Physik Instrumente

Fast Linear Actuator for Automation Purposes Employs Ceramic Motor

Press release   •   Dec 12, 2011 03:43 EST

Auburn, MA, December 12, 2011 - Piezo motor specialist PI introduces the new M-272 linear actuator for automation applications based on a maintenance-free PILine® ultrasonic ceramic motor.

Closed-Loop Linear Actuator

PILine® piezo ceramic ultrasonic drives offer an affordable alternative to electromagnetic linear motors and motor-leadscrew combinations when small dimensions and/or high speed are important. With velocities of up to 200 mm/s, these drives are fast, compact, and are readily integrated. In addition, PIline® motors are self-locking at rest with zero heat generation, eliminating the need for an additional motor brake.

The novel M-272 closed-loop linear drive combines motor, actuator, linear encoder, guiding system and brake functionality in a very compact package. Due to the integrated guiding system a payload can be easily attached to the drive rod of the M-272 drive and positioned precisely.

Features and Advantages

  • Maintenance Free Ceramic Linear Motor
  • Travel range 50 mm
  • 5 µm Resolution with Integrated Linear encoder
  • Fast: 200 mm/sec (8”/sec)
  • High Speed and Dynamics for fast Settling
  • Self-Locking at Rest, no need for External Brakes, no Energy Consumption.
  • OEM Driver Electronics for Ultrasonic Motors Available

Patented Technology: Self-locking Instead of Quiescent Current

PILine® piezo motors are based on a new, patented, ultrasonic drive principle developed by PI. The core piece of the system is a piezoceramic plate, excited with high-frequency eigenmode oscillations. A friction tip attached to the plate moves along an inclined linear path at the eigenmode frequency. Through its contact with the ceramic friction bar (runner), the moving part of the mechanical system is pushed along. With each oscillatory cycle, the mechanical system executes a minute step of only a few nanometers; the macroscopic result is smooth motion with a virtually unlimited travel range. The piezo ceramic plate is preloaded against the runner and thus generates the holding force when the drive is at rest. The technology is in part protected by the following patents: US Pat. No. 6,765,335, German Patent No. 10154526

Controller for Faster Settling with Dynamic Control Parameter Adaption

The linear actuator can be driven with the C-867.OE OEM controller card. Its highly specialized DSP handles all of the motion properties typical for ultrasonic piezomotors, such as dynamic motion control parameter adaption. Optimized settling behavior of the mechanics within 10s of milliseconds is achieved by automatically switching between gainsets for dynamic and static operation.

Additional information on ultrasoinc motors is available at

Contact :

USA / Canada:

East : David Rego

Tel: 508-832-3456

Fax: 508-832-0506

E-mail -

MidWest: Joe Gonadge

Tel: 815-793-3776

E-mail -

West: David Steinberg

Tel : 949-679-9191

Fax: 949-679-9292

E-mail -


Germany :

+49 721 4846-0

Italy: +39 02 666

France : +33 1 5714 0710

UK : +44 1582 711 650



+81 6 6304 5605

China: +86 21 687 900 08

About PI

PI is a leading manufacturer of piezo systems, linear actuators, linear motors, linear slide and presion motion control equipment for microscopy, bio-nanotechnology photonics and semiconductor applications. The company has 4 decades of motion control experience with OEM and research customers. PI was ISO 9001 certified in 1994 and is present worldwide with eight subsidiaries and a total staff of over 500.