For the first time in Europe Physik Instrumente presented positioning systems with air bearing technology at the LASER World of Photonics conference.
Together with magnetic direct drives, PI is expanding its technological basis for developing and manufacturing precision positioning systems for automation supplementing its existing piezo nanopositioning, motorized micropositioning and Hexapod robotics product lines.
The acquisition of Nelson Air towards the end of 2014 means that the PI Group now has extensive experience in offering linear, planar and rotation stages with air bearings for industry and research. In addition to a range of standard air bearing products, custom designed systems are available.
Air bearings are essential for nanometer precision motion with extremely high velocity stability over long travel ranges. In contrast to mechanical guides, the air bearing enables the moving platform to glide over a layer of air with almost no friction at all. This means that no hysteresis or backlash occurs and when combined with linear motors, it is possible to reach very high velocities. Above all, air bearings ensure excellent guiding accuracy, which means straightness and flatness of motion well below one micrometer. This makes them ideal for meeting the requirements of tasks in high-end precision automation, manufacturing and inspection systems. Similar guiding accuracy can only be achieved by magnetic bearings or flexure joints. Both are technologies that PI also uses for specific applications.
PI covers the entire technology spectrum for motion and positioning tasks with the highest demands on precision and can provide the optimum solution based on a wide portfolio of drive, sensor and guide technologies: PI solutions include standard and custom precision motion systems from miniaturized piezo scanners with 1 nanometer resolution, to 6-axis Hexapod platforms for loads up to 1 ton.