Rotary Table

What Is a Rotary Table?

A rotary table is an essential component for almost all machine tools and machining centers. The tilting function of rotary tables helps the corresponding machine tools achieve multiple axes of machining directions. For instance, they are used as a part of the automatic pallet changing devices for shortening the cycle time. 

Rotary tables play an important role in the machine tool industry, since what the advanced CNC machine tools pursue is precision and efficiency. In other words, the growth of machine tool industry is visible by taking the advantage of rotary tables.


How Does a Rotary Table Form?


● The capabilities

Rotary tables can either be manually operated or under the control of CNC machinery. 
The mechanism of conventional machine tools are usually designed with three existing X, Y, and Z axes. Rotary tables are used for adopting two additional axes of machining directions on the machine tools. The 4th axis and 5th axis performed by the rotary table are A axis and B axis. A axis is referred to the rotating movement around X axis, and B axis is the rotation around Y axis. 


● The construction

Rotary tables may be designed with slots on the surface or come in magnetic form in order to clamp the workpiece in place. The table is fixed on a base, and its movement is driven by a handwheel with the gear and motor. Compared to the conventional work table, which is set stationary on the base, the rotary table has more flexibility in the positioning of works. Besides, owing to the fundamental function the rotary table has, it must be stable enough during operation, so that the machining process can be ensured smooth without deviation.


What to Consider When Using a Rotary Table?


● Alignment of table

When setting up the rotary table on a machine tool, the alignment of the table is important. As mentioned above, this kind of work table is applied for additional axes of machining directions. How the table is arranged determines how the result of machining process is. Therefore, before turning on the table, align the scale on the table and the base by adjusting the dials on the sides.


● Clamping force for workpiece

Since the rotary table moves when the machine tool is in operation, the stability of table cannot be ignored as well. To clamp the workpiece firmly, it can either relies on the slots on the table surface or the magnetism the table has already had. Only when the clamping force is enough for the workpiece then the table is able to ensure the optimal stability for the works.


● Lubrication before and after use

When there are moving parts in a mechanism, lubrication should be applied for the smoothness of the operation. As two parts move against each other, the friction would be produces, which may thus lead to overheating or deviation of the works. As a result, before and after using the machine tools that come with a rotary work table, remember to apply lubrication on the contacting surfaces of the components.


Applications of Rotary Tables

When it comes to the applications of rotary tables, it must be derived from the primary functions they have. Rotary tables are work tables that rotate the workpieces during operation. This not only allows for multi-axis machining direction, but also reduces the cycle time by eliminating the need for transferring workpieces from one machine to another. 

In addition, when a product is formed after different machining processes all on the same site, deviation can be prevented. In other words, rotary tables are able to promise the optimal precision and accuracy when it is required to machine on the workpieces from different angles. As a result, rotary tables are widely applied for machine tools that are compatible with computerized control system, such as the machining centers. With this practical component, whether simple or intricate machining procedures can be easily accomplished on these machine tools.

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