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High-Load and Compact: Precision 6-Axis Motion from Two New PI Hexapods


Dec 23, 2016

The usefulness of hexapods, or Stewart Platforms, is expanding as research and industry increase the scope of application to include motion simulation, industrial production, precision machining, automotive assembly, image stabilization, and alignment of opto-mechanical components.

As the usability increases, PI is responding with new hexapods to meet those project needs - the H-850KML, 500kg high-load hexapod and the H-825KLL, compact hexapod with load capacity to 35kg. Both systems provide sub-micron precision.

How do Hexapods work?

Hexapods are 6 DOF motion systems that derive 6-axis movement (XYZ, Pitch, Yaw) from actuators placed in parallel between a top and bottom platform. Available in a variety of sizes with bases ranging from 100mm to 1m and different stiffness configurations in addition to the load range capabilities, hexapods are an easy solution to complex multi-axis precision motion applications. PI hexapods come with state-of-the-art controllers and software tools, resulting in fast solution implementation to each customer’s needs, as all 6 axes can be commanded simply as Cartesian coordinates, and the center of rotation can be changed on the fly with a software command. Other advantages are the absence of friction caused by moving cables.

H-850KML, 500kg Hexapod, Self-Locking to 400kg
The H-850KML combines up to 100mm linear travel and rotation ranges to 60 degrees with sub-micron precision and 400kg self-locking capability. An optional absolute encoder increases efficiency and ease-of-use, as referencing is not required during power-up. Six-degrees of freedom, the high load rating, and the user programmable pivot point make the H-850KML an ideal tool for many automation, test and alignment applications from precision engineering projects to the manipulation and placement of satellites.

H-825KLL, Low Profile Hexapod, Self-Locking to 35kg
The H-825KLL hexapod keeps a low profile due to the use of actuators with folded drive train. It provides linear travel ranges to 45mm and rotation ranges to 25 degrees. Each closed-loop actuator is designed with sensor resolution equivalent to 7 nanometers per increment. Multi-axis motion repeatability is as good as 0.1microns. The hexapod can handle loads to 35kg and will securely hold its position when powered off. Applications are in micromanipulation, biotechnology, and semiconductor test and manufacturing. Versions for use in high vacuum to 10-6 hPa are also available.

Standard and Custom
PI has over 4 decades of experience providing in-house engineered precision motion control solutions, and can quickly modify existing product designs or provide a fully customized OEM part to fit the exact requirements of the customer’s application.






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