Precise positioning solutions really can be low cost

Piezoelectric actuators for various levels of integration

(PresseBox) (Karlsruhe, ) Those who prefer to use OEM products for technical or financial reasons can now keep the investment costs at a relatively low level even for demanding positioning tasks. Physik Instrumente (PI) from Karlsruhe in Germany, now offers a number of leveramplified actuators in its PiezoMove Series (Figure 1), which cover the level of integration between preloaded stack actuators (displacement up to around 100 µm) and complete, multiaxis stages in PI's comprehensive product program. The leveramplified actuators have the piezo actuators mechanically integrated into flexures. This improves the guiding precision; there is no danger of rotation or lateral displacement. At the same time, the flexures translate the displacement of the piezo into larger travel ranges. Leveramplified actuators are much smaller than nanopositioning systems and are thus easy to integrate. This compact size limits the choice of sensors and the realization of parallelkinematics multiaxis solutions, however.

The leveramplified actuators in the PiezoMove series are available in three versions to cover different user requirements: P-601 leveramplified actuators have travel ranges up to 400 ?m, a high positioning accuracy and very compact dimensions. P-602 leveramplified actuators operate with large travel ranges up to 1 mm. Thanks to their extremely flexible design, multilayer actuators with a footprint of 10 by 10 mm can be used here to increase the stiffness and thus produce greater force generation.

And last but not least, P-603 leveramplified actuators achieve travel ranges up to 500 µm and are designed for particularly costoptimized largescale production.

Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG

Over the last four decades, the Karlsruhebased company has become the leading manufacturer of nanopositioning technology. PI is a private company with healthy growth, more than 500 employees worldwide and a flexible, vertically integrated organization which enables PI to fulfill almost any request in the field of innovative precision positioning technology. All key technologies are developed inhouse. This means that every phase from the design right down to the shipment can be controlled: The precision mechanics and the electronics as well as the position sensors and the piezo ceramics or actuators. The latter are produced by the subsidiary company PI Ceramic. PI has its own sales and service offices in all important markets. Moreover, the company maintains testing devices for nanometrology on three continents. PI Shanghai and USA have additional development and manufacturing resources which allow rapid local reaction to customengineered specifications.

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