- Products & Systems
ALIO Industries’ Z-Lift motion platforms were created to address the unavoidable inaccuracies of Z-wedge vertical stages, as well as to reduce the footprint and improve performance of linear stages mounted in the vertical orientation. Every component in a motion stage adds to the total error. Since Z-wedges have a minimum of three machined components with complex angles, three sets of bearings, a motor via a coupling, and an encoder, the result is a very inaccurate stage. ALIO answers this with a family of very high accuracy, highly repeatable vertical stages.
NANO Z® patented Z-lift air bearing stages overcome the legacy design issues associated with z-wedges and other vertical stages. They use a novel combination of air-bearings plus two voice coil motors in a compact footprint with up to 50mm travel.
Using air bearings means negligible friction which enables unparalleled accuracy and repeatability down to low double-digit nanometers. Variable counterbalancing easily handles heavy weights like wafer chucks, while still achieving nano-level precision over the full travel range.
The Nano Z® design places vertical force in line with the payload, and this makes it possible to place the stage directly below the payload instead of beside it, avoiding inevitable cantilever inaccuracies and nearly eliminating pitch, yaw and roll.
Dimensions and specification can be found in following data sheet:
ALIO’s GeoSymmetric™ Vertical Positioning Stages use voice coil or linear direct drives, high precision crossed roller bearings, and various counterbalance options within a unique and innovative design concept.
Unique geometric shapes provide mounting surfaces on multiple faces of the stage for flexible installation options. Being able to mount the payload directly to the face or top surface of the stage helps to eliminate weakness and resonant frequency issues associated with additional brackets.
The “Symmetric”part of the family’s name originates from the arrangement of the components used. The counterbalance, motor, bearings, and encoder are all placed on an approximate centerline of the stage, i.e. they are integrated in a way that their masses are symmetrically distributed over the stage.
This series of stages has been built for precision with application dependent counterbalances, and has been structurally designed to exceed application performance demands (with bidirectional repeatability down to +/-45nm, travels from 6 to 70mm, and load capacities of up to 30kg). Being 4x to 10x more precise than Z-wedge stages makes ALIO’s GeoSymmetric™ Vertical Positioning Stages great for any application within the semiconductor industry, microscopes for life and health science, or numerous metrology applications.
Explore our many options with a closer look at the relevant data sheets:
ALIO’s family of linear motor driven, vertical Z-lift stages are characterized by their low profile and extremely long travel ranges. Using high precision crossed roller bearings and linear encoders, the stages are equipped with magnetic spring counterbalances or a frictionless air bearing pneumatic cylinder. Similar to the GeoSymmetric series of stages, these long travel Z stages have counterbalance, motor, bearings, and encoder all placed on an approximate centerline of the stage. Payloads may be mounted directly to the face of the stage.
The Z-MCB versions with magnetic spring counterbalances allow travel between 25 and 170mm, while the Z-ABCB — with its frictionless air bearing pneumatic cylinder counterbalance — can carry payloads of up to 25kg over 200mm or more.
A broad field of applications from industrial automation to large measurement or metrology tools demand enormous lift capabilities while still achieving nanometer precision. For such applications, ALIO offers vertical Z stages with precision ball screws driven by a frameless torque motor that is equipped with pneumatic release spring engage brakes that lift 20kg without additional counterbalance. For even higher loads, this series offers the so-called “pneumatic boost” option which uses a frictionless pneumatic counterbalance to boost the payload capability to 50kg.
Even with such high loads, these stages can achieve +/- 100 nm bi-directional repeatability over ranges of up to 50mm. This makes it the ideal stage for applications requiring high loads and long travel ranges without compromising precision.
More information on precision, accuracy and motion profile specifications:
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