Integrated Granite Motion Systems

In an Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) system, machine components such as bearings, encoders, and drive mechanisms are engineered and assembled directly on the granite base and bridge structures. All Aerotech IGM systems are custom-engineered to fit the unique and specific needs of your application or process.

IGM systems can be designed with mechanical or air bearings, ball-screw or linear-motor drives, and a variety of feedback elements ranging from encoders to laser interferometers. These systems are capable of motion performance rivaling traditional stage-on-granite systems. IGM motion systems and traditional stage-on-granite systems each can offer distinct advantages, and the choice depends largely on your application or process, as well as its technical and commercial requirements. Some key advantages of IGM versus stage-on-granite solutions are summarized in the following table.

Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) Solution

Stage-on-Granite Solution

Higher Stiffness
An IGM system can have higher stiffness than a stage-on-granite solution because the IGM system has fewer parts in the structural loop, resulting in higher accuracy and better dynamic performance.
Faster Design Cycle
Since standard positioning axes are used in the system design, stage-on-granite solutions generally require fewer engineering design hours than IGM solutions.
More Compact
IGM solutions can be more compact due to the more integrated nature of machine components and granite. This provides for the possibility of smaller Abbe offsets and better machine positioning accuracy.
Easier Servicing
The individual, discrete motion axes used in stage-on-granite solutions are relatively simple to service and/or replace when compared to IGM solutions, which have the axes of motion built directly into the granite. Stage-on-granite solutions allow for minimal down-time when maintenance is needed.

More Flexible
Because each axis of an IGM solution is engineered and built directly into the main granite structure, it is simpler to optimize axis design parameters such as travel length and payload capacity.
Superior Environmental Protection
Stage-on-granite solutions can be more effectively sealed or otherwise protected from dirty environments or processes that generate debris.

Aerotech has an extensive history of designing, engineering, and manufacturing customized IGM systems. At Aerotech we understand that you have a unique set of project requirements, and we are ready to work with you to explore your application needs and provide guidance as to which type of solution - IGM or traditional stage-on-granite - can offer the best solution to address your motion needs.

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

For more information, see the following examples of common IGM system configurations or contact an Aerotech Applications Engineer to discuss your application today!

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    Mechanical-Bearing IGM

    Mechanical-bearing Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) systems are ideal for medium- to high-performance applications. This particular multi-axis system utilizes IGM design concepts with bearings,…  More >

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    Air-Bearing IGM

    Air-bearing Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) systems are ideal for high- and ultra-high performance applications. The multi-axis air-bearing system shown utilizes IGM design concepts with precision…  More >

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    Hybrid-Bearing IGM

    Hybrid-bearing Integrated Granite Motion (IGM) systems offer the best aspects of both mechanical- and air-bearing axes, allowing the most flexible balance of ultra-precise motion performance and cost.  More >

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    Vertical Screw-Driven IGM

    This mechanical-bearing IGM system utilizes precision-ground ball-screws to position a large payload along a vertical axis of motion. The mechanical advantage of the screw-driven design can be…  More >

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