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N-216 Nexline drives from Physik Instrumente (PI) are a series of high-load linear actuators suitable for nanopositioning applications.

Nexline Drives can be used in open- and closed-loop operations, and are offered with two different controllers — the E-755 and the E-712.

The E-755 offers functions for positioning with nanometre accuracy, and the E-712 features improved linearisation algorithms and — according to the company — enables faster feed-forward motions with maximum force.

The drives produce the feed forward using longitudinal and shearing piezos and, if driven appropriately, can achieve clamping in addition to driving motions. This moves the load at a constant speed over the total distance and enables the position to be readjusted once the target position is reached.

Additionally, the drives contain no moving parts and so they do not suffer from mechanical play or wear.

Key specifications

  • Travel range of 20mm
  • Push/pull forces of up to 600N
  • Integrated encoder used in closed-loop mode enables a resolution of 5nm across the whole travel range
  • Open-loop mode offers position resolutions of 30 picometres

Physik Instrumente

PI is a global manufacturer of high precision positioning systems and products based on piezo technology. Used in markets as diverse as biotechnology, semiconductor, defence and astronomy, PI’s products work to improve the speed and precision of many cutting edge processes. Actuators, sensors and positioning systems with either sub-micron or nanometre level precision; many customised for the end user, are included in the product range.

With manufacturing and subsidiary offices around the world and a workforce of more than 500 PI provides direct local support where it is needed. Products range from component level piezo ceramic assemblies to six axis hexapod positioning robots. PI manufactures its own piezo ceramic material including multilayer devices that incorporate its patented ceramic insulation technology. Lead free ceramic technology is now also included in the company’s product range. With the flexibility and continuity of supply offered by having control of piezo ceramic production comes security and speed of delivery for customers who rely on or are looking to move into this area of technology. PI’s piezo ultrasonic and step drive motor technologies offer unique performance including self-locking capability, high force or high speed and non-magnetic and vacuum compatibility.

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