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How a Rotary Table Works

Rotary Table

How a Rotary Table Works

A rotary table, also known as a rotary tool table, is a precision tooling device used primarily in the metal working industry. It allows the operator to cut or drill work in precise intervals along a fixed axis on the work piece. The table allows for a very exact tracing of the work piece and the angle of attack can be varied by the user depending upon the requirements of the particular operation.

Most rotary tables are powered electrically. There are two types of rotary tables available namely, those that are vertical and horizontal. While the vertical type is more suitable for heavy duty and large machinery, the horizontal variety is better suited for smaller and lighter equipment.

Rotary tables are designed to enable users to accurately trace lines and shapes with relative accuracy to within 0.1mm. The most common feature of rotary tables is the use of fixed or floating dividers. Fixed dividers are mounted on the table top and are moved vertically relative to the stationary base. These allow for accurate and precise positioning of cutting tools and reducing the effects of scuff marks and vibration. In the same way, the floating or adjustable divider allows the user to vary the angle of attack and consequently the size of holes.

An important feature of a rotary table is the ability to determine the center of gravity of the piece being operated upon. The center of gravity, often denoted by a P-axis is the center of the machine or piece that can be moved. Typically, this is set by the manufacturer but can be adjusted by the user depending upon the desired operation. Common components include rotary jig heads, fixed spindle drive assemblies and diamond plate rollers. The diamond plate roller drive assembly is commonly referred to as a worm or screw jack because it serves only to increase the rigidity of the plates, which in turn, increases the overall effectiveness of the rotary tool.

A major benefit of using a rotary table in manufacturing processes is that it provides accuracy in measurement. This accuracy is particularly apparent in the production of plastic parts. In the production of plastic products the size of the material can significantly change from one step in the process to another. In order to compensate for the differences in sizes, the plastic material will need to be measured with respect to specific deviations from the ideal sizes. While the process may be automated, manual measurements cannot always be. This is where the rotary table comes into play.

The basic rotary table consists of a fixed spindle drive assembly and fixed or adjustable bed rails. The drive assembly is supported by two vertically located tappets that are rotated in planes parallel to each other and one side of the tappet moves in a plane perpendicular to the other side of the tappet. The fixed bed rail is capable of either clockwise or counterclockwise rotation relative to the two planes of the spindle relative to each other.