- Home Home
- ProductsProductsPI is a worldwide leading supplier of solutions in the fields of motion and positioning. PI does not only develop and produce a broad range of positioning stages and actuators for linear, rotary and vertical motion or combinations of different axes. PI also adapts those solutions to customer-specific applications or supplies finished subsystems for motion and positioning.
- New Products New Products
- Product Finder Product Finder
- Customized Products Customized Products
- Nanopositioning Piezo Flexure Stages Nanopositioning Piezo Flexure Stages
- Multi-Axis Piezo Flexure Stages Multi-Axis Piezo Flexure Stages
- PIFOC® Objective & PInano® Sample Scanners for Microscopy PIFOC® Objective & PInano® Sample Scanners for Microscopy
- Linear Piezo Flexure Stages Linear Piezo Flexure Stages
- XY Piezo Flexure Stages XY Piezo Flexure Stages
- Piezo Flexure Tilting Mirrors Piezo Flexure Tilting Mirrors
- Multi-Axis Piezo Flexure Stages
- Miniature Stages Miniature Stages
- Miniature Linear Stages Miniature Linear Stages
- Miniature Rotation Stages Miniature Rotation Stages
- Miniature Hexapods Miniature Hexapods
- Miniature Linear Stages
- Linear Stages Linear Stages
- Stages with PIMag® Magnetic Direct-Drive Linear Motor Stages with PIMag® Magnetic Direct-Drive Linear Motor
- Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors
- Vertical Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors Vertical Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors
- Miniature Linear Stages Miniature Linear Stages
- Stages with PIMag® Magnetic Direct-Drive Linear Motor
- Linear Actuators Linear Actuators
- PiezoMike for Long-Term Stability PiezoMike for Long-Term Stability
- Linear Actuators with Stepper & DC Servo Motors Linear Actuators with Stepper & DC Servo Motors
- PIMag® VC Voice Coil Actuators with High Dynamics & Force Control Option PIMag® VC Voice Coil Actuators with High Dynamics & Force Control Option
- PiezoMove Lever Actuators PiezoMove Lever Actuators
- Nanopositioning Piezo Actuators Nanopositioning Piezo Actuators
- PiezoWalk® Actuators with High Force & Stability PiezoWalk® Actuators with High Force & Stability
- PiezoMike for Long-Term Stability
- Rotation Stages Rotation Stages
- XY Stages XY Stages
- Hexapods Hexapods
- Engineered Systems Engineered Systems
- Fast Multi-Channel Photonics Alignment Fast Multi-Channel Photonics Alignment Systems
- Piezoelectric Transducers & Actuators Piezoelectric Transducers & Actuators
- Air Bearings & Stages Air Bearings & Stages
- Controllers & Drivers Controllers & Drivers
- Nanopositioning Piezo Controllers Nanopositioning Piezo Controllers
- Piezo Drivers for Open-Loop Operation of Piezo Actuators Piezo Drivers for Open-Loop Operation of Piezo Actuators
- Motion Controllers & Drivers for Linear, Torque, Stepper & DC Servo Motors Motion Controllers & Drivers for Linear, Torque, Stepper & DC Servo Motors
- Controllers & Drivers for Piezomotors Controllers & Drivers for Piezomotors
- Controller Systems for Multiple Axes & Mixed Drive Types Controller Systems for Multiple Axes & Mixed Drive Types
- Hexapod Motion Controllers Hexapod Motion Controllers
- ACS Motion Control ACS Motion Control for Industrial Applications
- Nanopositioning Piezo Controllers
- Sensors, Components & Accessories Sensors, Components & Accessories
- ApplicationsApplications & MarketsPI positioning systems are employed where technology is pushed forward in industry and research. This is done, for example, in semiconductor manufacturing, in medical engineering, in biotechnology, in plant engineering, in surface metrology, or in astronomy.
- Hexapods Support Industrial Robots Hexapods Support Industrial RobotsBecause the need for multi-axis and also precision robots in production and quality processes is on the increase, industry is looking out for new types of robotics. PI offers parallel-kinematic hexapods for these tasks.
- Scientific Instrumentation Scientific InstrumentationThe term "scientific instrumentation" covers a variety of different applications, starting with microscopy via beamline processes through to the wide field of laboratory automation.
- Hexapod Systems for ALMA Hexapod Systems for ALMA
- Double-Crystal Monochromator Double-Crystal Monochromator for an X-Ray Spectrometer
- Materials Research in High Vacuum Materials Research in High Vacuum
- Active Vibration Isolation with Piezo Actuators Active Vibration Isolation with Piezo Actuators
- Drive Technology for the ELT Drive Technology for the ELT
- Hexapod Systems for ALMA
- Semiconductor Technology Semiconductor TechnologyLithographic processes are the reason why chips are getting smaller and smaller and why extremely fine structures can be realized on silicon wafers. Piezo drives have made these technical advances possible with their performance and reliability.
- Microscopy MicroscopyImaging processes increase efficiency across a number of fields, ranging from medical engineering to pharmaceutical research and manufacturing of semiconductors.
- Atomic Force Microscopy AFM Scanner for Atomic Force Microscopy
- High-Speed Microscopy High-Speed Microscopy for Quality Control
- White light interferometry 3-D Surface Inspection With Piezo-Based Positioning Systems from PI
- Atomic Force Microscopy
- Silicon Photonics Silicon PhotonicsSilicon photonics allows data rates into the Tbit/s range and is therefore suitable for computer-aided services that require the highest possible transmission speeds.
- Photonics Packaging Automated Photonics Packaging
- Optical Fiber Alignment Simultaneous Testing of Optical Components in Silicon Photonics
- Photonics Packaging
- Medical Technology Medical TechnologyProgress in pharmaceutical research, diagnostics, and therapy requires high-performance and precise position systems. In addition to high positioning precision, requirements for the drives often include compact dimensions, low energy consumption, speed, and high reliability.
- Endoscopy Chip-on-the-Tip Video Endoscopes with Miniature Drives
- Ophthalmology High-Precision Drives in Ophthalmic Surgery
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Nonsensitive Drives for Magnetic Resonance Therapy
- Optical Coherence Tomography Piezo Technology and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
- Pipetting Piezomotors for Pipetting and Nanodispensing
- Precision Dosing Dynamic Drives for Precision Dosing with Nanodispensers
- Micropumps Piezoelectric Micropumps – Compact Design and High Performance
- Image Stabilization Image Stabilization and Microscanning with Piezo Scanners
- Confocal Microscopy Adjustment of the Focal Planes in Confocal Microscopy
- Adaptive Diaphragm Positioning Adaptive Diaphragm Positioning
- Materials Research Materials ResearchEfficiency has become an important buzzword these days. Materials research has paid a major contribution as the results have, for example, optimized processing methods. Methods such as X-rays and lasers or white light interferometry demand precise positioning of the specimens to be examined and of optics or beam control.
- Parallel Kinematics for Materials Research High-Load Parallel Kinematics for Materials Research
- Laser Beam Control Piezo Drives for Laser Beam Control
- Parallel Kinematics for Materials Research
- Mechanical Engineering Mechanical EngineeringMechanical engineering and manufacturing technology require fast, reliable and energy-saving drive components. The spectrum ranges from piezo actuators to six-axis parallel kinematics which can communicate directly with CNC controls.
- Electrical Discharge Machining Piezo Actuators Accelerate Electrical Discharge Machining
- Hexapods in Mechanical Engineering Hexapods in Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Discharge Machining
- Automation AutomationPiezo drives, magnetic direct drives, and hexapods are part and parcel of automation today. They operate precisely and reliably and have proven themselves under rugged conditions.
- Smarter Motion Positioning Smarter Motion Positioning
- Hexapods in Microproduction Hexapods in Microproduction
- Hexapods for Quality Assurance Hexapods for Quality Assurance
- Magnetic Direct Drives Magnetic Direct Drives
- Motion Simulation with Hexapods Motion Simulation with Hexapods
- Flexibility in Dimensional Measuring Hexapod Systems in Automation
- Motion Compensation with Hexapods Motion Compensation with HexapodsDynamic hexapods with piezo drives: Best conditions for motion compensation.
- Fast Piezo Ultrasonic Drives Advance Technology Fast Piezo Ultrasonic Drives Advance Technology
- Smarter Motion Positioning
- Beamline Instrumentation Beamline InstrumentationScientific experiments pose their own challenges, and beamline X-ray experiments are even more special in themselves. However, the need for precision equipment is universal.
- Tomography Equipment Tomography Equipment
- Synchrotron Spectroscopy in Vacuum Synchrotron Spectroscopy in Vacuum
- Beam Preparation Beam Preparation
- Sample Positioning for Tomography Sample Positioning for Tomography
- Microscopy Microscopy
- Accelerator Technology Accelerator Technology
- Tomography Equipment
- Additive Manufacturing Additive ManufacturingDue to their high dynamics and pushing forces piezo actuators are highly suitable for the use in machines for additive manufacturing.
- TechnologyKnow-How & TechnologyPI combines its long-term experience in micro and nanopositioning technology with in-depth knowledge in the fields of mechanics, electronics, sensor engineering, and software. Thus, PI is able to offer its customers the most advanced drive technologies and system solutions.
- Piezo Technology Piezo TechnologyPI Ceramic offers a wealth of experience in the manufacturing of piezoceramic materials, components, and actuators. The piezoceramic materials can be adapted individually to perfectly fit the later use of the piezo components.
- Fundamentals of Piezo Technology Fundamentals of Piezo TechnologyPhysical basics and explanations of piezo electricity and electromechanics.
- Properties of Piezo Actuators Properties of Piezo Actuators
- Piezoceramic Materials Piezoceramic MaterialsPI Ceramic offers a variety of different piezoelectric materials including lead-free materials.
- Manufacturing Technology Manufacturing Technology
- PICMA® Technology PICMA® Technology
- Integrated Piezo Actuators Integrated Piezo Actuators
- DuraAct Patch Transducer Technology DuraAct Patch Transducer Technology
- Fundamentals of Piezo Technology
- Piezoelectric Drives Piezoelectric DrivesDepending on the configuration and control, piezoceramic actuators can be used to create translational motions or as motors with a virtually unlimited travel range. The choice of drive depends on the requirements of the application.
- Piezo Actuators Piezo Actuators with and without Guiding
- PiezoWalk® Walking Drives PiezoWalk® Walking Drives
- PILine® Ultrasonic Piezomotors PILine® Ultrasonic Piezomotors
- Piezo Inertia Drives Piezo Inertia Drives
- PiezoMike Linear Actuators PiezoMike Linear Actuators
- Comparison: Piezo Motors & Drive Technologies Comparison: Piezo Motors & Drive Technologies
- Piezo Actuators
- Electromagnetic Drives Electromagnetic DrivesRotating electric motors such as DC or stepper motors are used in connection with screw or worm drives. Stepper motor systems with high-resolution encoders can perform minimum incremental motions of 10 nm with high reliability and repeatability.
- Rotating Electric Motors Rotating Electric Motors from PI
- PIMag® Magnetic Direct Drives PIMag® Magnetic Direct Drives
- PIMag® 6-D Magnetic Levitation PIMag® 6-D Magnetic Levitation at Six Levels of Freedom
- Hybrid Concept Piezo & Motor Hybrid Concept
- Rotating Electric Motors
- Parallel Kinematics Parallel KinematicsIn a parallel-kinematic, multi-axis system, all actuators act directly on a single moving platform. This means that all axes can be designed with identical dynamic properties, thus reducing the moved mass considerably. Hexapods are used for moving and precision positioning, aligning and displacing loads in all six degrees of freedom, i.e., three linear and three rotational axes.
- Parallel Kinematics Piezo Positioning Systems with Parallel KinematicsIn a parallel-kinematic, multi-axis system, all actuators act directly on a single moving platform.
- Multi-Axis Positioners Multi-Axis Positioners and Stewart Platforms
- Hexapod as Motion Simulator Hexapod as Motion SimulatorMotion simulators have higher motion dynamics requirements (shakers).
- Software for Hexapods Hexapod 6-Axis Motion Controller and Software
- Parallel Kinematics
- Sensor Technologies Sensor TechnologiesThe linearity and repeatability achieved are not possible without highest-resolution measuring devices. Accuracies in the range of a few nanometers and below require a position measurement method that can also detect motion in this range.
- Capacitive Sensors Capacitance Nanosensors
- Incremental Sensors Linear Scale Encoders for Nanometrology & Nanopositioning
- PIOne Optical Nanometrology Encoder PIOne Optical Nanometrology Encoder
- Comparison: Position Sensor Technologies Comparison: Nanopositioning Sensor Technologies
- Capacitive Sensors
- Controllers & Software Controllers & SoftwareFast settling or extremely smooth low speed motion, high positional stability, high resolution and high dynamics – the requirements placed on piezo systems vary greatly and need drivers and controllers with a high degree of flexibility.
- Digital & Analog Interfaces Digital & Analog Interfaces
- EtherCAT Connectivity of PI Products EtherCAT Connectivity of PI Products
- Control of Piezo Actuators Piezo Controllers & Drivers for Nanopositioning Systems
- Digital Motion Controllers Digital Motion Controllers
- Software Motion Control Software from PI
- Digital & Analog Interfaces
- Guiding Systems & Force Transmission Guiding Systems & Force TransmissionFlexure joints, mechanical guide components or magnetic bearings? Which kind of guiding system PI uses in its products depends on parameters such as travel range, required precision, load, lifetime, and ambient conditions.
- Classical Guiding Systems Comparison: Classical Guiding Systems and Force Transmission
- Flexure Guiding Systems Flexure Guiding Systems for Nanopositioning & Piezo Actuators
- Magnetic Bearings Magnetic Levitation & Precision Bearings for NanopositioningMagnetic levitation allows excellent guiding accuracy in a plane, both linear and rotational.
- PIglide Air Bearing Technology PIglide Air Bearing TechnologyMulti-axis motion with nanometer precision and without friction.
- Classical Guiding Systems
- Vacuum Vacuum Compatible Linear & Rotary Stages, UHV PositionersCareful handling, adequate premises: PI does not only have the necessary equipment for the qualification of materials, components and final products, but also has many years of experience with regard to HV und UHV positioning systems.
- News & Events
- About PIAbout PI
- How to Get to PI Benelux How to Get to PI BeneluxOn this site you find our adress data and a Google Maps plugin to plan your route.
- PI Worldwide PI WorldwideThe PI Group represented by subsidiaries and dealers all over the world. Check here to find your local contact.
- Legal Information Legal Information
- 0 Quote
Parallel-Kinematic Precision Positioning Systems
Six Axes of Motion with Hexapods and SpaceFAB
- Hexapod platforms are used for moving and precision positioning, aligning and displacing loads in all six degrees of freedom, i.e., three linear and three rotational axes. Hexapods have a parallel-kinematic structure, i.e., the six drives act together on a single moving platform.
- The length of the single drives is variable, allowing the system to move in all six degrees of freedom in space. This special hexapod design optimizes the overall system stiffness and allows a large central clear aperture.
- Depending on their design, hexapods can position loads from several kg to a few hundred kg or even several tons in any spatial orientation, that is, independently of the mounting orientation and with high precision.
Motors and Drives
PI hexapods are based on >> Piezoelectric or >> Electromechanical drives and are much more accurate than the hydraulic hexapods known from flight or driving simulators. Precision leadscrew drives or magnetic or piezo-based linear motors are used. Most systems are self-locking. Direct-drive hexapods ensure higher velocities; for industrial use, brushless motors (BLDC) are particularly suitable.
The application determines the drive technologies: Hexapods with piezoelectric >> PiezoWalk® Stepping Drives for ultrahigh vacuum applications and can also be operated in very strong magnetic fields.
Hexapods for precision positioning often have cardanic joints with two orthogonally arranged axes. This is the optimum combination of two degrees of freedom and the stiffness of the structure. Ball-and-socket joints offer more degrees of freedom in a relatively simple design. However, the overall stiffness and precision can suffer in case of external loads and torque. A compensating preload is recommended but requires drives with high output forces such as >> NEXLINE® Piezo Motor Drives.
The entirety of all combinations of translations and rotations that a hexapod can approach from any given position is called the workspace; it is given in reference to the origin of the coordinate system used. The workspace can be limited by external factors such as obstacles or the dimensions and position of the load.
Advanced Motion Control
Advanced Motion Control
The individual drives of a hexapod do not necessarily point in the direction of motion, which is why a powerful controller that can handle the required coordinate transformations in real time is needed.
PI uses advanced digital controllers along with user-friendly software. All motion commands are specified in Cartesian coordinates, and all transformations to the individual actuators take place inside the controller.
An important hexapod property is the freely definable pivot point. The possibility to rotate around any point in space opens up new application possibilities, and the hexapod platform can be integrated in the overall process.
Hexapod SpaceFAB Design 6 struts with variable length or moving joints act on a moving platform 3 XY act in parallel on a moving platform Geometry Compact surface Low height Linear travel ranges in a plane Limited Flexibly by selecting XY stages Linear vertical travel range Long Limited Rotatory travel ranges Large tilt around X and Y axes possible Limited Stiffness High vertical stiffness High stiffness in X and Y
In case of serially stacked systems, the lowest axis not only moves the mass of the payload but also the mass all other following drives.
Parallel-kinematics Serial stacked design Dimensions Compact set-up Relatively high set-up, stabilization at base required Moved mass Platform plus load Each stage carries the ones positioned on top plus the load and has to be designed accordingly Dynamics / stiffness Due to the low moved mass, relatively high, the same for all motion axes Dynamic axes should be places as far on top as possible Accuracy The same for all motion axes Errors add up from "bottom" to "top", high parallel error due to set-up height Cable management No moving cables, no effect on accuracy Required Commands PI motion controllers can be used to save commands in Cartesian coordinates; they transform these commands into the motion of the individual struts Cartesian, individually for each axis Pivot point Any point in space can be selected by means of PI software Defined by selection of stage geometries Work space Generally limited Defined by selection of stage geometries
Hexapods in Automation: Control and Interfaces for Easy Integration
Precision path control with jerk limiting
The hexapod controller makes motion possible on the basis of complex trajectories with defined velocity and acceleration. Like this, >> Hexapods in Mechanical Engineering can, for example, move a workpiece or tool jerk controlled and with high precision during machining without the mechanical system starting to vibrate.
User-Defined Coordinate Systems
To adapt the trajectory perfectly to the requirements of the application, it is possible to define various coordinate systems which refer, for example, to the position of workpiece or tool. This offers great advantages for applications in industrial automation, but also for fiber alignment.
EtherCAT interface: Standardized >> Fieldbus Interfaces guarantee an easy connection to parent PLC or CNC controls so that hexapods can work synchronously with other components in one automation line.
Parallel-Kinematic Precision Positioning SystemsTEC73 10/2017English