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All the Right Moves

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2001
Developing a successful fiber optic alignment tool requires careful choices about bearings and translation stage designs.

S.R. Kidd and C. Buckberry

The insatiable market demand for photonic telecom components is putting a strain on manufacturers, who are looking for ways to maximize product yield and throughput. One typical production bottleneck is optical alignment and optimization time, which brings translation and rotation stages under scrutiny. In their quest for the perfect production tools, manufacturers must consider some fundamentals of translation stages and the role that they should play.

Translation stage bearing technologies include dovetail slides, balls, cross rollers and flexures. To meet the rigors of the manufacturing environment, the bearing must not only provide the necessary mechanical performance (resolution and accuracy), but also be robust and durable...

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