What should I consider when comparing datasheets of similar stages?

Even though some stages seemingly appear comparable there are several aspects which are not typically easy to find in a datasheet that you need to consider when making a choice.

  • Working environment – Is it used in a clean room or within an industrial application? Is moisture or dust present, are the conditions very dry? Are there external vibrations or mechanical noise that could effect the stability of the stage?
  • Temperature range – What are the overall conditions? Will heating from the drive affect any measurement? How will the stage performing under high temperature variations?
  • Duty cycle – This is a very important factor to consider. High usage demands that the stage uses a friction less drive and guiding that can withstand the dynamic of the application. Static applications might need long term stability and absolute position reading.
  • Designing the load setup – In general load should be kept as close to the moving platform as possible to lower positions errors. Having the center of gravity concentrated means also better stability and less stress on mechanical bearings.