At the upcoming Photonics West exhibition January 31st to February 2nd in San Francisco, leading nanometer-precision motion control innovator ALIO Industries will be showcasing its capabilities for exacting photonic and optical fiber alignment applications on booth 4842.
A glance at any industry vertical will show the increased use of LEDs and laser, optical glass, detectors and image sensors, lenses, prisms, optical filters, gratings, and optical fibers. There is also a growing demand for the adoption of silicon photonic chips using light signals rather than electricity.
In the production of systems based on photonic chips, accurate and repeatable optical fiber aligment and fixation are key. Indeed for any precision devices using optical components associated manufacturing processes — which may include the alignment and attachment of free-space optics, the attachment of pigtails, fiber arrays, and waveguides coupled to various types of light source, and the assembly and testing of hybrid opto-electronic devices and high-power laser diodes — represent cutting-edge, high-precision production systems that utilize advanced automation approaches.
Bill Hennesey, President of ALIO Industries says, “For applications such as the alignment of optical fibers or optical devices it is vitally important that motion is controlled in tip and tilt as well as in X, Y, and Z axes. Modular system architectures are required, so that exploratory, proof-of-process development — as well as high-volume manufacturing requirements and anything in-between — are addressable. ALIO’s hybrid planar and point-precision motion system design is two orders of magnitude more precise than any competitive solution. They are perfect for the accurate, repeatable, and reliable positioning of tiny components over millions of cycles if one of the main considerations is the fast positioning of multi-axis systems with advanced functionalities like multiple tool center points/center points of rotation, maximized usable space, and fast active alignment. In addition, our Hybrid Hexapod® combining a precision monolithic XY stage, tripod, and continuous rotation theta-Z axis and boasting less than 100 nm 3-dimensional 6-axis point precision repeatability is a game changer when considering mission critical positioning applications.”
ALIO Industries is unique in being able to provide nanometer-precise motion control systems for optical fiber alignment which requires positioning on 6 axes. Most alternative hexapod solutions on the market can only achieve micron-level precision repeatably, but the unique design of ALIO’s Hybrid Hexapod® exhibits much higher performance and renders traditional hexapod kinematics obsolete, with orders-of-magnitude improvements in precision, path performance, speed, stiffness and a larger work envelope with virtually unlimited XY travel, and fully programmable tool-center point locations. Its nanometer-level precision makes the Hybrid Hexapod an essential technology for mission critical photonic applications.
Hennessey continues, “For manufacturers working on ultra-precise photonics applications, ALIO’s nanometer-precise hybrid planar and Hybrid Hexapod® motion control solutions are true enabling technologies. The Hybrid Hexapod®, for example, due to the use of high-dynamic non-contact linear motors, can achieve velocities from microns per second to hundreds of millimetres per second; 1-2 orders of magnitude better bi-directional repeatability when compared with conventional hexapods; nanometer level step sizes; no backlash; no hysteresis; smoother, straighter, flatter motion; and a mean time between failures of over 80,000 hours! The Hybrid Hexapod® technology allows for the provision of documented proof of performance over all 6DOF of a body in motion at the nanometer level of precision. As such it is unique, and explains why ALIO is now working with leading blue-chip OEMs in the photonics sector which are innovating and achieving successes previously unattainable.”