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Modular Control System

The MCS2 belongs to the family of Modular Control Systems and is SmarAct‘s most powerful control system. The follow-up model of the MCS is a compact motion controller and suitable for high-resolution positioning applications from the meter down to the picometer scale.

Following the modular design of the MCS product family, multiple positioners can be driven at the same time via a PC interface or a hand control unit. Whether you would like to simply control a single axis or a complex multi-axes system – the MCS2 will be the right choice.

The implemented streaming mode enables synchronized control of multiple positioners moving on complex trajectories. Additionally, the device offers software-tunable input and output trigger options. Its particular ‘Quiet Mode’ for working with reduced noise emission qualifies the MCS2 particularly for life science applications.

Furthermore, the MCS2 is available in different housings to adapt best to your work set-up.


Key Features

  • Synchronized control of multiple positioners moving on complex trajectories
  • ‘Quiet Mode’ positioning for noise-sensitive applications
  • Fast control loop with 50kHz
  • User-friendly 3.5“ touch-display on hand control unit
  • Easy accessible input / output module for definable triggers (optional)
  • Future-proof through firmware updates
  • Compatible to all SmarAct positioners
  • Supported position sensors:
    • type -S, -L
    • PicoScale interferometer
Channels n x 3, max. 18 channels
Control modes open-loop and closed-loop
Supported sensors -S, -L, PicoScale interferometer
Interface USB 2.0 or Ethernet
Output Signals
Voltage range 0…100 V
Frequency 0… 20 kHz
Output connectors D-SUB 15, female
Integration of Controller
Scalability stackable 3-channel board
Housing options tabletop,
19“ rack,
single control board (OEM)
Software / Drivers Windows DLL, Linux drivers, LabVIEW™
Data cable 1.5 m USB
Power supply 12 V AC/DC adapter

Main Controller

Controller Models

The MCS2 is offered in three different variations to fit your application:

  • Compact tabletop controller
    • with 3, 6, 9… channels and optional external hand control unit
    • 3 channel controller with integrated hand control unit (“all-in-one” device)
  • Easy integrable rack modules (3 HU) for 19“ rack chassis (optional)
  • OEM boards without housing for integration into your product


The MCS2 comes with a USB 2.0 or Ethernet interface. For the integration into your software environment the MCS2 offers:

  • Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows® 10 compatible DLL
  • Linux drivers
  • LabVIEW™ drivers
  • Software development kit (SDK) including programming examples
  • Simple programs for Plug-and-Play start

Hand Control Unit

The hand control unit enables to easily execute control on the sub-nanometer scale manually.
Three control knobs and two 2D joysticks allow precise closed-loop operations of up to 18 piezo stages just via the hand controller.
On top, the integrated 3.5“ color touch display offers easy access to all menus, functions and data e.g., position data, step width and operation modes. The knob and joystick assignment to the connected positioners is fully customizable to your needs via the menu.
Additionally, the PicoScale interferometer may be adjusted and configured via the hand controller.

The hand controller is available in two

  • Ergonomically designed external hand control unit for all MCS main controllers
  • Compact integrated hand controller in combination with a 3-channel driver board with USB or Ethernet interface