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Miniature indexers deliver big benefits

Miniature indexers deliver big benefits
A unique new range of miniature cam-operated indexing mechanisms is now available to the UK market, as a result of the recent appointment of Precision Motion (COFIL) as agent for Japanese manufacturer Kamo Seiko Corporation. The range comprises two distinct product lines: miniature cam indexing drives and miniature hybrid cam/pneumatic indexing drives.

The miniature cam indexing drive is a completely mechanical device which employs a cam to convert a continuous rotary input into an intermittent output motion. Although in concept this is similar to standard cam-follower mechanisms, the Pearldex range has one key difference. To permit very small orthogonal input/output centre distances (between 16 and 40mm), the conventionally used cam-follower rollers are replaced with precision ground steel balls; the benefits of smooth output motion, zero-backlash, high efficiency, micron accuracy, locked position in station, etc, all still remain. The mech-anisms can either be supplied with shaft input, or completely motorised with miniature gearhead and AC motor. 

The standard number of stations is between 4 and 16, with index periods between 90 and 330deg.

The miniature hybrid cam/pneumatic indexing drives are available with either shaft (Minidex) or flange (Minitable) output, with the concept of operation being the same for both. When the 'index' chamber is pressurised, a cammed piston moves along the cylinder imparting a rotary motion on the output shaft. At the end of the stroke, the 'lock' chamber is pressurised to provide a final accurate position. The key difference when comparing with conventional pneumatic tables is the use of a cam (rather than the conventional rack and pinion), which provides a smooth, gentle indexing motion without the need for crude and inefficient shock-absorbers. As a result, considerably shorter index times are possible. Between two and twelve stations are available as standard, however the Minidex cylinder can also be supplied with a zero-backlash gearhead (also manufactured by Kamo) to increase this to anywhere up to 1200.
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