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Smooth, accurate, linear positioning systems

Smooth, accurate, linear positioning systems Positioning stages are used to provide smooth and accurate movement and positioning of mounted loads. They can provide that movement across single or multiple units can be combined to provide XY translation or XYZ motion, increasing versatility. Some multiple axis stages can also include rotary or tilt elements to provide four-, five- or six-axis systems.

The term 'linear stage' is often used interchangeably with 'linear slide', which can cause some confusion. The linear slide really only refers to a linear motion bearing, whereas the linear stage is a complete positioning mechanism of which the slide is but one component.

The positioning stage comprises a moving platform on a stationary base, with the position of the moving platform controlled by an actuator. Positioning stages can be either manually actuated - via a knob or handwheel - or motor driven according to application requirements, with electrical options including stepper and servo motors.

The stages can be built around a number of different motion technologies, including ball screws, rack and pinion actuators, crossed roller screws, dovetail slides, lead screws or even linear motors. For short travel distances, systems built around piezo motors or voice coil actuators are also an option. Selection of the most appropriate method will depend upon factors such as platform size, distance of travel, payload, speed, acceleration, positioning accuracy, peak force, continuous force, backlash, environment, required lifetime, cycle time and cost.

Applications extend to anything from simple single axis positioning to complex multi-axis contouring. Application areas include assembly operations, robotics, optics laboratory stages,  semiconductor fabrication, optical fibre alignment, microscopes, laboratory automation, test and inspection systems, photonics, vision systems, laser machining systems, machine tools, industrial automation, precision pick-and-place equipment,  scanners, printers, and even areas such as camera tracking and positioning in the film industry.

LG Motion's expertise in positioning systems includes manually driven linear and rotary tables, motorised linear and rotary positioning equipment, machine building components and systems, and drives and motion control systems. Actuation options include dovetail slide assemblies driven by lead screws, motion sides driven by ballscrews, and linear servo motors, all providing perfect building blocks for high performance, cost-effective multi-axis systems.

Products include the UniSlide. Built around dovetail slides driven by lead screws, these have been a preferred method of producing linear and rotational motion in scientific, research, machine and industrial applications since the 1960s. With over one million supplied throughout the world, the UniSlide's simple design and rugged, reliable operation has been successfully proven in thousands of applications. This compact design offers maximum travel in the least amount of work space. Alongside the UniSlide, LG Motion offers the BiSlide and XSlide for increased load and higher thrust capacity.

LG Motion also manufactures positioning stages in-house. LG Series linear stages employ top grade precision bearings and ballscrews for long and reliable life, with several models offering linear servo motor options. Accommodating loads up to 1000kg, LG Series stages offer a modular design that makes multi-axis combinations simple to assemble. These motion systems are manufactured from high grade aluminium, with all surfaces precision machined with a black anodised finish.

For vertical positioning, LG Motion offers ranges of manual or motorised elevator tables which combine reliable performance and innovative features that make them the ideal solution for specific applications. These provide a stable platform, giving unobstructed access above and around the table top.
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