AirLift115 Air-Bearing Lift Stage


Design Features

  • Unique Z stage design incorporates fully preloaded air bearings
  • Less than or equal to ±2 arc sec roll, pitch and yaw over full travel
  • Submicron closed-loop positioning
  • Travel options from 50 to 150 mm
  • Precision-ground ball-screw-drive eliminates the need for special counterbalance

Aerotech's AirLift 115 series stages offer the ideal solution for applications that require very stringent Z direction positioning while maintaining extremely tight angular performance over full travel. Applications include semiconductor wafer inspection and testing, noncontact metrology, optical inspection systems and laser processing applications.

Unique Design

Aerotech's AirLift 115 was designed to address the most significant limitation of conventional wedge-style vertical lift stages – angular performance. Although wedge-style Z stages provide a compact below-the-work-plane solution, they typically have limited pitch and roll stiffness that limits their angular performance. The AirLift 115's unique air-bearing design provides superior angular performance over larger travels while utilizing an innovative drive mechanism that eliminates the need for counterbalance mechanisms.

The AirLift 115 directly addresses applications where:

  • Tight angular performance is required over travel ranges that are too large for traditional wedge-style Z stages (e.g., 50 mm)
  • An unobstructed view of the work plane is desired
  • Footprint must be kept to a minimum
  • A failsafe brake is required

Motors and Drives

Included with the AirLift 115 series stages are Aerotech's BMS series brushless rotary motors. This motor has all of the advantages of a brushless motor – high acceleration, no brushes to wear and lower heating – yet has zero cogging for extremely smooth motion and accuracy. Aerotech manufactures a wide range of matching drives and controls to provide a fully integrated and optimized motion solution.


Mechanical Specifications

Travel 50 mm 100 mm 150 mm
Accuracy(1) Standard ±2.0 µm ±4.0 µm ±6.0 µm
Calibrated ±1.0 µm ±1.25 µm ±1.5 µm
Resolution (Minimum Incremental Motion) 0.05 µm
Bidirectional Repeatability(1) ±0.5 µm
Straightness(2) ±0.25 µm ±0.35 µm ±0.45 µm
Pitch(2) ±1 arc sec ±1.25 arc sec ±2 arc sec
Roll(2) ±1 arc sec ±1.25 arc sec ±2 arc sec
Yaw(2) ±1 arc sec ±1.25 arc sec ±2 arc sec
Maximum Speed 5 mm/rev 50 mm/s
Maximum Acceleration 0.25 g
Load Capacity(3) Vertical 15 kg
Operating Pressure 80 psi
Air Consumption ≤40 SLPM
Material Aluminum
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) 15,000 Hours
  1. Certified with each stage.
  2. Specifications are for centered load. Other loading configurations will affect specifications.
  3. Axis orientation for on-axis loading is listed.
  4. Specifications are for single-axis systems measured 25 mm above the tabletop. Performance of multi-axis systems is payload and workpoint dependent. Consult factory for multi-axis or non-standard applications.
  5. To protect air bearing against under-pressure condition, an in-line pressure switch tied to the motion controller is required.
  6. Air supply must be clean, dry to 0°F dewpoint, and filtered to 0.25 µm or better.

Electrical Specifications

Drive System Brushless Rotary Servomotor
Feedback Noncontact Linear Encoder
Maximum Bus Voltage Up to 160 VDC
Limit Switches 5 V, Normally Closed

Recommended Controller

Multi-Axis A3200 Ndrive MP/Ndrive CP/Ndrive HLe/Npaq MXR
Ensemble Ensemble MP/Ensemble CP/Ensemble HLe/Epaq
Single Axis Soloist Soloist MP/Soloist CP/Soloist HLe
  1. Linear amplifiers are required to achieve the listed specifications. Other options are available.
  • AirLift115Spec


Ordering Information

AirLift115 Air-Bearing Vertical Translation Stage


-050 50 mm travel
-100 100 mm travel
-150 150 mm travel


-M1 BMS60 brushless servomotor with connectors and brake
-M2 BMS100 brushless servomotor with connectors and brake

Motor Orientation

-MT1 Mounting orientation surface perpendicular to axis motion
-MT2 Mounting orientation surface parallel to axis motion


-PL1 Metrology, uncalibrated with performance plots
-PL2 Metrology, calibrated (HALAR) with performance plots

Integration (Required)

Aerotech offers both standard and custom integration services to help you get your system fully operational as quickly as possible. The following standard integration options are available for this system. Please consult Aerotech if you are unsure what level of integration is required, or if you desire custom integration support with your system.

-TAS Integration - Test as system
Testing, integration, and documentation of a group of components as a complete system that will be used together (ex: drive, controller, and stage). This includes parameter file generation, system tuning, and documentation of the system configuration.
-TAC Integration - Test as components
Testing and integration of individual items as discrete components that ship together. This is typically used for spare parts, replacement parts, or items that will not be used together. These components may or may not be part of a larger system.