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Motion system is a component of a test and measurement system that provides motion to a load or loads in a one or many directions. Generally a motion system is made up of a set (or stack) of linear and rotational stages. A linear stage moves in a straight line, while a rotation stage moves in a partial or full circle. A stage can either be manually controlled with a knob control, or automated with a motion controller.
A motion system generally is computer controlled and can perform fast, reliable, repeatable, and accurate positioning of loads. Most systems will support motion in X and Y directions, which is referred to as an XY stack. Often either a Z axis (up/down motion) or R axis (rotational motion) is placed on top of the XY stack.
For automated stages, a scale can be attached to the internals of the stage and an encoder used to measure the position on the scale and report this to the controller, thereby determining the precise position of the stage. This allows for a motion controller to reliably and repeatably move to set positions with the linear stage.
Motion Basics and Standards