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Laser Alignment Micrometer Stage

Dover Motion designed a Laser Alignment Micrometer Stage for a medical technology company. The client received a stage with increased performance and on-time delivery at the same cost as their previous model.

At a Glance

  • A medical technology company was having issues with the production of an XYZ stage in their flow cytometer not keeping up with the increasing demand
  • The client asked Dover Motion to create new versions of their XY and XYZ stages that would increase performance and speed up production without increasing the cost.
  • We made their XY stages thumbscrew adjustable and upped the thread count to increase the laser alignment sensitivity
  • Our manufacturing abilities were able to supply the client on-time delivery for these crucial components while hitting their cost target

Slow Paced Production

A medical technology company was beginning to experience supply chain difficulties with an XYZ stage they were using in one of their cell sorting flow cytometer instruments. Sales of the instrument were increasing quickly and their stage vendor wasn’t able to keep up with the growing production requirements.

The company contacted Dover Motion when shipments of their instruments were beginning to be threatened.

A Handful of Palm-Sized Stages

Flow cytometers use laser beams to illuminate and analyze sample cells in a flowing liquid. The client’s instrument used several different palm-sized XY and XYZ mechanical stages to precisely align these laser beams.

Dover Motion was asked to supply drop-in replacements of the existing stages in the hundreds with increased performance while being cost competitive with the existing supplier’s stages.

How We Met All Their Needs

Dover Motion worked with the client to define specifications for each of the stages that would enable the optimal performance of their instrument. Then we designed form-fit, function compatible, drop-in replacements for each of the stages.

All of the stages had 0.5-inch (12.5 millimeters) travel. The XY stages were thumbscrew adjustable
and the Z axis stage was micrometer adjustable. We replaced the original 80-threads-per-inch adjustment screws with 127-threads-per-inch screws, which increased the sensitivity of the laser alignments from 0.88 micron to 0.56 micron. This improved the accuracy of the laser beam positioning as well as the overall performance of the instrument.

The new stage assemblies met the customer’s cost target and Dover Motion’s manufacturing facility quickly ramped up production to deliver the required quantities.

Dover Motion’s XY axes stages and Z axis stages

We Collaborated, Created, and Delivered

By working closely with the customer, Dover Motion was able to fully define the positioning system requirements. Using our motion control expertise, we identified the specific requirements that were critical to the quality of their instrument.

Using this information, we designed and built improved stage assemblies that fit the instrument exactly and were producible at their current price point. We also used finer pitch adjustment screws which increased the beam adjustment sensitivity by 36% and enabled more precise laser alignment. And lastly, Dover Motion’s manufacturing abilities then guaranteed the customer an assured on-time source of supply for these critical components.

More Case Studies

Cell Morphology Imaging

Through concurrent and collaborative engineering, Dover Motion designed a compact custom XYZ stage solution to produce high-precision cell imaging in parallel with the instrument design.

Fluorescence Microscopy Compact XYZ Stage

Dover Motion worked closely with Invetech to define the motion system requirements and tightly integrate the hardware in the overall instrument design.

3D Metrology XY Stage

To minimize the overall size, Dover Motion used compact stepper motors with integrated lead screws. Placing the motors within the stage structure enabled all wiring to be concealed and to exit at the bottom of the stage.

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