Home » Applications » Markets » Metrology



New Way’s Air Bearings® are ideally suited to metrology and precision measurement applications. With a broad resume including non-contact motion, highly repeatable translation and cleanroom compatibility, air bearings can form the basis for your next-generation metrology system, with applications such as:

  • Coordinate verification
  • Roundness checking
  • Flatness control

Applications for the Metrology Industry

Linear Motion

New Way Air Bearing technology is uniquely suited to coordinate verification systems along planar surfaces. New Way Linear Slides and Flat Air Bearings offer unmatched precision thanks to their zero friction motion.

Rotary Motion

The automotive and aerospace sectors rely on precision measurement and metrology techniques to inspect driveshafts and other rotating components. The tolerances for defects in these parts is slim to none, as they’re often designed to withstand purely torsional loadings, and even the slightest defect could induce a catastrophic axial force

New Way is pleased to present our air spindles and Servo Driven Rotary Stages, two new additions to the New Way product catalog that are ready-made for rotational metrology.

The air spindle is a non-contact solution for rotating components, and serves as the basis for the Servo Driven Rotary Stage; a comprehensive assembly combining the air spindle with a brushless, cogless motor and a high precision encoder. The Servo Driven Rotary Stage and air spindle have already proved their worth, serving to rotate and position the Keck Observatory in its exploration of black holes and other astronomical phenomena.

Web Handling

For the roll to roll conveyance of flexible substrates and materials, the New Way Air Turn is a highly effective solution for reducing roller induced defects while also allowed for in-process, continuous measurements of your manufactured medium. Due to the nature of air turns, wherein there’s air on both sides of the material being transported, this opens the door to integrating real-time interferometry techniques into your manufacturing process.


Linear Motion

Unlike ball bearings, where there is internal inertia in the bearings themselves, linear rails move along a 5-micrometer thin layer of air. This means an air bearing has near-zero friction and removes one more source of momentum that could cause overshoots during measurement.

Hysteresis error impacts virtually every precision industry, and eliminating moving components from your coordinate system will further improve the accuracy and reliability of your system in the long run.

The very nature by which ball bearings move can induce defects of their own. As a traditional bearing extends further into its life cycle, the individual balls spall and flake at random intervals, creating a non-uniform platform and increasing flatness deviations. If coordinate measurement means business to you, then any additional source of error is unacceptable. Compare this to a New Way Air Bar, where microperforated carbon creates a uniform medium for linear motion, and the choice becomes obvious.

Rotary Precision

The Rotary stage’ precision encoder converts angular positioning into a digital output and allows for the precision of 1.1 arcseconds, or 1/3600 of a degree. Coupled with the brushless and slotless motor, our servo-driven rotary stages offer a counts/rev of up to 1,184,000, vastly increasing your capability for defining damage tolerances and increasing measurement capabilities along circular surfaces.

Real-Time Inspection

New Way Air Bearings have already been used as the foundation for IBS Precision Engineering’s ARINNA, or Areal Interferometry for Nanoscale Surfaces. Via the air gap created by our porous carbon ARINNA measures the refractive index of a given material, and from changes in that index extracts data on flatness variation.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you think that New Way Air Bearing products could benefit your metrological or precision measurement needs!



Learn More About the Porous Media Difference