Instrumentation equipment and precision automation systems manufacturers rely on motion components in applications from optical scanning to micro-mechanical assembly. PI supports these applications with a large variety of standard and custom motion and positioning solutions. A combination of in-house-developed and off-the-shelf mechanical and electronic components, including actuators, guiding systems, position sensors, and motion controllers, allows for great flexibility and performance at reasonable cost.
While gearbox / screw-driven positioning elements provide advantages for vertical and high force applications, direct drive electrodynamic motors are higher speed, zero-wear, and friction-free transmission devices that are preferable in positioning and scanning systems that require high dynamics & repeatability along with reliability over millions of cycles.
In addition to designing piezo-ceramic direct drive linear and rotary motors, engineers at PI have a long history of developing custom motion systems with electrodynamic motors, especially for high-precision and/or high-dynamics applications. The main goal is to achieve specific performance targets that cannot be reached by off-the-shelf products sourced from the market. Here’s a link to a paper dating back to 2000, describing a novel momentum compensated high-speed voice coil linear scanner; other examples include multi-axis Maglev systems, high-speed hexapods, and compact voice coil motors with force and position control.
This blog explains the functional principle and properties of voice coil, 3-phase linear, and torque motors, and provides examples on how performance characteristics of the various motor types can be adapted to the specific requirements of the positioning solution through an individual design, e.g., to achieve a high force density or a compact design.