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MCS Micro- and Nanopositioning Control


control: open-loop, closed-loop
sensor type: micro, nano
control panels: 1, 3, n x 3

Scalable Micro- and Nanopositioning Control

The Modular Control System (MCS) line is suitable for both micro- and nanopositioning tasks.

Thanks to the modular concept we can assemble control systems with the number of channels required by the connected positioning systems. So you can combine multiple driver modules for the different positioner types and control them via the same interface module.

In order to use the positioning feedback of the integrated encoders, a small sensor module is required. It can connect up to three positioners to one driver module and is available for the different drive and sensor options.

Besides the standard desktop device, the MCS is also available as a 19″ rack mount chassis module or a simple OEM device. For all housing options an additional hand controller is available which can be used to control the stages without a PC.

For controlling the MCS via computer it can either be equipped with a USB, an RS232 or an Ethernet interface. MCS controllers equipped with a USB or Ethernet interface come with a Windows® based software package including a graphical control program (Precision Tool Commander PTC) as well as a Dynamic Link Library, a LINUX compatible library and a LabVIEW® driver.

Driver Modules

Each MCS controller contains driver modules and / or end effector modules for the control of the different positioners and end effectors.

Each driver module can control up to three positioners. Therefore MCS controllers with three, six, nine, etc. control channels are available. A driver module creates the necessary signals for driving the connected positioners in step mode or in scan mode. If a positioner is equipped with a sensor and connected via a sensor module the driver module can process and control the measured position (closed-loop control).

Sensor Modules

If positioners with micro or nanoposition sensors shall be connected, the MCS controller comes with a separate sensor module, which digitizes the sensor data. The MCS controller uses the sensor data for closed-loop control, i.e., for moving the positioner to a given position with sensor feedback. Based on the sensor signals, there are different options available:

  • MCS-nM/L/S-.. for n positioners with integrated -L or -S sensor
  • MCS-..-TAB for table top housing (see image below)
  • MCS-..-LEMO for housing with Lemo connectors
  • MCS-..-OEM for integration into system baseplates

Operation Mode


1, 3<, n x 3

feedback loop

open-loop, closed-loop

sensor support

-L, -S

optional hand control

module with control knobs and LED display (-3H)

Output Signals

voltage range

0 .. 100 V

maximum output current

360 mA / channel (C), with booster 1.08 A / channel (B)


positioner interface

1 x DSUB 15, female

PC interface

USB, RS232, Ethernet

power supply

12 V, 30 W (1 channel); 12-24 V, 60 W (3 .. 6 channels), with booster 180 W (3 channels)

Integration of Controller


stackable 3-channel board


table-top (-TAB), single control board (-OEM), 19″ rack mount chassis module (-MOD)


software / drivers

Windows® software, Windows® driver (version 7 and higher), Linux library, LabVIEW® driver, for RS232 documentation only

data cable

1.5 m USB / RS232 cable

data cable

1.5 m USB / RS232 cable

AC adapter

100 .. 240 V, 50 .. 60 Hz