In the design of precision motion systems, the square rod slide is one of the obvious alternatives. Surrounding a square, rectangular, or angled rod with an air bearing box is a direct, simple, and cost-effective way to produce a precision axis.

Professional Instruments Company produces an amazing array of square rod slides. As with our other types of air bearings, we use a variety of structural forms and different air bearing compensation techniques. The most common form is a long rectangular rod surrounded by a box that has air ported through it with compensation in the faces. Professional Instruments Company is equally comfortable producing element, orifice, or porous-wall air bearings. Our lack of bias in this area is important because it allows us to apply the most appropriate technology in any situation. The structure of the slide elements is not limited to square forms; rectangles, dovetails, and other forms work as well. This flexibility allows us to fit an air bearing axis into almost any space.

Leadscrews, ballscrews, or brushless-DC linear motors are used to drive most of the square rod slides we manufacture, combined with linear glass scales, or laser interferometers. We can achieve the right combination of resolution, accuracy, and servo bandwidth to match even the most demanding applications. Positioning systems with resolution to one-millionth of an inch and slide travel accuracy to one-millionth of an inch per inch is possible. Professional Instruments Company does not produce slides as standard products. We design and build custom slides to fit our customer’s specific needs. The slides shown here are just a few examples of the wide variety of square rods slides produced recently.