Insight from the developers

Background of development

Seeking greater precision and speed in positioning/load control

As electronic devices become smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient, demand is increasing for components that promote these qualities. Components such as semiconductors in turn rely on specific technologies that make all this possible. Along with advances in chip miniaturization, higher capacities call for novel stacking techniques, and there is also a need for fast, high-precision production. To satisfy such production requirements, SHI applies original pneumatic servo technology that it has developed over many years. The Airsonic actuator we have developed combines highly accurate positioning technology and pressure (load) control to offer fast, precise and simultaneous position and load control on a single axis.

Deployment benefits: a highly competitive production system

Conventional technology used for this production equipment consisted of a drive device such as a servo or linear motor and a combination of mechanisms such as spring mechanisms and high-precision cylinders. Mechanical sections are large and complex, and they require regular maintenance. Airsonic adopts a simpler system configuration that consists of a single-axis actuator with a non-contact drive and an accompanying control device. Lightweight, compact, and pneumatically driven, it uses less energy and maintains a clean environment, saving on both electricity and maintenance time. What’s more, a proprietary algorithm enables fast, high-precision switching of the position and load-switching timing, which accelerates production and thus enhances productivity.

The actuator plays a role not only in semiconductor production but also in precise tension control and automation of delicate manual tasks such as cutting, joining, polishing, lapping, or stamping. SHI’s innovative technologies can be tailored to your specific production needs.

A compact, lightweight unit for highly precise, reliable, and sustainable production

High reliability in automated or unmanned tasks has become an increasing priority as society faces lower birth rates, an aging population, and the ongoing threat of the COVID pandemic. Another significant challenge is how companies can engage in environmentally sound and sustainable operations. To promote clean, energy-efficient operations, SHI offers fast, high-precision solutions that incorporate a pneumatic drive and effective control algorithm as fundamental technologies to support our changing society.

Advanced Airsonic technology

Conventional actuators combine actuators for positioning and load control, which are linked by complex mechanisms and control configurations. This pneumatic actuator enables two controls on a single axis.


Enables fast, high-precision positioning and high-precision load control from a pneumatic drive, thanks to its proprietary control algorithm and air bearings.

Due to its simple structure, the actuator is light and compact, which improves the performance of equipment it is used with.


Use of a pneumatic drive keeps the actuator clean. No dust or heat is generated. Air bearings also eliminate the need for greasing or similar upkeep, which greatly simplifies maintenance.

A dedicated control driver affords a sense of control comparable to that of servo motors.

■Position control performance (step response)

Step command response in a range of 7–13 mm for a stroke of 20 mm is shown below. Equivalent results can be obtained throughout the range for a stroke of 20 mm.

■Load control performance

With a load range of 0.1–50 N, the actuator provides highly linear performance, with minimal variation.

■Example of positioning/load control operation

Determination of switching from positioning to load control is processed at high speed in the driver, thus making load control highly responsive without any overshoot.

Transforming production at client facilities, solving problems through development expertise, and encouraging responsiveness

SHI’s knack for finding solutions to client needs has been cultivated over many years by responding to needs of all kinds.

If your need seems too challenging, it may be just the kind of problem we have enjoyed solving in the past. Share with us your ideas and concerns – we welcome inquiries requiring interdisciplinary expertise.