Hybrid-Bearing IGM


Design Features

  • Custom-engineered multi-axis motion platform integrates linear motion components directly into a granite structure
  • Combination of air- and mechanical-bearing axes helps optimize performance and cost
  • Air-bearing bridge axis is optimized for high-accuracy scanning motion, while mechanical-bearing lower axis is optimized for indexing a large payload
  • Design is scalable based on application requirements for travel length, payload, and dynamic performance
Sometimes an application requires air-bearing precision only on one axis of motion. Hybrid-bearing IGM systems, such as the example depicted here, are well-suited to this case because they provide the flexibility to utilize air-bearing technology on an axis of critical precision, and also maximize cost efficiencies by using mechanical bearings on less sensitive axes.

Because they are specifically engineered to meet a customer’s application requirements, IGM motion systems represent the pinnacle of design flexibility. From drive and bearing type selection to system layout and arrangement, IGM systems are available with a wide variety of value-adding accessories and state-of-the-art control electronics. Aerotech’s motion engineers regularly custom-tailor IGM systems to meet unique technical and commercial application requirements.

The integrated nature of an IGM system lends itself to offer certain unique technical benefits. The granite structure is able to offer increased stiffness over traditional stages in certain situations, contributing to improved dynamic performance. Further, the simplified structural design serves to reduce the axis profile and minimize design offsets, resulting in a reduction in Abbe errors and therefore more accurate motion at the desired workpoint.

See our case study for a comparison of an IGM system versus a traditional stage-on-granite system.


Aerotech mechanical-bearing IGM systems are designed around the performance and budgetary needs specific to your application. As such, exact performance specifications are unique to each system. See our case study for a comparison of an IGM system versus a traditional stage-on-granite system.

Contact an Aerotech Applications Engineer today to discuss your application requirements.


Ordering Information

Hybrid-Bearing IGM

Although each IGM system is carefully engineered to a customer’s specific requirements, there are a variety of common options, features, and capabilities to consider. The following list of commonly available options is not exhaustive. Contact an Aerotech Applications Engineer to discuss all of the possibilities for your IGM system.

Bearing Type
  • Air-bearing on base axis; recirculating-element bearing on bridge axis
  • Recirculating-element bearing on base axis; air-bearing on bridge axis
Motor Type
  • Single linear motor per axis
  • Dual linear motors per axis; for higher-torque applications
Direct Linear Feedback
  • Linear encoder with 1 Vpp amplified sine output
  • Linear encoder with digital TTL output
  • Linear encoder with absolute output
Machine Base
  • Steel weldment machine base with open sides and leveling feet
  • Steel weldment machine base with closed sides (doors and/or panels) and leveling feet
  • Provisions for internally-mounted control electronics
  • Passive elastomeric isolation between granite and machine base
  • Passive air isolation between granite and machine base
Additional Performance-Enhancing Options
  • Calibration and metrology
  • Integrated air filtration system