X-Y tables are used in manufacturing facilities for the provision of horizontal motion in automated machinery such as in assembly robots. When using robotic arms, bases remain affixed to the ground, and hence the arms only have limited freedom of movement. By using X-Y tables, the bases get an additional degree of freedom to move along the horizontal axis. X-Y tables use bearings and drive mechanism, such as a linear motor, to achieve linear motion. They are configured for high-performance positioning along many axes of motion. In all cutting-edge research problems and industrial applications, miniaturization depends quite heavily on compact positioning stages or tables. It is the same case with tests and measurements, optical and optomechanical positioning as well as assembling of various components. Miniature X-Y tables including linear motor stages, economical stepper types and piezo motor ultra-compact positioners are very important engineering devices.
Industrial Applications of Miniature XY Tables
XY tables enable precision automated movements in several industries such as general machinery, large pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing companies as well as silicon processors. You will find them serving mechanical processes such handling of materials, automating of assembly lines, machinery construction and precision automated measurements.
Miniature XY tables enable the highest precision and accurate results where they are used. As such, technology companies use them in their core processes and to advance research capabilities. Some of these tools are so advanced that they can help on both micro and Nano scales for positioning. This has been very critical in advancing innovation and technology in such fields as industrial production, advanced science, medical applications, and many other precision fields. Miniature XY tables offer better flexibility and quality than any competing solutions. For instance, no other precision systems enable multi-faceted integration, drives and piezo upgrades as the miniature XY tables. That explains the popularity of these systems in industry.
How they are made
As with any XY tables, miniature XY tables constitute of flat surfaces that move on top of ball bearings or roller slides. They also have a forcer and platen mechanism in which the forcer glides over the latter to achieve linear motion across its surface with the use of frictionless ball bearings. The bases are stacked on top of each other with the top-most being the carriage and the bottom-most the base holding the table into position in such a way as to create multiple axes of rotation. Sometimes, adjustable gibs may be attached to the X and Y axes to aid the movement of robotic arms and are known as positioning/alignment tables. Largely, miniature XY tables are constructed of stainless steel and cast iron.
Miniature XY tables are highly portable devices and of very high quality making them a good choice for a range of applications. With the crossed roller assembly, XY tables get an additional level of flatness and smoothness for added precision. The light weight of these systems allows an almost effortless gliding across multiple axes in all types of robotic movements.
You will sometimes find them being referred to as custom positioning tables. In summary, XY tables constitute of two main pieces including adapters and plates.
Types of Miniature XY Tables
XY tables are differentiated by their drive mechanisms and ways. The load capacity, accuracy across straight lines, stiffness, and durability are determined by the ways while speed and motion smoothness depend on the drive mechanism. Again, these tables come in as manually-operated systems or motorized depending on their application.
XY tables are generally low-maintenance systems that require little if any work to keep them in good state. However, the ball bearings n which the tables turn may experience wear and tear with continued usage and may thus need to be replaced for continued high accuracy.
XY tables have numerous applications other than in industry such as in computer and reading tables to make work easier and comfortable. Their light weight allows their use in many applications that we interact with in real life. XY tables can glide across multiple axes of motion to the best determined position. Be sure to check with your system manufacturer for specifications such as weight and maintenance procedures. Again, the design of your table will determine the compactness and long-tern stability of your system.