NEWS 27 June 2024

YPN visit to JPE

From the ins and outs of a cold chopper for astronomy to the latest developments in nanopositioning systems, YPN’s visit to JPE on 6 June was a unique opportunity to learn all about their impressive projects in custom system design.

One of the activities of the YPN (Young Precision Network), as part of the DSPE community, is to arrange visits to leading organisations in the high-tech sector. In the latest visit, YPN was welcomed at JPE in Maastricht-Airport (NL) by mechanical architect Robin Trines. JPE is an established name in the development of both custom high-precision applications for high-tech machinery and scientific instrumentation, and cryogenic positioning products for scientific research. Within these fields, they are known widely for their experience and comprehensive bundle of engineering formulas, knowledge that they enthusiastically shared over a wide array of presentations.

One of the presentations was about the METIS (Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph) cold chopper for ELT, the European ground-based Extremely Large Telescope. The presentation highlighted the challenges in chopping/switching between two or more mirror positions with microradian precision several times per second, a feat that can be achieved through a cool thermal design, effective sensor placement and precise frictionless construction.

In another presentation, it was demonstrated how friction, through the stick-slip mechanism, can be exploited for precise positioning. Here, the experts at JPE explained how this effect can be harnessed to position little carriages, each with a payload of several kilograms, with micrometer precision and temperatures of only a few Kelvins, as required by the European MADMAX project (Magnetized Disc and Mirror Axion eXperiment).

In addition to the presentations, the YPN party had the good fortune to visit the JPE lab and workshop. Here, the group was able to see the actual products in action and get a real feel for their impressive properties. This was more than enough material for interesting discussions during the drinks at the end of what was an inspiring company visit to one of the leading centres of expertise in precision engineering.

For young professionals and students who would like to join YPN in one of their next company visits, or any of their other activities in the Dutch high-tech sector, please send an email.


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