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What’s New in Servo-Driven Rotary Stages

What’s New in Servo-Driven Rotary Stages

See How New Way’s Servo-Driven Rotary Bearings Are Being Put to Use

This summer, New Way took our Porous Media Technology™ and applied it to rotary motion, bringing you the Servo-Driven rotary stage. This advancement represents an all-in-one solution for precision rotary motion, containing New Way’s air spindle technology, a slotless, brushless motor and a rotary encoder capable of 1.1-arcsecond precision.

Air Spindle

New Way’s Air Spindle product line forms the basis for the Servo-Driven Rotary Stage. Leveraging our experience in non-contact, Frictionless Motion®️, we created a system where the rotor is suspended upon and moves along a stiff layer of air.

Traditional spindle designs utilize ball bearings elements, which of course are prone to spalling and flaking of the rotating components. More costly alternatives include magnetic or high pressure oil suspension systems, however these too have their drawbacks, either due to pressure gradients caused by the magnetic field or highly kinetic failures caused by fluid leaking from a closed system.

The air spindle’s Porous Media Technology™ allows for continuous operation with no need for costly downtime or maintenance. Additionally, the complete lack of contact between stationary and rotating components means that wear and tear is all but eliminated within the rotary stage, extending the lifetime of your system dramatically.

Brushless and Slotless

An example +Vantage system using New Way products for determining high precision roundness, position, and cylindricity measurementThe Servo-Driven Rotary Stage is powered by a brushless and slotless motor, ideal for long-lasting, precision motion.

Compared to a traditional brushed motor, there are no brushes to wear down, demonstrating one more place New Way has found to extend the lifespan of our components. With brushless motors comes a lack of the commutator inherent to brushed motor designs. Without a commutator, there are no sparks being generated on the brush contact points, and thus the brushless driven rotary stage is safe for inspection stages in precision mandated hazardous environments.

Whilst the brushless element allows for a longer-lasting design, it’s the choice of a slotless motor which enables the precise, smooth motion that New Way is known for. Comparing a slotted design with a slotless design, we see that there are no teeth supporting the windings; instead, they are encased in a self-supporting, epoxy matrix. This eliminates the cogging torque effect found in slotted motors and provides for a direct relationship between the current supplied and torque produced, an absolute necessity for eliminating asynchronous errors.

Rotary Encoder

Movement is controlled by a high precision rotary encoder, converting angular positioning into a digital output and allowing for precision of 1.1 arcseconds, or 1/3600 of a degree. Coupled with the brushless and slotless motor, our servo driven rotary stages offer a counts/rev of up to 1,184,000. Given that the resolution of the human eye is on the order of an arcminute and the New Way Servo-Driven Rotary Stage doesn’t need to contend with contact friction, this allows you to take full advantage of the rotary encoders precision for all your inspection and positioning needs


Applications for the Servo-Driven Rotary Stage are as varied as the industries we serve. We anticipate that this product line will find it’s most common uses as the foundation for highly precise, microscopic level inspection systems across the manufacturing sector. In the automotive industry, we see immense potential for the inspection of drive shafts and connecting rods, while the semiconductor processing industry would benefit immensely from the air spindle’s contaminant-free operation in their water processing operations. New Way has just begun making inroads in astronomical positioning systems, and the rotary stage’s 1.1-arcsecond resolution would serve any observatory well in their mission to explore the cosmos.

Product Line

The current rotary stage currently consists of the RT-100 and RT-150, both of which are offered in a standard or high precision rotary encoder.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us today so we can discuss how New Way’s Servo-Driven Rotary Stages can improve your business!

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