- Photonics packaging
- Fiber alignment
- Semiconductor handling / test systems
- Micromanipulation (life science)
- Optical device testing
- Collimator and fiber bundle alignment
- MEMS positioning/alignment
The F-206.S HexAlign™ Hexapod is a highly accurate micropositioning system for complex multi-axis alignment tasks. It is based on PI"s long experience with ultra-high-resolution, parallel kinematics stages. Unlike hexapods with variable-length struts ("legs") the F-206 features constant-length struts and friction-free flexure guides. This gives the F-206 even higher precision than other hexapod designs.
Compact, Plug & Play
The F-206.S Hexapod is considerably smaller and more accurate than comparable serial kinematics six-axis systems (stacks of single-axis units).
The parallel kinematics of the F-206 is immune to the cumulative bending and guiding errors of the various axes which, together with the inertia and friction of the moving cables, can limit accuracy in stacked systems. In addition, rotations are not set in hardware, but about a pivot point freely definable in software. A high-performance controller does all necessary coordinate transformation for coordinating the six drives. Because all the actuators are attached directly to the same moving platform, there are none of the servo-tuning problems associated with the loading and inertia differences of the different axes, as are inherent in stacked systems.
Virtualized Pivot Point
It is important to have a fixed pivot point for alignment tasks, especially in photonics packaging. Because the parallel kinematics motion of the F-206 is calculated with complex algorithms in the digital controller, it was easy to allow programming any point in space as center of rotation. Furthermore, the cartesian coordinates of any position and any orientation can be entered directly and the specified target will be reached after travel along a smooth path.
Six Degrees of Freedom, No Moving Cables
In the F-206 parallel kinematics design, all cable terminations are on the stationary base, eliminating unpredictable friction and inertia, improving resolution and repeatability. Further advantages of the system are:
Open Command Set, Simplified Programming
- No cable guides required
- Reduced Size and Inertia
- Improved Dynamic and Settling Behavior
- Identical Modular Actuators for Simplified Servicing
Integration of the F-206 in complex applications is facilitated by the system"s open command set and comprehensive tool libraries. The controller can be operated either through a host PC, or directly through a keyboard and monitor. It can also run programs stored in a user-friendly, fully documented macro language.
Automatic Optical Alignment
Optional internal and external photometers are available. Both types are fully integrated with the controller hardware and with routines designed for automatic alignment of collimators, optical fibers and arrays. For more information on the photometers see www.pi.ws.