An automated positioning stage from Del-Tron Precision, Bethel, Conn., is small enough to fit in a 10310 340-mm box. But the LC-9.5 has a straight-line accuracy of 0.0005 in./in. of travel (0.01 mm/25 mm). Repeatability is 0.0001 in. (0.0025 mm). Total travel is +/-4.25 mm from center or a total of 9.5 mm. Size and accuracy make it ideal for positioning fiber-optic components, in-vitro diagnostic instruments, robotic sampling, and depositing adhesives, according to the company.

The lightweight aluminum base and carriage contain two rows of ceramic ball bearings separated by a stainless-steel retainer. The bearings roll between two steel raceways. This straight-line design separates the bearings and eliminates the need for them to turn corners or follow an oval arc, which reduces overall friction. A compression spring between the leadscrew nut and end of the base preloads the nut. The base and carriage have mounting holes, so there's no need for mounting hardware that can add to tolerance buildup. The stages are offered with or without a stepper motor, and are priced at $450 and $375, respectively.