AUBURN, MASS., Oct. 27, 2010 — For actuators, micropositioning systems and microscope stages, PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. has introduced the C-867, a two-axis digital controller for ultrasonic high-stability piezo motor stages such as those used on the latest generation microscopes. Optimized for piezo linear motors, it features dynamic servo parameter switching for faster settling; integrated drive electronics for ultrasonic motors; USB, RS-232 and joystick interfaces; 4 + 4 programmable transistor-transistor logic inputs/outputs for flexible automation; a data recorder and macro programming language; daisy-chain networking for up to 16 axes; and extensive software support, including LabView and dynamic link library. A compact case contains both drive electronics for the piezo ceramic motors and components for controlling and communication. The PIMikroMove user software provides the PITuningTool for optimizing system performance. The motor controller is designed for closed-loop micropositioning systems equipped with piezo linear motor drives. It can be operated from a host PC via a USB port or an RS-232 interface. Stand-alone operation is possible by joystick or via preprogrammed macro commands. Maximum output power per channel is 15 W, and maximum output voltage per channel is 200 V. Operating temperature ranges from 5 to 40 °C, and operating voltage is 24 VDC from an included external power supply. Ultrasonic ceramic motors are nonmagnetic and self-locking, and, the company says, they provide better positional stability than conventional motor/leadscrew drives or magnetic linear motors. The C-867’s digital signal processor handles all of the motion properties typical for ultrasonic piezomotors, such as dynamic control parameter adaption. Optimized settling behavior of the mechanics within 10 s of milliseconds is achieved by automatically switching between gainsets for dynamic and static operation. Changes in the mechanical properties of the ceramic motor caused by temperature or load changes are automatically compensated for by a control loop that adjusts the operating frequency of the driving voltage, resulting in constancy in motor force, velocity and closed-loop stability. Applications include biotechnology, microscopy, fiber positioning, automation, photonics/integrated optics, quality assurance testing and testing equipment.