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


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

A Brilliant Interpretation of Light Sheet Microscopy

November 26, 2019

The motion system employed to move the four objectives is of great importance for the structure of the microscope. For this purpose, a highly compact PIHera P-622.1 precision positioning system with 300 µm travel (alternatively 900 µm) per objective is used, each controlled by a E-709.CHG controller. Read more

PIMag®: Voice Coil, Linear, and Torque Motors Developed In-House

November 2, 2019

Mr. Wins, for your magnetic linear and rotation stages you rely mainly on strong suppliers from the motor industry. With the Driven by PIMag® brand name you are increasingly strengthening your company’s expertise in motor design, construction, and manufacturing. What is the motivation behind it? Read more

Precision XY Stages for High Travel Accuracy and Stability

October 19, 2019

Optical inspection, laser cutting or marking, but also industrial measuring technology and microscopy require positioning systems which offer high travel accuracy and stability and that are as fast as possible in order to achieve high throughput. To be able to offer solutions to the most diverse applications, PI (Physik Instrumente) has two product lines of XY stages with different kinds of motors in its portfolio. Read more

Miniature Linear Stages for Precision Automation

October 11, 2019

The new linear stages in the L-505 series from PI (Physik Instrumente) offer precision and high load capacity on a compact installation space. This opens up new possibilities for positioning tasks in industrial environments. Read more

Miniaturized Piezo Tubes in High-Resolution Fiber Scanning Endoscopy

September 18, 2019

Segmented piezo tubes offer not only radial and axial deflection, but also a scan movement in the xy plane when the segments are specifically controlled. PI Ceramic manufactures these piezo tubes in series in a wide variety of designs – with the narrowest tolerances of 0.05 mm and the smallest outside diameters of only 0.45 mm. Read more

Integrated XY Linear Stage with Linear Piezo Motor for Microscopy

September 12, 2019

XY Linear Stages with piezo motors provide high resolution and stability. The ceramic linear motors are self-clamping and eliminate drift and vibrations that can occur with conventional motors.

Piezo Transducers & Piezo Components for OEM’s – Flexible Printed Circuit Boards

August 23, 2019

Custom piezo transducers for OEM’s with pre-configured connectors and flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs). These piezo components are designed for easy integration in any application from medical imaging to aerospace.

New Active Alignment System for the Coupling of Photonic Structures to Fiber Arrays

August 3, 2019

In the packaging and testing of photonic components, the optical alignment must be repeated at multiple process steps and it, therefore, plays a decisive role in production economics. PI’s new F-712.HU1 fiber alignment system speeds up this process by typically two orders of magnitude, enabling significant cost savings. Article

Maglev, Air Bearing and Hexapod Technologies for Semiconductor and Photonics Applications

July 11, 2019

The Video shows examples of high precision motion systems used for test, inspection and production of semiconductor and photonics related products: Magnetic Levitation, Air Bearing Multi-Axis Stages and fast 6-DOF Motion Platforms (Hexapod) for image stabilization testing.

XY-Direct Drive Stage w/ Linear Motor & ACS Controller: for fast Scanning & Alignment

July 6, 2019

The demo shows high speed scan and alignment motion with two direct-drive linear motor stages (Model V-508) run by an ACS controller with intelligent alignment algorithms. More information on XY stages is here.

XY Stages for Industrial and Routine Microscopy Applications

June 28, 2019
Especially in the construction of automated microscope systems for quality control or the screening of biological samples, costs of subsystems play a significant role. With the mechanical stage M 971, Physik Instrumente (PI) provides an alternative.

PI now offers manufacturers of automated microscope systems for material testing, inspection or biotechnology an inexpensive XY table, which is characterized by particularly high stability. Read more

PI 6-DOF Hexapod Motion Platforms for Image Stabilization / Camera Algorithm Testing

June 12, 2019

Optical Power Meter for Applications in Silicon Photonics (SiP)

May 24, 2019

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The new F 712.PM1 optical power meter from PI (Physik Instrumente) supports the optimal alignment of SiP components (e.g., waveguides/diodes) to peripherals (e.g., glass fibers). The transmitted light power characterizes the accuracy of the positioning. This plays a decisive role both in the functional testing of optical devices on silicon photonic wafers (wafer probing) and in the test and packaging of integrated photonic circuits (PICs). Read more

Making Better Microscopes with PI Nanopositioning Equipment – Witec

May 11, 2019

Find out how WITec – a manufacturer of high-resolution near-field atomic force microscopes and confocal Raman systems – can provide superior instruments with nano-positioning technology from PI ─ since the company started 21 years ago!

Motion Controller Adapts to Different Loads in Real Time: ServoBoost™

May 4, 2019

ServoBoost™ is a real-time automatic adaption to load changes for ACS motion controllers: The video shows how an ACS motion controller with ServoBoost™ automatically maintains the performance and stability of a high-precision motion stage despite a significant load changes.

Digital Piezo Controller with EtherCAT®

April 18, 2019

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There are more and more applications in the industrial environment for high-precision, piezo-based positioning systems; semiconductor manufacturing is a typical example of this. As a solution supplier for drive technology and positioning systems, PI (Physik Instrumente) therefore offers the E-727 piezo controller in a new variant. Read more

XY Voice Coil Stage – Compact, Fast, Precise Motion Control – V-528

April 4, 2019

Voice Coil linear motors provide friction-less, maintenance-free motion in a compact package. The V-528 linear stage shown in the video can be arranged in an XY configuration. It provides 20mm travel range (5mm and 10mm versions are also available). An integrated optical linear encoder (10nm resolution) is used for position feedback to a compact 2 channel controller. More info

Sub-Nanometer Resolution Piezo Linear Motor – V8 Piezo Motor with Zygo Interferometer

March 30, 2019

Closing the loop on a V8 piezo linear motor with a laser interferometer: resolution down to 0.15 nanometers is achievable. More information on the PiezoWalk linear motor.

Gantry & Hexapod for Industrial Photonics Alignment & Packaging Automation, Fiber Array Alignment

February 28, 2019

Combining parallel kinematic 6-Axis motion systems, gantries and fast alignment algorithms allows higher throughput in fiber array alignment. Efficient algorithms provide simultaneous alignment of array-device input and output, for test and attachment. Hexapod 6-Axis robotic positioners provide 6-DOF motion. More information

Brochure: Nanopositioning for Microscopy

February 2, 2019

In microscopy, the exact positioning of samples and objectives is a prerequisite for reliably obtaining interpretable image data. In the new brochure “Nanopositioning for Microscopy”, PI (Physik Instrumente) provides an overview of relevant positioning solutions based on numerous application examples. The brochure “Nanopositioning for Microscopy” provides a comprehensive overview of PI’s positioning solutions for microscopy. Read more

Testing and Manufacturing of High Load Hexapods

January 29, 2019

V-508 Compact Linear Motor Stage – Nanometer Resolution Positioning

January 26, 2019

Video shows a V-508 compact linear stage driven by a electromagnetic linear motor. Linear motors provide smooth motion, rapid acceleration and very long life time (no friction, no maintenance).
An integrated linear encoder provides nanometer position resolution. More on the performance of linear motor stages. More info

Fully Integrated Fast Alignment Routines in a Cost-Effective Solution

January 18, 2019

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The new F-131 Modular XYZ Photonic Alignment System from Physik Instrumente (PI) is an excellent foundation for developing, studying and pursuing manufacturing and testing of photonic components. It integrates a reconfigurable stack of three precision, closed-loop DC motor stages with 15mm travel range plus a closed-loop XYZ Nanocube piezo flexure stage capable of high speed and 2nm resolutions. Read more

Multi-Axis Motion System for Touch Screen Performance Test

January 12, 2019

Single and Two-Axis Ultrasonic Piezo Positioning Systems

November 20, 2018

high tech bedrijven pi 181120

Positioning systems with ultrasonic piezo motors are very suitable for applications that require fast and precise positioning and only allow limited installation space, for example, micromanipulation or for positioning samples and lenses in microscopy as well as processes in medical technology and biomedical engineering. Read more

6D Non-Contact Surface Metrology for Aspheric Optics with 6-Axis Hexapod Motion System

November 9, 2018

6-Axis Hexapod precision positioning systems from PI can help speed up measurements of aspheric surfaces. Testing aspherical shape accuracy can be a major challenge for the manufacturer when deviations in the nanometer range need to be measured and high throughput is required. The system shown here, based on a new interferometer designed by metrology specialist Mahr utilizes a 6-axis hexapod motion and positioning system from PI. More information: https://www.pi-usa.us/en/tech-blog/fast-non-contact-asphere-surface-metrology-aided-by-hexapod-6-axis-motion-system

Faster Nanopositioning Advances Microscopy & Analytical Instruments: AFM SNOM RAMAN by www.pi.ws

November 3, 2018

Positioning Heavy Loads with Nanometer Precision over Long Travel Ranges

October 20, 2018

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Hybrid drives combine two different drive concepts into a high-performance and precision positioning system. They take advantage of both drives. These types of solutions are always in demand when one drive alone is not in a position to meet all of the requirements of applications. Read more

New Catalog on Parallel-Kinematic Systems: Precision Positioning with Hexapods

September 13, 2018

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Positioning systems which operate with micro or even nanometer resolution are required in many areas of automation technology. For multi-axis solutions, parallel-kinematic systems often are the perfect choice since they position with high accuracy and cover a wide range of loads, travel ranges, and speeds. A new, well-structured, catalog gives an overview of all options. Read more

F-131 Powerful Fiber Alignment System

August 18, 2018

Ideal for Applications in Photonics

The basis of the fiber alignment system is an XYZ setup consisting of three motorized linear stages from the M-111 series for rough alignment and a P-611 NanoCube® nanopositioner. The motorized drives make longer travel ranges possible and at the same time, the NanoCube® nanopositioner ensures fast scanning motion and precision positioning. Read more

SO builds the largest telescope in the world with drive technology from PI

July 21, 2018

The starlit sky has been fascinating humanity since the dawn of time. Observing distant galaxies, discovering new planetary systems and the idea of life outside our solar system does not only inspire our fantasy but also provides us with important insights for a better understanding of the universe.

Find out how high-precision drive technology from PI sharpens the view into space! Read more

Miniature Piezo Transducers -Tubes, Spheres, Manufacturing of Custom Piezo Transducers

July 18, 2018

Electroceramic transducers are vital in sensing and motion applications. Piezo Tubes are used in microscopy, and photonics applications such as fiber alignment. Shperical Transducers can be used in ultrasonic applications as receivers and transmitters. Applications range from medical to industrial production. Miniaturized piezo transducers are also used for nanodispensing and micro-fluidics.

Fast, Accurate, and Very Robust: Precision Linear Stages for Industrial Mechanical Engineering

July 11, 2018

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Precision automation in mechanical engineering requires positioning systems which do not only work accurately and dynamically but which are also robust and reliable. Typical examples of applications are laser processing, 3-D printing, optical inspection, or scanning. PI (Physik Instrumente) now offers the particularly robust V-412 and V-417 linear stages for such fields of application. read more

Hybrid Concept with Parent Position Measurement and Closed-Loop Control

July 3, 2018

  • Simultaneous control of piezo flexure drives and DC-servo/ball screw drives
  • Repeatability in the nanometer range
  • Direct metrology: Linear encoder with 2 nm resolution

read more

The New Catalog Makes the Selection Easy: Precision and Dynamics with Piezo Motors

June 26, 2018

High-precision, piezo-based positioning systems for millimeter travel ranges are required in many fields, as for example in microscopy, in the automation of manual tools, or in mobile devices, in systems for micromanipulation, in optomechanics, and for scientific instruments as well as increasingly for industrial applications. PI (Physik Instrumente), a solution supplier of high-precision positioning systems, has incorporated many positioning solutions originally developed for specific applications into its standard range of products. Read more

High Resolution and Easy Integration: Robust and Reliable Linear Stages for the Industry

June 19, 2018

Laser processing, electronics production, optical inspection, and many more automation solutions require dynamic, precise and at the same time reliable positioning systems that can be easily integrated into machines. PI (Physik Instrumente) has therefore extended its product portfolio for industrial positioning solutions with the L-412 and L-417 linear stages.

Programmable Pivot Point Demo, Hexapod 6-Axis Motion Platform

June 13, 2018

PI’s Hexapod 6 Axis Parallel Motion platforms have a very useful feature for alignment applications – a user programmable pivot point. Here’s how it works.

Industrial Automation Platforms for Precision Laser Machining & Material Processing

June 9, 2018

In this video: Precision laser machining, such as cutting, marking, micro-machining, or micro-drilling – requires highly accurate motion equipment, such as motorized linear and rotary stages, galvo scanners, and advanced motion controllers with high speed Ethercat synchronization and software that tie it all together. PI offers precision positioning components and engineered automation platforms for high-precision and high-throughput laser processing that address the needs of OEMs, integrators and end users. More info

Helical 3D Tomography with Air Bearing Precesion Rotary and Linear Positioning Stages

May 14, 2018

New Catalog Packed with 300 Pages of Information: Industry-Compliant, Motorized, Precision Positioning Systems

May 1, 2018
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PI (Physik Instrumente) has successfully established itself on the market as solution supplier of high-precision positioning systems. Many of the positioning solutions that were originally developed for specific applications are part of today’s standard portfolio. A new clearly structured catalog with 300 pages now provides an overview of the broad range of standard industry-compliant motorized single- and multi-axis positioning solutions.

Parallelism in Photonics Alignment Automation: Key to Economic Test & Packaging

April 24, 2018

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Compared to the devices typical of the telecom revolution of two decades ago, today’s typical Silicon Photonics (SiP) devices present more channels, smaller form factors, and exponentially higher production quantities. Transverse alignment tolerances well below 50nm are common, and multi-channel inputs and outputs necessitate at least an additional theta-Z alignment in order to optimize and balance the couplings across the input or output array. Very often the theta-X and theta-Y orientations must be optimized as well, and Z gaps must be set by vision or by contact sensing, or by a waist-seeking approach in lensed applications.

Nanometer Precise Spacers for Optics and Precision Engineering

April 16, 2018

New Advanced Input Shaping and Gantry Control – Precision Motion Solutions

April 14, 2018

Precision Motion Sub-Systems for Electronics and Photonics Manufacturing / Laser Processing

March 2, 2018

Optimized PICMA® Chip Actuators for Ultrasound Applications in Medical Technology

February 18, 2018

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PI Ceramic manufactures new ring chips in multilayer technology that allow resonant operation. This means that it is possible to generate oscillation with frequencies of up to 100 kHz with an operating voltage of a few volts – a combination that has not been offered before in series production.

Six-Axis Positioning System with Brushless DC Motors and Absolut Encoders: Flat Hexapod for Industrial Automation

February 9, 2018

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Parallel-kinematic hexapods position in six degrees of freedom and they work with considerably more precision than is possible with serial, stacked systems. In automation systems, the space for integrating the hexapod is usually very limited and multi-shift operations require durable solutions. At the same time, the limited space often increases the risk of collisions; for example, when referencing is necessary after an emergency stop or a power failure and therefore needs to be moved back without being controlled. With the compact H-825 hexapod, PI (Physik Instrumente) now has the suitable positioning solution in its portfolio for these types of applications.

PI (Physik Instrumente) is Committing Itself to New Service Concepts: Individual Service for High-End Positioning Systems

February 3, 2018
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Globalization continues to advance and in the meantime, high-precision positioning systems are being used all over the world, both in scientific fields and in industry. In order to be in a perfect position for the future, PI (Physik Instrumente), as solution supplier for drive technology and positioning systems, has implemented a new service concept by founding the “Global Services Division”. This makes it possible to offer the best possible, individualized service to both smaller and larger customers all over the world.

PI Presents a New Catalog for Positioning Solutions Using Piezo Systems

December 21, 2017
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The new catalog for piezo positioning from PI (Physik Instrumente) is 240 pages strong. The catalog shows all available standard products that use piezo actuators as their drive principle. The broad product portfolio ranges from simple, housed piezo actuators, with or without preload, to lever-amplified piezo actuators, or 6-axes-scanners with subnanometer precision position sensors. OEM drives with PiezoWalk® technology and capacitive position sensors supplement the portfolio. In addition to the standard products, PI shows examples of custom developments and solutions for specific markets.

Precision Linear Stage for Automation Tasks

December 6, 2017

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Positioning systems that meet the high demands on precision and dynamics are required for a large number of applications in automation technology; at the same time, purchase costs often play a decisive role. PI (Physik Instrumente) has added the V-408 PIMag® linear stage to its portfolio, the best solution for simple and price-sensitive automation tasks. 

High Throughput with High Travel Accuracy and Stability: Precision XY Stages for Industrial Applications

October 11, 2017

In order to achieve high throughput today, industrial measuring technology and microscopy, optical inspection tasks, and laser processing need positioning systems that are as fast as possible and offer high travel accuracy and stability.

For these application fields, PI (Physik Instrumente) now offers a new series of different motorized XY stages (V-731 and L-731) that work with velocities up to 200 mm/s. The bidirectional repeatability is 0.1 µm and minimum incremental motion is 0.02 µm. The XY stages, which have a size of only 310 × 310 × 80 mm, are offered with travel ranges of 205 × 205 mm (8 inches) and it is also possible to offer customized versions. They are controlled by PI controllers or – in multi-axis gantry applications – via an industrial controller from ASC, a worldwide leading manufacturer of modular motion controllers, who was taken over by PI at the beginning of 2017.

Precision Motion and Positioning Technologies Overview by PI

October 5, 2017

Optimized for High Throughput and a Long Lifetime: Precision Miniature Hexapod for Industrial Applications

September 23, 2017

Parallel-kinematic hexapods offer six degrees of freedom when positioning in a compact space and work with considerably more precision than is possible with serial, stacked systems. Many applications in industry and research benefit from this and include for example, micro manufacturing, medicine technology, camera positioning for optical inspection or photonics. In order to meet the ever-increasing demand from customers for high throughput and robustness and the highest possible positioning accuracy, PI (Physik Instrumente) has further optimized the proven H-811 miniature hexapod.

Air Bearings: When to Use and When to Avoid in Your Motion Application

August 30, 2017

Most motion applications are perfectly well-served by mechanical bearing guidance; but there are many cases where precision, angular repeatability, and geometric performance must be optimal or where submicron bearing rumble is problematic. An air bearing stage can help in these situations. An air-bearing stage is a rotary or linear positioner that floats on a cushion of air, using one of several preload mechanisms, nearly eliminating mechanical contact and thus wear, friction, and hysteresis effects. These are the most common indicators that an air bearing stage might be the right choice for your application (s. Fig. 1).

Miniature XY-Linear Motor Scanner Application in Photonics Alignment

July 28, 2017

Turning Ideas into Reality: Inauguration of the new Technology Center

July 27, 2017

“We want to develop the products of tomorrow in the new Technology Center so that not only, we but also our customers will be able to maintain market leadership in the future”, emphasized Markus Spanner, Chief Finance Officer at PI.

For Applications with High Demands on Dynamics and Linearity: Small, Fast Tip/Tilt Platforms

July 11, 2017

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Tip/tilt mirror systems control laser beams quickly and precisely in applications such as scanning microscopy or laser material processing and laser engraving. They are compact and offer high dynamics and linearity as well as short settling times. PI (Physik Instrumente) developed the piezo-based S-335 tip/tilt platform, which is suitable for applications with tip/tilt angles up to 35 mrad, optical deflection angles to 70 mrad and high demands on dynamics. 

PI (Physik Instrumente) Supplies the Drive Technology for the Largest Optical Telescope in the World

July 4, 2017

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PI (Physik Instrumente) signed a contract with the European Southern Observatory, ESO for supplying the actuators for the world’s largest telescope, which is being built in Chile.

The Extremely Large Telescope, in short ELT, of ESO will have a segmented main mirror with a diameter of 39 m and a light collec-tion area of almost 1000 m² and will be the largest telescope for scientific evaluation of electromagnetic radiation in the visible and near-infrared wavelength range.

Position Fiber and Optical Components in up to Six Degrees of Freedom

June 8, 2017

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During production and inspection of components with optical data transmission, it is important to align fibers or fiber arrays for optimum connection with the highest possible accuracy. Position tolerances way under 50 nm are usual and multi-channel inputs require alignment in several axes to optimize coupling of the input and output arrays.

Piezoelectric Hemispheres in Miniature Format for Ultrasonic Sensor Applications

May 27, 2017

Piezoelectric hemispheres and hollow spheres are available in new sizes. The outer diameters are between 2 and 100 mm. Wall thicknesses of 0.2 mm are possible with outer diameters of up to 10 mm. Other sizes are available on customer request.

Compact Linear Stage: Precision Positioner for Microassembly and Sample Manipulation

May 20, 2017

With the L-402, PI (Physik Instrumente) now has a miniature linear stage in its range with a narrow size of only 22.5 mm that makes it possible to easily integrate into even the most confined installation space.

New Piezo Walking Drive – Nanometer Precision Positioning in Industrial Applications

May 10, 2017

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If large optics, detectors or camera set-ups in industrial applications need to be positioned with nanometer precision, drive solutions are necessary that not only work with the required precision, but can also withstand the high continuous load. The solution supplier of drive technology and positioning systems, Physik Instrumente (PI) has added PICMAWalk walking drives to its extensive product portfolio for those types of applications.

High-Precision and Flexible Multi-Axis Combinations for Industry and Research

May 3, 2017

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PI (Physik Instrumente) offers a new range of Z, rotation, and linear stages for applications in industry and research that demand high cycle numbers and high precision.

The basis for this is formed by the L-511 linear stage series with travel ranges up to 155 mm and minimum incremental motion of up to 0.1 µm. The L-310 Z stages and L-611 rotation stages can be
combined to make compact multi-axis systems. All versions of the positioning stages are available with high-resolution encoders and a selection of stepper and DC servo motors. Vacuum versions are also available.

Ushering in a new age of photonics manufacturing

March 22, 2017

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These are very exciting times: state-of-the-art technological developments are happening faster and faster. We are turning science fiction into reality. Earlier this month I travelled to Brussels to talk about one of the most important technological developments I have seen in my career: parallelism in automated photonic alignment.

High-Speed 12-Axis Automated Silicon Photonics Alignment System FMPA

January 25, 2017

PI (Physik Instrumente) Acquires Majority Shares in ACS Motion Control: Positioning Systems for Industrial Applications

January 21, 2017

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PI (Physik Instrumente), a company with headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany, has stood for technical excellence and continuous progress in preci-sion positioning for a number of decades. The target of the PI Group is to develop this market and technological leadership even further and therefore secure a decisive competitive advantage for its cus-tomers. The acquisition of 80 % of the Israeli ACS Motion Control, a developer and manufacturer of high-end motion controllers and drives for multi-axis motion systems worldwide, was an important step forward.    

Piezo Systems for Microscopy, the Semiconductor Industry, and Photonics Ready for Use Even Faster

December 10, 2016
PI (Physik Instrumente) offers shorter lead times for selected piezo-based positioning systems and nanopositioning controllers. This enables even faster prototype set-up and faster integration of products into the application environment for customers of PI.


Piezo systems are suitable for applications that require extreme precision motion even in limited installation space. “This also includes high-precision adjustment of lenses and other optical components, which require exact positioning and tracking of biological and medical samples under a microscope or also extremely fast and at the same time, highly exact inspection of semiconductor components on the product line”, explains Dr. Mathias Bach.

The Achievable Precision of Direct Drives

October 22, 2016

My colleague Franz Oebels wrote this great blog about direct drives. I’m happy to share it with you:

When meeting prospects or customers about their direct drive wishes and needs, I always ask: do you want to be high dynamic AND high precision? Then you have to use a linear (voice coil) motor. Want to be high dynamic OR high precision? Then you can use a linear (voice coil) motor. Don’t need to be either high dynamic or high precision? Use something else.

Easy Integration of Piezo Components with Flexible Printed Circuits

August 3, 2016


The perfect integration of piezo components into the application is always an important part of the overall product. To make integration as easy as possible for the customer, PI Ceramic now also offers piezo elements with flexible printed circuits if required.

High Precision on Travel Ranges to 52 mm

June 14, 2016

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N-565 Linear Stage Series with Piezomotor

PI uses piezoelectric stepping drives in the N-565 linear stage series. The drive principle enables repeatability in the range of a few nanometers, high guiding accuracy, and high force in a single compact unit.

Spherical Piezo Elements Enable Use in 360° Ultrasonic Applications

June 8, 2016

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PI Ceramic now manufactures piezo components as hemispheres and hollow spheres. These types of components are particularly suitable for use as 360° transmitters such as those used in sonar technology.

Mixed Operation of up to 40 Axes with One Controller

May 31, 2016

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Mixed Operation of up to 40 Axes with One Controller
During operation, it is often necessary for several drive axes to work together. On top of that, further motion controllers are necessary, which have to be started up individually and must be connected to the higher-level control. The time and financial resources required for this should not be underestimated.

Fast Hexapod For Motion Simulation

May 10, 2016

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The new H-900KSCO Hexapod from PI (Physik Instrumente) has a rotation range of up to 66° and achieves velocities of 520 mrad/s.

Compact and Robust Linear Stages at an Affordable Price

May 4, 2016

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The new linear stages in the L-406 series from PI (Physik Instrumente) offer very good performance data on compact installation space: Despite the narrow width of only 65 mm, travel accuracies up to only 0.5 µm are possible over a travel range of 25 mm.

Compact Linear Stage with Ultrasonic Piezomotor

April 29, 2016

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Fast, Self-Locking, and Silent Ultrasonic piezomotors are small, fast, and inexpensive. They are especially suitable for applications with low operating cycles and can also be integrated into mobile measuring and medical devices.

New Product Series in the PICMA® Stack Multilayer Actuator Range

April 5, 2016

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PI Ceramic is expanding its portfolio of round multilayer piezo actuators. They are now available without inner hole in lengths of 16 mm, 36 mm or 77 mm and provide travel ranges from 14 µm to 70 µm. The diameter is 16 mm.

Voice-Coil Direct Drive with Integrated Linear Encoder

March 31, 2016

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Magnetic direct drives have advantages over the classical motorized, spindle-based solutions in particular with respect to wear and dynamics. Since direct drives largely dispense with moving parts in the drivetrain, there is less friction and play, and therefore more precision.

Physik Instrumente (PI) invests 13 Million Euros in a Technology Center

March 21, 2016

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PI (Physik Instrumente) is building a Technology Center at its headquarters in Karlsruhe. The cornerstone has now been laid after a long year of planning.

“Despite the large number of formal conditions, we still managed to achieve a considerable amount during this time”, reports a very pleased Dr. Karl Spanner, founder and president of the company, in his speech to a number of guests from politics and industry.

Position and Force Control with High Resolution

March 15, 2016

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Position and Force Control with High Resolution
Magnetic direct drives have advantages when compared to classical spindle-based solutions, especially with respect to wear and dynamics. Since they largely dispense with mechanical components, there is hardly any friction, less play and therefore more precision.

Small Ultrasonic Rotation Stages

March 9, 2016

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When It Just Has to Be Fast

Compact, fast rotation stage are needed in industry and research, for example, for testing material, for beam guidance in microscopes or Beamlines, as well as for positioning measuring heads or eccentric pumps.

Ultrasonic piezomotors are often the best choice of drive, because they are small, fast, and silent. In addition, they are also self-locking when de-energized, but can still hold the load that they move. Additional brakes are not necessary and no heat is generated when they are at rest.

Q-Motion Miniature positioning stages

February 25, 2016

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Q-Motion stands for a series of miniaturized stages with piezomotor drive principle. Because PI received a large number of enquiries, we noted an increased demand for these very small positioning axes and manipulators, for example, in mobile applications for measuring and medical devices, in industrial microassembly or use for research in ultrahigh vacuums and strong magnetic fields.

PI (Physik Instrumente) founds another subsidiary

January 18, 2016

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PI (Physik Instrumente) has acquired the majority holding in the Dutch company Applied Laser Technology (ALT) with objective of increasing the market share in the high-tech industries in the Benelux countries.

Compact L-509 Linear Stage Series

November 27, 2015

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Ensures Precision for High Duty Cycles

PI is introducing a new linear stage series with optional DC motor or stepper motor onto the market. The L-509 is distinguished by its compact design and a load capacity up to 100 N.

TMC Introduces Cleanbench

June 4, 2015

TMC, an industry leader in high-performance vibration and motion cancellation technology, has introduced CleanBench, the next generation of the company’s laboratory tables. CleanBench combines TMC’s superior Gimbal Piston air vibration isolation system with a new tabletop design that provides more stability and better ergonomics in a compact design.

High-Dynamics Hexapod uses Magnetic Direct Drives

January 27, 2015

The new high-dynamics H-860KMAG Hexapod is based on the PIMag® Voice Coil magnetic drives also developed by PI. The special design with flexure joints and contact-free magnetic drive principle has neither frictional nor rolling parts for guides and joints. It allows for zero-play positioning without mechanical noise in the drivetrain. The voice coil actuators work silently without wear and have a high service life.

Mechanical perfection by Physic Instrumente

November 11, 2014

At the X-ray light source PETRA III in the DESY research centre in Hamburg the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) operates the Imaging Beamline P05, which includes two experimental hutches, one for nanotomography and one for microtomography. A wide range of areas, from industrial research to materials science and examination of bones in biology, can benefit from the investigation results obtained by means of the high-resolution tomographic methods on the Imaging Beamline P05.