Semiconductor-tool design, disk-drive development, and nanometer-scale metrology require high-resolution positioning stages. Crossed-roller and air-bearing drives can improve resolution, but integration into existing lead screw-driven systems may require many design changes. Now engineers can have the robustness of lead screws on new, sub-nanometer positioning stages, or retrofit a piezo-nut positioner on an acme lead screw.
The piezo nut's active part consists of a stack of ceramic disks, separated by thin, metallic electrodes where the maximum operating voltage is proportional to disk thickness. Patent-pending, the design integrates coarse and fine drives to combine long-travel and micro-fine positioning.
Integrating closed- or open-loop sub-nanometer positioning throughout 10-, 20-, and 30-micron travel ranges results in accuracies of 10 millionths per turn, or 25 millionths per inch.
B. Berj Kafai, Mikrozone 10315 Woodley Ave., Suite 114 Granada Hills, CA 91344 (818) 360-2628. (P)
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.