PI Benelux

PI is the world’s leading provider of nanopositioning products and systems. All key technologies are developed, manufactured and qualified in-house by PI: Piezo components, actuators and motors, magnetic drives, guiding systems, nanometrology sensors, electronic amplifiers, digital controllers and software.

PI 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.

PI 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.

high tech bedrijven PI Benelux BP12


PIRest Actuators: Active Shims with Long-Term Stability and Nanometer Resolution

April 20, 2024

Applications for active shims can be found everywhere, where the gap between two assemblies is critical and needs to be readjusted as a result of drifting or changes in tolerance. Particularly when the ambient conditions and the accessibility make manual intervention complicated, PIRest actuators are a feasible option. Read more

The Laser Interferometer Antenna (LISA) mission that will utilize PI’s hexapod for building, is officially a go

April 6, 2024

A few weeks ago, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission was officially approved, and PI’s hexapod will help to build the laser interferometer. LISA, a project of European Space Agency – ESA, is way more sensitive than previous ground-based detectors and aims to detect gravitational waves from extremely massive black holes. Read more [Picture source: PI (Physik Instrumente) Group on linkedin.com]

Why Frictionless Air Bearings Enable Precise Force Control & Position Control Applications

February 23, 2024

Motion control systems, which typically control the position of stage or actuator, are sometimes tasked to provide both position and force control. These systems work in a dual mode, where the motion controller either controls the position or the force applied. In force-control mode, the motion stage must apply a controlled force while the position can vary. In position control mode, the stage position is controlled via closed-loop servo, using a position encoder as feedback. When coupled with a direct-drive linear motor, the lack of friction in an air bearing means that the driving system (motor, controller, drive) can transduce electrical current directly into applied force. The absence of friction in the bearing means that no parasitic forces are present, and force can be directly controlled via the closed-loop servo, without the need for an external force sensor. Read more

Motion Control Technique Improves Laser Micro-Hole Drilling Performance 

February 10, 2024

New Piezo-Based Approach Enables Breakthrough Speed and Accuracy. Laser drilling precision and throughput are limited by a number of factors including optical distortion, tracking accuracy, acceleration limits of motion stages, and focus control performance. This new motion control technology is designed to enhance the precision and accuracy of laser drilling for a wide range of target applications, including aerospace, medical, electronics, and automotive. With our state-of-the-art motion control systems, we offer the foundation to help you design your next generation laser drilling system. Watch the video

How to Use Hexapod 6-DOF Motion and Positioning Systems

February 3, 2024

Hexapod positioning systems (Stewart Platforms) are versatile tools for multi-axis positioning and motion simulation applications. Hexapods provide 6 degrees of freedom and a user programmable center of rotation (pivot point) that allows extraordinary flexibility in alignment applications. Read more

Hexapod technology is pushing the boundaries of optics, microscopy, and radiology

January 27, 2024

At PI we have been working hard behind the scenes to expand our hexapod production and shorten lead times, for our customers. This blog article highlights some of the growing applications of miniature six-axis positioning systems. Read more [Picture source: PI BeNeLux B.V. on linkedin.com]

Already in Orbit: PI Space-Qualified Series Systems for LEO Satellites

January 13, 2024

Tip/tilt mirrors for beam stabilization are essential subsystems for free-space optical communication networks. With the rapid development of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite networks, the need for such subsystems is growing rapidly. Tip/tilt mirrors from Physik Instrumente (PI) have already proven their space qualification on several occasions. Now, they are proving their value in various satellite networks. Both piezo-based and electromagnetic series systems and operator-specific system solutions from PI meet the necessary technical and economic specifications. Read more

System with 6 Degrees of Freedom for Aligning Fibers and Optical Components

January 6, 2024

The basis of the fiber alignment system is a very stiff setup with an H-811 hexapod and an P-616 NanoCube® nanopositioner. The parallel-kinematic design for motion in degrees of freedom ensures high system stiffness. The motorreed drives make longer travel ranges possible and at the same time, the NanoCube® nanopositioner ensures fast scanning motion and dynamic compensation of drift effects. Flexure guides and all-ceramic insulated PICMA® actuators guarantee a long lifetime. Because all drives are equipped with position sensors, it is possible for example, to reliably prevent collisions with expensive silicon wafers. Read more

PI Group Strengthens Market Presence of ACS Motion Control in EMEA and APAC

December 9, 2023

Physik Instrumente (PI) now also offers sales and technical support for ACS Motion Control’s high-performance motion controller and servo drive products in the EMEA and APAC regions. This new agreement strengthens the proximity Andy availability of the brand in addition to its strong presence in the USA, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as China and Korea. Now, ACS products are accessible to motion control system designers in high-tech equipment fields such as semiconductor and display manufacturing, laser material processing, additive manufacturing, and life science applications. This enables them to increase equipment throughput and accuracy thanks to the extensive PI Group technical sales and support network. Read more

Hexapod Production: PI Substantially Increases Production Capacities

December 2, 2023

Based on a comprehensive analysis of the production processes for hexapods, Physik Instrumente (PI) has adapted its production capacities to the sharp increase in demand and is prepared to expand them even further if required. The focus of the restructuring was the optimization and relocation of the entire “Hexapods” production area to newly designed premises, as well as the expansion of the workforce. The measures are an integral part of the company-wide investment program with a volume of more than sixty-three million euros. The aim is to capitalize on PI’s above-average growth opportunities in the markets Industrial Automation, Semiconductor and Photonics, as well as Microscopy and Life Sciences. Read more

Innovation Hub in Karlsruhe: PI Intensifies Cooperation with Science

September 23, 2023

Physik Instrumente (PI) is intensifying its cooperation with leading universities and research institutions. To do so, the specialist for piezo technology, nano positioning, and performance automation is transferring areas from research and development to so-called “innovation hubs” in close proximity to technical universities and colleges. Read more

How will you use our Piezo technology to drive your innovation?

September 16, 2023

From cryogenic applications to quantum computing and even active vibration control: the future of Piezo is bright and full of opportunities! Watch the video

Reach the Next Level of High-Precision Positioning with Magnetic Levitation

August 5, 2023

The combination of magnetic guidings and dedicated high precision drive and sensor technologies provides high dynamics and highest resolutions down to the picometer range. Read more

Precision Motion Control in Laser Machining, Cutting

June 10, 2023

Recent successes in laser processing come down to a tandem of progression in ultra-short pulse laser technologies, motion control and industrial automation. In order to direct the laser beam precisely to where its energy is needed, either the beam can be manipulated, or the sample that needs to be machined or processed may be manipulated instead. This is possible by steering the beam with a set of movable mirrors, often called a Galvo Scanner, or by moving the sample in the X and Y coordinate. High end solutions combine both methods to achieve greater precision and speed. Read more and watch the video

Integrated Granite Motion Systems vs Positioning Stages Mounted on a Granite Base

May 25, 2023

When it comes to high precision, granite-based, multi-axis motion systems, manufacturers have two fundamental options: Design a motion system where the granite base becomes an integral part, with bearings mounted directly on the granite slab and no need for a base plate – or, use off-the-shelf, discrete motion / positioning stages and mount them on a granite base or split-bridge granite structure. The decision for each individual case depends on a number of factors which will be discussed below, as both of these multi-axis motion platform designs have specific advantages and limitations. Read more

What is Active Alignment in Optics and Camera Manufacturing?

Active alignment is the type of sensor alignment that uses the real-time images to assist in the positioning of the sensor. The X and Y position, degrees of rotation, tilt, and back focal distance are all measured via feedback from the sensor as it is being aligned. Read more

Gantry Motion Platforms to Support 3D Printing

May 20, 2023

With PI Motion, high performance 3D Print Systems can be built in a matter of days, work with industrial standard STL files, and offer the highest level of performance. Read more

Photonics Alignment Solutions explained

February 24, 2023

In this video PI’s Scott Jordan explains the latest alignment solutions for a variety of photonics applications. Watch the video

Magnetic Levitation Nanopositioning Stage w/6DOF Control | Technology Demonstrator

February 10, 2023

Magnetic levitation or MagLev technology allows frictionless motion with resolution down to the sub-nanometer range as well as the active control of all 6 degrees of freedom, without any mechanical restrictions or connections. Instead of traditional mechanical bearings, such as crossed-rollers, the moving platform is floating on and guided by magnetic fields that are calculated by sophisticated control algorithms. Watch the video

Physik Instrumente Takes Over IBS Ingenieurbüro

January 14, 2023

As of January 01, 2023, Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG takes on 53 engineers, software experts, and other specialists from the insolvent IBS Ingenieurbüro Dr. Klaus Schnürer GmbH and establish a new subsidiary within the PI Group. Read more

Air Bearing Motion Systems Design & Manufacturing: Insights Into PI USA’s Design Operation

January 7, 2023

Air bearing slides and air bearing tables provide high performance motion for applications that require 24/7 operation with high speed, precision and repeatability and without the need for maintenance. Air bearings precision motion systems are used in linear tables, rotation tables and also in multi-axis gantry robots. On the other end of the spectrum, air bearings can be designed for miniaturized nano-positioning stage applications. A place with a great deal of experience in the design and manufacture of air bearing motion systems is on the US East Coast in Massachusetts. Watch the video

Seam Sealing of Electronic Packages Using Pulsed Laser Sources

July 9, 2022

To protect sensitive electronic components from contaminants seeping in and to ensure safe and reliable operation, the components’ housing must be sealed hermetically. Using a laser source as a tool provides high welding speeds and produces fine welding seams with narrow welding radiuses. Read more: Read more

Enabling the Production of Photonic Devices w/ faster Alignment Automation Stages & Algorithms

June 9, 2022

Automation of alignment in photonics device test, production and assembly is crucial for boosting throughput. Faster multi-axis photonics and fiber alignment stages and improved algorithms are the base for any automated production line. Scott Jordan, Physik Instrumente’s Head of Photonics, explains how PI’s motion systems enable simultaneous active alignment of several optical components achieving 99% reduction in alignment times. Watch the video

Photonics Device Sequencing: Speed up Test / Manufacture of LIDAR, Lenses, Lasers, Quantum Computing

March 5, 2022

PI’s Fast Laser Steering Mirrors for 2-Axis Beam Control & Optical Communication

February 10, 2022

Scalable Integrated Multi-Axis System to Accelerate the Implementation of Precision Automation

January 4, 2022

X-417 Integrated Multi-Axis System: Scalable standard integration levels for fast configuration, delivery and startup to accelerate the implementation of precision automation processes such as laser micromachining, 3D printing, test and inspection. Watch the video

Precision Motion Control for Lasers Processing

December 9, 2021

Recent successes in laser processing come down to a tandem of progression in ultra-short pulse laser technologies, motion control and industrial automation. In order to direct the laser beam precisely to where its energy is needed, either the beam can be manipulated, or the sample that needs to be machined or processed may be manipulated instead. This is possible by steering the beam with a set of movable mirrors, often called a Galvo Scanner, or by moving the sample in the X and Y coordinate. High end solutions combine both methods to achieve greater precision and speed. Read more

Configuring Sample Stages

November 19, 2021

The precise and fast movement of the sample or the objective play a crucial role for achieving good results when working with light microscopes. The demands on stages and scanners are manifold. In addition to the position resolution, which directly correlates with the optical resolution of the microscope, velocity and dynamics are other elemental requirements for the motion system. Furthermore, the availability of holders for inserts such as petri dishes, well plates, and slides is fundamental for sample stages. Read more

The Flamingo Microscopy Project: Interview with Prof. Jan Huisken

October 6, 2021

Professor Dr. Jan Huisken, Director of Medical Engineering at Morgridge Institute for Research, explains in an interview the technology and the philosophy of the Flamingo project and how the cooperation with PI has come about. Watch the video

Fully-Automated Testing of Silicon Photonics at Wafer Level

October 1, 2021

The integration of photonic structures or elements (e.g. waveguides, laser and photodiodes, multiplexer) on a silicon chip presents, already at wafer level, a multitude of new challenges for the testing technology of these elements. In order to transmit the design of the structure, from the concept through its qualification up to series production, a very large amount of performance data of the respective element is required. Read more

Creating the Perfect Cutting Edge

September 25, 2021

Glass is indispensable for the modern consumer industry. The transparent material is used mainly for displays on smartphones, tablets, and screens. The demands on glass processing have also increased considerably because of the constant further development and large-scale production of these products. Read more

Systems Approach Provides Nanometer Precision for Industrial Applications

September 18, 2021

High performance motion control plays a key part in positioning and handling applications, such as those in semiconductor manufacturing, laser and materials processing, optical inspection systems, additive manufacturing or industrial digital printing. In addition to providing reliability and robustness, deterministic behavior with minimized latency, high-speed synchronization with external devices, such as lasers and cameras, is required to achieve sub-micrometer path accuracy, exact positioning repeatability, high dynamics, and throughput. Safety, ease of operation, and state-of-the-art connectivity for integration into industrial network environments are further requirements. Read more

Enabling High Functional Density of Printed Circuit Boards with Motion Control Solutions for Laser Drilling

September 10, 2021

Smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, industry electronics, electric car, camera and security systems, hearing aids, or pace makers – none of these technologies can do without the printed circuit board (PCB). It makes electronic devices come to life and makes trends in developments possible. The 6G cellular networks standard, autonomous driving, or M2M communication with their ever increasing data rates or quantities and high power densities cannot exist without the PCB. These trends set new standards for connectivity – it must be more functional, more compact, and more affordable. Read more

Miniature Air Bearing Linear Slide with Voice Coil Linear Motor for Nanopositioning / Cleanroom Applications

August 14, 2021

High-end automation, manufacturing, metrology, and test applications rely on precision motion control systems. In 24/7 operations, maintenance-free positioning systems gather additional bonus points and when a motion principle also is devoid of particle generation, people who design products in cleanrooms, such as optical and semiconductor process and test engineers, are happy, too. Read more and watch the video 

What is the Difference between Parallel Positioners and Stacked Serial Kinematics?

August 7, 2021

When faced with a multi-axis motion application, many users stack motion stages, and in fact that is a fine approach for assemblies of just a few axes. But as applications become more complex, so do the equivalent stacks-of-stages, and very real and practical considerations begin to come into play. Read more

New Vertical Positioning System

May 25, 2021

Vertical positioning systems with large travel range, high dynamics and precision are required in numerous applications in microscopy and industry. With the new V-308 voice coil PIFOC, PI now offers a magnetic direct drive based solution that unites all these requirements. Read more

Piezoelectric Transducers on Mars Rover

May 21, 2021

Any instrument to survive the trip to and operating conditions on Mars needs to be designed to withstand the most adversary conditions. NASA’s Rover Curiosity has been analyzing mineral probes on the Red Planet for years to find out whether there once was life on Mars. A piezoelectric high performance and high precision shaking mechanism was designed to sort particles drilled from rock samples and aid the Robot’s chemical analysis. The piezoelectric actuators were run 100 Billion test cycles before the trip to make sure they were tough enough. Watch the video

Engineered Subsystems for Automation

April 23, 2021

Precision components, stable control and a great deal of experience in engineering are essential for high-precision complex motion and positioning solutions. PI is a supplier of technologically sophisticated motion-centric solutions and therefore makes use of own drive components and high-precision positioners. All levels of integration can be offered up to multi-axis combinations that use different drive technologies including motion control. Read more

New Vertical Positioning System with High Dynamics, Large Travel Range, and Weight Force Compensation

April 7, 2021

From genome sequencing through multiphoton fluorescence microscopy, deep tissue inspection, laser materials processing, and wafer inspection to magnetic tweezers in research … vertical positioning systems with large travel range, high dynamics and precision are required in numerous applications in microscopy and industry. With the new V-308 voice coil PIFOC, PI now offers a magnetic direct drive based solution that unites all these requirements. Read more

Positioning Solutions for the Next Technology Node in Semiconductor Manufacturing.

April 3, 2021

PI supports semiconductor equipment suppliers worldwide with high-precision and reliable motion and control solutions in order to fulfill the high demands in semiconductor manufacturing: Both in the production and development of components used in systems and machines as well as for use in the highly sensitive semiconductor manufacturing processes themselves, e.g. for positioning and aligning masks, wafers or optics. Read more and watch the video

PI (Physik Instrumente) Acquires Japanese Granite and Systems Specialist P·G·W

March 19, 2021

The market and technology leader for high-precision positioning technology and piezo applications, PI (Physik Instrumente), Karlsruhe, Germany, has acquired 100% of the Japanese company P·G·W Precision Granite W Co. Ltd. The acquisition was completed on February 25th, 2021. Read more

Wafer Inspection Stage

February 13, 2021

New leadership at PI Benelux, Erik Reichardt takes over from Dick Moerman

January 13, 2021

We welcomed the new year with some fresh leadership at PI Benelux. Erik Reichardt takes over from Dick Moerman in the role of Managing Director. Dick stays in the PI family and will take on a new challenge at corporate in Karlsruhe. “I am looking forward to see Erik take off and shine in his new position.” Read more

Start of Photonics Assembly Consortium: PODIUM

December 17, 2020

Today Chip Integration Technology Center (CITC), Tegema, PI (Physik Instrumente) and PHIX released their new Photonics Assembly Consortium called PODIUM, funded by PhotonDelta and CITC. The name PODIUM refers to PIC Open Development Infrastructure for Universal Markets. The consortium runs a program in which optical termination technology, assembly and packaging is developed for a wide range of integrated photonic applications. Read more

Hexapods Help to Improve Precision and Speed in the Analysis of Aspherical Lenses

November 14, 2020

Aspherical lenses have rotationally symmetrical optics around the optical axis, whose radius of curvature changes radially with the distance from the center. This allows optical systems to achieve high image quality, whereby the number of elements required decreases and that saves on both costs and weight. However, for manufacturers, testing the aspheric shape accuracy, which means the quality of these types of lenses, is a considerable challenge: It requires measuring the tiniest deviations in shape in the nanometer range while making short measuring and setup times possible. Read more and watch the video

HIFU transducers

October 16, 2020

Ultrasound is a versatile technology that is becoming increasingly important in medical technology. One of the many examples: Tissue areas can be manipulated in a targeted manner, e.g. to destroy cancerous tumors. For more examples and explanations, download the whitepaper and find out more about HIFU transducers!

PIOne Sensors – High Performance for Nanopositioning Systems

August 28, 2020

Piezo stepping drives or magnetic drives enable high-precision positioning over large travel ranges. However, high resolution and linearity over large travel ranges can only be achieved with highest resolution measuring systems and method. Read more

System Overview: Positioning Stages for Inverse Microscopy

August 14, 2020

Users are often faced with the challenge of combining seemingly conflicting requirements for the positioning system in their microscope. On the one hand, for example, large travel ranges need to be covered at the highest possible speeds, on the other hand, many microscopy techniques require positioning accuracies of far less than 100 nanometers. Read more

What is the Difference between a Piezo Actuator and a Programmable Piezo Shim?

August 1, 2020

A new technology, also based on the piezo effect, can be utilized in situations where high resolution and stability are crucial, but a continuous drive voltage is unwanted and accessibility for manual adjustment is not possible. Read more

Surgical Robots for Ophthalmology

July 11, 2020

Nowadays, ametropia can be corrected in up to high diopter ranges thanks to refractive operation techniques. In ophthalmology, the shape of the cornea is modeled in the optical axis by removing corneal tissue with laser beams so that the resulting refractive power of the cornea matches the length of the eyeball again. The laser beam control and focusing requires high-precision positioning systems. Read more

The summit of data hunger is rising, here’s how to conquer it

July 1, 2020

The hunger for data rises exponentially. Globally, we generate 2,5 quintillion bytes of data each day. In 2015, data centers all over the world consumed 40 percent more electricity than the entire UK in that same year. As consumers, we demand more and more from our devices and from the internet of things. Consequently, the technology behind our products, becomes more ingenious by the day. As a result, conventional interconnect technology is hardly sufficient anymore and even faces signal degradation. Read more

Ultrasonic Metering in Intensive Care Devices

June 20, 2020

Intensive care is an increasingly important area of hospital patient care, especially in global medical crises like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Viruses and other infections particularly affect people with pre-existing conditions such as renal or cardiovascular diseases. In regard to the treatment and therapy of such illnesses, the demands on the medical devices used are ever increasing as well. Piezo technology offers various possibilities to improve them: Using piezo transducers, for example, makes intensive care devices such as infusion systems smarter and facilitates vital patient monitoring. Read more

Piezo Technology for Medical Ventilators and Nebulizers

May 21, 2020

Ventilators provide a mixture of air and oxygen to the patient while ensuring the adequate pressure to ventilate the lungs. Valve functions with flow rates from high to low velocity can be implemented using piezo technology: piezo actuators switch valves directly or work against a closing spring or a flexible tube for volume displacement. Read more

Laser Material Processing

May 20, 2020

Today, lasers are used in a wide variety of processes in many industrial sectors to optimize manufacturing process and ensure the high quality of components. This for example, is how the electronics business sector or the semiconductor industry benefits from the advanced capabilities for laser technology. Read more

How an Industrial Safety Concept Can Be Combined with a Hexapod

May 8, 2020

Strict regulations apply for the safety of personnel in manufacturing environments. When fast movements are carried out and large forces act, it is necessary to take special safety measures. Typically barriers, e.g. fences that spatially separate people from the machines, are common and relatively easy-to-integrate solutions. However, if mechanical systems cannot be installed or if the work process is influenced by them, contact-free safety concepts such as a light grid or a light curtain can be used. A light curtain forms a close-meshed protective field and, therefore, secures the access to the danger zone. Read more

Automated alignment: a game-changer in quantum photonics

April 24, 2020

With a focus on parallel optimization and nanoscale accuracy, precision positioning specialist PI is streamlining the optical alignment, test and packaging of quantum photonic devices. Read more [Source: physicsworld]

TEGEMA Leverages PI Technology in Revolutionary Photonics Assembly Platform Partnership

April 15, 2020

The Dutch system integrator TEGEMA and Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG have started a cooperation to develop automated systems for assembly and packaging technology in the photonics industry. Read more

Active Alignment – the Answer to Ever Rising Requirements in the Assembly of Delicate Optical Systems

March 18, 2020

Conventional assembly automation techniques cannot provide the continuous improvement in cost and yield necessary for today’s environment. PI’s groundbreaking parallel gradient search allows simultaneous optimization of multiple degrees of freedom, elements and channels. Read more

Choosing the Right Hexapod Model: Software from PI Simulates Real Application Situation

February 20, 2020

Which hexapod is suitable for a specific application and how do external factors influence the limits of the workspace and load? With the hexapod simulation tool from PI (Physik Instrumente) you can check even before making a decision on which model to buy if a hexapod is suitable for the positioning task at hand and if it is, which model exactly is suitable.  Read more

Piezo Transducers, Actuators, and Motor Drive Solutions for Medical Engineering

January 22, 2020

Medical engineering and life-science disciplines have multi-faceted requirements for motion and positioning equipment: the spectrum spans from ultrasonic transducers to simple low-energy drive components to high-precision positioning systems and ultra-fast actuators for valve and pumping applications.

Piezoceramic transducers and motor drives meet these needs and have a long track record of reliability and ruggedness in industries such as semiconductor manufacturing and optical technologies. Read more