Home » ISARA400: World’s Most Accurate 3D CMM Featuring New Way Air Bearings

ISARA400: World’s Most Accurate 3D CMM Featuring New Way Air Bearings


New Way Air Bearings has a long and fruitful relationship with IBS Precision Engineering, a pioneer in coordinate measuring machines. Their latest innovation, the ISARA400, uses flat round air bearings to 50nm level precision across a three-dimensional measurement space.

IBS Chooses New Way Air Bearings® for 3D Metrology Solution

Isara400 Coordinate-Measuring Machine built by IBS Precision Engineering.ISARA400 (ISARA) is considered to be one of the most accurate Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) in the world. IBS Precision Engineering (IBS), a leader in world-class measurement, positioning, and motion systems, developed the ISARA400 to meet the growing demand for ultra-high precision 3D measurements of large parts.

New Way Air Bearings® and IBS have partnered together for over 20 years, with IBS being a major distributor of New Way products in Europe. Their belief in New Way’s superior Porous Media Technology™ is evidenced in their use of New Way Flat Round Air Bearings in the ISARA.

ISARA400: The Quest for the Perfect CMM

IBS has been serving ultra-high precision industries like semiconductor, printing, and optics since the early ‘90s. Henny Spaan, the founder of IBS, recognized the potential of the precision industry could only be fully realized if reliable, precise measurements could be performed by manufacturers. Spaan’s dream was to build the perfect CMM.

The answer was the ISARA, an “incredibly accurate measurement system that can measure truly in 3D,” says Theresa Spaan-Burke, chief innovator at IBS. To achieve the accuracy needed, the ISARA was built on the Abbe Principle, which previously had never been done.

Through this differentiating design feature, ISARA removes parallax errors by placing a measurement system coaxially with the axis along which displacements are measured. ISARA accomplishes this in all three axes, minimizing uncertainties down to 50nm, over the entire measurement volume, an impressive 400 x 400 x 100 mm.

The result is a multi-probe metrology machine capable of measuring complex and free form surfaces in 3D resolution to 1.6 nm.

The Role of Air Bearings in the ISARA

 New Way flat round bearings shown inside ISARA400.New Way’s Flat Round Air Bearings are used in the guide surfaces of the ISARA, including the floating table. The porous carbon media creates an even cushion of air, providing smooth and Frictionless Motion®, ideal for performing 3D scanning measurements.

“Air bearings have many advantages for us to achieve the precision the ISARA gives us,” states Spaan-Burke. Not only do New Way air bearings have “incredible precision,” but she also references their repeatability and accuracy of motion. Additionally, air bearings do not add heat to the system, one of the largest offenders for precision repeatability.

Never resting in the pursuit of precision, IBS is developing the next level ISARA which plans to measure even larger parts with more stringent precision. One of the ways they will accomplish this feat is by using more New Way Flat Round Air Bearings.

Beyond ISARA: New Way Provides IBS Arsenal of Air Bearing Options

As Innovation Director at IBS, Spaan-Burke is on the front lines of the needs of the precision industry and mapping that to IBS’ offerings. She knows the full product line from New Way gives IBS a multitude of options for solving stringent precision applications.

“Within semiconductor, we see the drive for precision just doesn’t stop,” says Spaan-Burke. She references the continued pressures on designs, the precision demanded, driving complexity at every level of the machine. The long-standing relationship between IBS and New Way brings her confidence IBS can provide solutions to guarantee ultra-precision measurement.

“We have tremendous knowledge on air bearings and we are able to bring that to the table, with New Way and their performance. We know we can rely on their performance in these machines,” comments Spaan-Burke.

In particular, Spaan-Burke sees the surge in printed and flexible electronics, driving stringent requirements on roll-to-roll processing. New Way Air Turns™ are providing IBS with a solution for this growing market.

Additionally, IBS is using New Way Air Bars to provide necessary stabilization techniques for ultra-precision printing and inspecting applications. New Way Air Bars are integrated inline with an interferometer. The Air Bars create air tables to provide the first level of stabilization to a micron at speeds up to 4 m/min, allowing the interferometer to measure features down to 100nm.

These are just some of the ways in which IBS is utilizing air bearings for solving customer’s toughest precision applications.

“They are playing into the most important designs of the next generation,” states Spaan-Burke.

Partners for the Future

“From the ISARA400 to countless other applications, New Way has developed a strong partnership with IBS for more than 20 years. We look forward to continuing to tackle the world’s most complex precision problems together,” says Rich Hesse, New Way technical sales director.

For more information on using air bearings, please download our “What Porous Media Air Bearings Can Do For You” Infographic. If you have questions or are ready to take the next step, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Rich Hesse

Technical Sales Manager

Dr. Theresa Spaan-Burke

Innovation Director, IBS Precision Engineering

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