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New service will offer nanometre-level positioning systems

27 February, 2013

The precision positioning specialist, Physik Instrumente (PI), has launched an application and product customisation service in the UK to meet a growing demand for bespoke mechanical positioning systems delivering nanometric levels of precision.

Until recently, PI’s UK and Ireland office was a sales and technical support outpost of its German parent, but managing director Kevin Grimley explains that it needed to change. “From the growing number of enquiries we’re getting, there’s a clear demand for ever-greater precision in positioning systems,” he says. “Everyone is looking to measure and manufacture to the highest-possible tolerances, to maximise product quality and maintain a competitive edge, allied to which there is a drive in the UK towards more automation.”

The new business, called PI Custom Motion Systems, aims to satisfy that demand.

Previously, users have had to take a “best of breed” approach, buying parts or sub-systems from competing suppliers. However, because these suppliers did not have responsibility for the whole system, they could not guarantee the performance of their parts in systems built by others. PI will take responsibility for the complete system – including motion stages, mechanical hardware and motors – and expects that this “one-stop shop” model will prove popular.

PI press assembly

“For the first time, we will be able to tell the customer exactly how we expect the system to perform with all those parts assembled, and be able to stand by it,” says Grimley.

“We believe that, with the new service, we have a global lead in being able to offer customisation down to the nanometre level,” adds systems manager, Huw Prosser, who has joined PI to expand its customisation capabilities. “In fact, right now, we are probably the only company able to do that and manufacture the whole system, including its key components.”

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