An Introduction to Powered Rotary Table

Posted on Dec 29, 2020

Powered Rotary Table

When it comes to powered rotary table, it is the rotary tables widely used in CNC machining center which responsible for precisely locating the parts in the commanded angle in order to perform multi-face machining at one time.

What Is a Rotary Table?

For starters, we need to know what a rotary table is. Rotary table is a high precision positioning device which is widely used in machining and metalworking. With the rotation, the operators can perform drilling, milling, cutting and other applications at exact intervals around the horizontal or vertical axis. To achieve the high accuracy and efficiency, many rotary tables can incorporate with index plates or dividing plates. With the help of additional components, the rotary tables can be used for indexing application or even position the work piece at divisions on the dividing plates. 

Powered Rotary Table and CNC Machining Center

When it comes to powered rotary table, it is the rotary tables widely used in CNC machining center which responsible for precisely locating the parts in the commanded angle in order to perform multi-face machining at one time. Originally, in a 3-axis CNC machining center, there are only X, Y, Z working axes. The X, Y, Z axis are the linear lathe axes. Operating along the XYZ planes, the Z axis is the important axis that is aligned with the main axis of the machines. On the same plane, the Y axis works in horizontal direction while the X axis is the vertical operation direction.

In typical machining centers that have the 4th axis, the 4th axis is the 180° rotation axis around the X axis. With a CNC motors, the motorized rotary tables can play the role as the 4th axis in the machining centers to enhance the flexibility of metalworking applications. The arrangement of involving powered rotary table in 3-axis machining center is popular for cam machining, helical grooves producing, blade machining and other unique profile machining. Powered rotary tables have a wide range of applications, for example, utilizing in both manufacturing and inspection stage of essential components in aerospace industry, automobile manufacturing and other scientific industries. 

:: Read more : What is a motorized rotary table?

Construction of Powered Rotary Table

The vital elements of a powered rotary table include a supporting disc where the work pieces are clamped for machining, a solid base for clamping onto another larger table, machine, or machining center, the CNC controller and motor. A through hole is machined into the CNC rotary table to fit the Morse taper center or fixture.

● Table Disc:

The precision-machined disc is the rotating surface where the work piece is positioned and fixed firmly. T slots are the typical parts to help clamping the work pieces. The chuck is used to hold the work piece with a dial indicator to ensure the chuck and product are centered. After installing the chuck with bolts and T-nuts then checking if the work piece is centered, the operator can position the job on the table. The disc can spin freely under the instructions from CNC controller and motor. It is also the components which the indexing plate or dividing plate can mount with. When CNC controller and the CNC motor provide inputs, the rotation of the worm gear is activated and the mating gear mounted beneath the table surface begins to spin, either. The worm gears perform the precise rotations of the rotary table and every parts of the disc are critically calibrated in degrees. 

● CNC System:

The computer numerical controller transport programmed commands to activate the powered rotary tables. The commands are conveyed in CAD files, which refers to Computer Aided Design files, and provide sequential instructions to ensure the smooth operation. Eliminating the human power, CNC provides reliable and precise high performance positioning for further machining applications. 
The size and type of the CNC motors can determine the routers precision, the efficiency and also the accuracy. Following is the basic introduction of two classes of motors used in CNC rotary tables, which are the stepper motors and the servo motors. Within these 2 classes, there are more subtypes.

● Servo Motors:

Servo motors use closed looping variable circuit which continuously run for maintaining smooth motor function. The brushes on this type of CNC motors should be replaced after two thousand hours of operation. The encoders may need to be checked and replaced, too. Servo motors feature the efficiency in power consumption. They perform with about 90 percent of efficiency when giving light loads.

● Stepper Motors:

Stepper motors only require the wires that connected with the motor driver, having simpler setup. The only wearing part in this type of CNC motors is the bearing mounted on the motor, which slightly reduce the equipment life. Compared to servo type, stepper motors consume a large amount of power to provide the output, and much of them is converted to heat. Depending on the stepper driver, the stepper motors are often seventy percent efficient.

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