The horizontal motion provided by X-Y tables is ideal for automated machinery. This is especially true in the case of assembly robots within different respective facilities. The reason for this is that automated machinery, like robotic arms, has stationary bases and can only move in certain directions. X-Y tables can make the basis of these machine types capable of moving in directions horizontally along an X and Y-axis. These tables are also referred to as X-Y stages or positioning tables. X-Y tables are motorized and have linear slides. Linear slides can serve a variety of useful applications in different configurations of X-Y tables. X-Y tables also utilize a linear motor. The necessary motion comes from bearings operated by mechanical drive components. In most cases, these kinds of tables are driven entirely by a linear motor. X-Y tables are commonly designed to provide positioning along an axis.
Quick links to XY Tables Information
XY Table Design
Most X-Y tables consist of a flat surface mounted on some sort of ball bearing slide or roller slide. They have multiple bases that are made up of platens, a flat platform, and forcers. The forcers are designed to glide over the platen utilizing air bearings, also known as aerostatic bearings. Air bearings utilize a thin layer of pressurized air in order to create a no-friction environment. The forcer moves in a constant linear motion over the top of the platen. For multiple axes to be created, the linear bases are stacked on top of each other. The "Y" axis acts as a carriage at the base and the base holding the table. Adjustable gibs can also be added onto the sides of either axis. Gibs are typically added to tables in the robotics industry to aid in robotic movement. When used this way, they are referred to as positioning tables.
Applications of XY Tables
X-Y and positioning tables have multiple useful applications in many different industries. Some of these industries include general machinery industries, the pharmaceutical industry, manufacturing industries, the semiconductor industry, and any other industries that require automated movement in their construction processes. X-Y tables are also commonly used in multiple mechanical processes. Some of these processes include material handling, industrial automation, the building of machinery, and multiple different automated measurement processes. These tables are important in these industries because of their ability to precisely direct movement in a way that other tools simply are unable to.
- Positioning Stages and Their Uses
- Positioning stages are a type of rotary positioning table commonly used for scientific or industrial purposes. Positioning tables are equipped with gibs on each respective axis. They can provide high-speed positioning of light payloads and are constructed in a few different ways. Their construction and design depend on what they will be used for and which type of linear motor will be attached to them. Many roller tables are designed to have low profiles and are also equipped with crossed rollerways. Roller tables have a wide variety of uses.
Things to Consider When Purchasing XY Tables
When looking to purchase positioning tables, consumers should choose high-precision designs. They should also consider which type of positioning technology their tables will be equipped with. Tables can be optimized for different applications and can come in many custom variations. Choosing the right table can help significantly reduce the design workload. Many are lightweight and have a high level of rigidity. This is achieved through optimal cross-section design. Choosing a table with an aluminum alloy type base will make it more compact and lightweight. A well-constructed ball screw circulation system is another useful feature that reduces friction and noise. Choose a table constructed of premium materials, good ball screws, strong support units, and linear guides. It will last longer and be easier to use.
- XY Table Customization
- These days, there are a wide variety of tables available to consumers. X-Y tables can be custom made or chosen from a wide range of pre-constructed designs. Some of them have very innovative design features that can assist in bettering the construction processes within many industries.
- Many tables are designed for general industrial use, but custom ones can be constructed for special purposes. Most are available with some kind of warranty. A curved rail design is another common feature. This curved rail design is useful in transporting light payloads. Some systems are food grade compliant, which is necessary for the food and beverage industry. Food compliant tables are almost always extremely resistant to corrosion. There are so many innovative designs emerging within the robotics industry. It makes sense that X-Y tables are also improving and experiencing useful feature upgrades regularly.
- Improvements and Add Ons
- Lots of tables boast improved efficiency in their designs and utilize modular systems for their drive axis. Many have helpful linear guides which assist with the straightening of motion. Others leave availability for multi-axis combinations. Newer designs include built-in sensor units. A few models will come with top and side covers as well.
- A wide variety of efficient and innovative X-Y table designs are available today. This will likely simplify the purchasing process for many shoppers. They should quickly be able to find an X-Y table that fits their needs. Consumers may even be surprised to find tables that go above and beyond their expectations.
- High Precision Positioning
- Many tables have options available for high-precision positioning. There are multiple sizes to choose from, which optimize position exactitude. Using a Z-axis can help save space and reduce cross-section height while helping with precision movements. Tables with precision bearings provide both high accuracy and high rigidity alignment. If they have a high precision linear optical scale, they will have higher resolutions. There are also different types of high precision worm gear driven rotary tables, which can be put to a variety of useful applications.
- Tables With Smooth and Controlled Motion
- When tables have equal inertia between the upper and lower axis, they tend to have excellent controllability. A few can be designed with an open frame that has the ball screws on the exterior. If they incorporate a roller and retainer, they will have a very smooth motion. Designs that feature a slim alignment will allow better X, Y and O motions. Some kinds of tables even feature multiple sliders that can be placed on a single axis and independently driven.
- Table Construction
- It can be very helpful for consumers to know what options are available to them when they are making a purchasing decision. Apart from being used in many different ways, these tables may also be constructed using various materials. One material commonly used in the manufacturing of these tables is stainless steel. Stainless steel is useful due to its strength and corrosion resistance. Another commonly used material is cast iron, which is very resistant to wear and deformation. X-Y table bearings are usually made of bronze. The frames of these tables are frequently constructed of lightweight materials like aluminum for ease of transportation. Understanding the applications of tables and what materials they can be constructed of can help consumers choose which table will best fit their purposes.
- With so many available options, consumers may feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the correct X-Y table. Understanding the way tables operate and their components and makeup is a good step to take toward making a purchasing decision. Knowing all of the available options and fittings can also be useful. It can be frustrating to settle on a design, only to find that there was an even better product available. It is helpful to know all of the available features that these tables come equipped with in order to save time and narrow down which vendor to choose. High-quality materials are also an important factor to take into consideration. Shoppers should remember that premium materials and an innovative design can save on maintenance and repair costs in the long run. It may be better to purchase a quality X-Y table that will last a long time than to purchase an inexpensive table that will need repairs and possible early replacement. It is important to purchase products from a trustworthy retailer who is knowledgeable about the industry. A good vendor of these tables ought to be able to answer any questions that their clients ask. Suppliers should also be able to find the specific type of table that each purchaser will require. With so many fantastic companies available to choose from, consumers should easily be able to find a vendor that will have exactly what they are looking for.
- Equipping Tables With the Right Motor
- Consumers will need to choose the right motor to pair with their table. There are many different types of motors available and each vendor can help shoppers to find which one will pair best with their table. Some motor types include AC servo motors, stepping motors, semi-closed loop motors, open loop control motors, full closed loop motors, and linear motion motors. It is also prudent to consider the accuracy grade, speed, response, and price of available motors. There are various motor makers to pick from and the manufacturer of the X-Y table you choose will likely be able to help you find the right retailer of these motors.
Choosing an XY Table Manufacturer
A good retailer of these tables will be ready and willing to help their clients find the exact product they will need. Vendors should be prepared to answer any questions that arise, having to form a wide variety of related topics. There are a few questions that shoppers may want to ask their X-Y vendor. Are these tables made of premium materials? What will the table inertia and starting torque values be for each individual design? What will the lifespan of each table likely be? Is there a specific type of motor that should be purchased with this table, and if so, which retailer has it available? What will the resistance and speed of this table be? Are there any options for noise reduction? How will the sensor and wiring be configured with different table models? What type of maintenance will need to be done on this product over time? Will the tables come with any types of warranties or customer guarantees? These are just a few of the questions consumers may want to ask when purchasing X-Y tables. A good retailer will have all the answers, and they will have a wide array of tables for their shoppers to choose from. Consumers should be sure that the company they choose to purchase their tables construct them using stringent quality control processes.