Cleaning up the Industrial Industry

Round And Round: Exploring Different Types Of Rotary Table Products

by Alfredo Harper

A rotary table is an incredibly versatile tool used in various industries, from metalworking and woodworking to food processing and pharmaceuticals. Their main function is to rotate a workpiece around a vertical axis. This article highlights the different types of rotary table products available in the market.

Manual Rotary Tables

Manual rotary tables are simple, user-operated devices that require the operator to manually turn a hand crank to achieve the desired rotation. These are typically used in applications that require lower precision or when the machining operation is not too complex. 

Manual rotary tables are popular in workshops and educational settings due to their ease of use and lower cost.

Motorized Rotary Tables

Motorized rotary tables, as the name suggests, use a motor to drive the rotation. The motor allows for more precise control over the speed and direction of rotation. These tables are often integrated into a CNC machine, enabling automated and high-precision machining tasks. 

Motorized rotary tables are common in industries that require high precision and volume production, like automotive and aerospace.

Indexing Tables

Indexing tables, or index tables, are a specialized type of rotary table. They are designed to precisely rotate the workpiece to specific, fixed angles. This allows for complex machining operations to be performed at several locations around the workpiece. 

Rotary Tilting Tables

Rotary tilting tables offer an added level of versatility by providing two axes of rotation: one for the standard rotary motion and another for tilting the workpiece. This allows the operator to machine complex parts at various angles without having to reposition the workpiece manually.

These tables are highly valued in industries that require complex, precision machining, like the medical device industry.

Pallet Changing Tables

Pallet changing tables, or pallet changers, are used in production environments to minimize downtime. While one pallet is being machined, another can be loaded or unloaded, reducing the idle time between machining cycles. This is particularly beneficial in high-volume, high-production environments.

Trunnion Rotary Tables

Trunnion rotary tables allow for the simultaneous machining of multiple sides of a workpiece without repositioning. These tables hold the workpiece in a kind of 'sandwich', enabling the machine to access various sides at once. Trunnion rotary tables greatly increase efficiency in production lines.

Direct-drive rotary tables represent the pinnacle of rotary table technology, providing unparalleled speed and precision. They have a motor that directly drives the rotary table without any mechanical transmission elements like gears or worm drives. This results in smoother motion, higher speed, increased precision, and reduced maintenance.

Unlike traditional rotary tables, direct-drive rotary tables can achieve very high rotational speeds while maintaining excellent positional accuracy. They also eliminate backlash, a common problem in gear-driven systems, resulting in improved performance.

To learn more, contact a rotary table supplier such as Koma Precision.