Rotary indexing tables are specifically designed to incorporate repetitive positioning moves for machine tools, such as those most commonly seen in bottling plants. During each indexed revolution, the table halts for the set time period while a sequential machining or assembly operation is performed at each work station. Rotary indexing tables can effect high precision positioning operations using an index of multiple moves for individual parts. This integrated motion system typically consists of a power input and a mechanical transmission device, together with sensors, encoders and controllers.
Rotary indexing tables can typically be powered by hand using a crank, by electric motors, or under pressure from pneumatic or hydraulic drives. These actuation systems can be mounted behind, below, above or to the side of the plate's surface. New generation pneumatic rotary indexing tables provide a much more cost-effective and adaptable alternative to electrically powered models. These tables are simple to install and commission, with easily accessible adjusters and connections on one side only. Additional automation features can be mounted on an open core in the centre.
Pneumatic rotary indexing tables are less powerful than electric motors, but are more suitable for powering small to medium loads. They are driven by one or more pneumatic cylinders, which each represent a mechanical index. During the cylinder shaft's return stroke, the table is locked into its indexed place by a pawl, which can often be flexibly adjusted according to the number of index stages, and even incorporate direction changes.