Advancing Photonics Commercialization with Embedded Positioning Modules

Mar 6, 2024
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About This Webinar
Photonics instrument development teams are facing increasing pressures to commercialize faster with fewer staff. Accelerated timelines require teams to focus on their core competency and look for outside solutions for non-core technologies. Embedded positioning modules provide a fast and efficient solution for integrating micro positioning capabilities in less time, reduced system size, enhanced features, and lower total cost.

Embedded rotary or linear positioning modules are also called all-in-one systems and combine actuator, sensor, precision guide mechanism, drive and control electronics, closed-loop firmware, and digital IO. Compared to standard components from catalog suppliers, connectors, and cables to separate electronic boxes are eliminated.

Embedded positioning is enabled by several innovations including:
  • Improved motor efficiency, smaller size, and reduced voltage.
  • Small, precise, and low power sensors with built-in interpolation electronics.
  • Modular precision bearings.
  • Advanced integrated circuits for efficient driver chips and powerful microprocessors.
Embedded positioning solutions compliment parallel photonics innovations in detectors, sources, processing power, imaging, biology, quantum devices, and micro-optics. All-in-one positioning enables more closely packed light and sample channels to increase throughput. Active control of focus, beam quality, and spot location are achieved in increasing smaller photonics instruments.

Additional benefits include improved signal-to-noise, reduced sample sizes, reduced power and heat, and robust operation over a wider range of environments. Commercial examples of embedded motion include brushless DC, stepper, and piezoelectric motors. A comparison of these examples is provided. A method for selecting the best embedded motion module for a particular instrument application is presented based on several criteria including size, power, speed, stroke, and precision.

*** This presentation premiered during the 2024 Photonics Spectra Positioning Equipment Summit. For more information on Photonics Media conferences and summits, visit

About the presenter

David HendersonDavid Henderson is a technology innovator, experienced business leader, and proven team builder. He has more than 35 years of experience in engineering, new product introduction, worldwide market development, and profitable business operations. Henderson’s technical expertise is mechanical and precision systems engineering. He has published or presented numerous papers and has been awarded more than 20 patents, including patents for the SQUIGGLE at UTAF piezoelectric motors.

Before founding New Scale in 2002, Henderson was director of the positioning product division of Burleigh Instruments (now EXFO), where he achieved 300% revenue growth with 20% EBITA from 1994 to 2000. He has prior experience as a program manager and mechanical engineer with Contraves USA.

Henderson has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and Master of Business Administration degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He serves as chairman of the New Scale Technology board of directors.
positioningSensors & Detectorsembedded motion
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