gain compared to passive mirrors is typically more than one order of magnitude. […]

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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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