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Linear Motor

The Advantages of Using a Linear Motor

A motorized linear stage is essential for a wide range of applications, and provides programmable control of position in one or more axes.

There are multiple technologies to choose from when selecting a motorized linear stage. The simplest is based on a stepping linear motor, with its rotary motion converted to linear motion via a pulley and belt, or a lead screw.

Fully integrated stepping linear motor/lead screw assemblies have recently become widely available. They avoid the need for a rotary coupling and a lead screw bearing, and provide a compact, cost effective solution for many motorized linear stage requirements.

A higher performance and higher cost solution replaces the stepping linear motor with a brushless rotary servo motor. While these can achieve higher speed and precision, they require a rotary encoder and are not yet available as integrated motor/lead screw assemblies.

Linear Motor - Motorized Linear Stages - Leadscrew driven stepper motor stage moving a well plate

Figure 1: A Dover KV™ micro linear stage is a lead-screw-driven stepper motor stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting the Best Performance from Your Motorized Linear Stage

The highest performance approach to designing a motorized linear stage is to make the switch from rotary stepper driven motors to direct drive linear motors.  In this approach, the motor delivers force directly to the payload and a servo loop is closed based on feedback from a linear encoder.

Direct drive solutions for motorized linear stage requirements have traditionally been an expensive option. Direct drive technology has evolved and is now available at a more modest price point due to recent advances in magnetic material performance and cost, as well as cost reductions in linear encoders.

The value increases when the full life cycle costs of the motorized linear stage are considered. Motorized linear stages utilizing direct drive also provide a dramatic increase in system throughput through a reduction in move and settle time.

Linear Motor - Motorized Linear Stages - Leadscrew driven stepper motor stage moving a well plate

Figure 2: The Dover AirGlide™ stage features a direct drive linear motor and ultra-precision air bearings

 

 

 

 

Finding the Right Motorized Linear Stage for Your Application

We offer a variety of products featuring the most precise and cost-effective direct drive linear motors available today. Our products with motorized linear stages offer low profiles, long travel, miniature sizing, and ultra-precision air bearings. And each of our stages are configurable to best fit your unique application. For the last 50 years we have been collaborating with our clients to build them the right motions solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can work together on your next motorized linear stage.

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