Manual Rotary Table

What is a manual rotary table?

A manual rotary table is the rotary table that the position and angle of the table as well as the workpieces that are clamped on the table can be adjusted by the manual force of the operators. The manual rotary table enables the workpieces to be cut from angular dimensions in one operation on a milling machine or a grinding machine, etc.

A rotary table is a useful and practical accessory that facilitates high efficient operation and is commonly seen on a milling machine, which creates slots on the workpieces depending on the required geometries of the products as the cutting tools rotates with the spindle on the headstock of the machine, and cut on the workpieces that are set stationary. 

The reason why a work table that is equipped with the rotary function can help improve operational efficiency is that the rotary function allows the cutting tools to cut through the workpieces without the repetitive unloading and loading of the works. In the precision machining fields, to fulfill the intricate cuts on the final products based on the requirements of the customers, it requires cutting the workpieces from different angles. 

For the conventional milling machine, where the work table is fixed on the machine base, the workpieces can only be cut from one fixed direction. If it is necessary to cut the different parts on the workpieces, they should be unloaded from the vise or chuck, and re-loaded after the desired cutting position has been adjusted, which takes a lot of time during the operation, because every time that the workpieces are adjusted, they are required to be indexed again.

Instead, if the machine adopts a rotary table for holding the workpieces during operation, the time that may be spent on the unloading, re-loading, and indexing of the workpieces can be saved. Depending on the type of the rotary table, the above works can be eliminated and the adjustment of the cutting angles can be achieved by simply rotating the table with either manual force or automatic CNC system.

Here we would focus more on the manually operated rotary table, which is the manual rotary table. Compared to its counterpart, which is maneuvered by means of the CNC system, the manual form of rotary table must be less expensive than the automatic one, but still remains the equally optimal performance of the machining works.


What types of manual rotary tables are there?

As the need for precision machining increases, the manual rotary tables are designed with additional features or functions, in order to accommodate the different needs of each manufacturer and facilitate more efficient operating processes.

● Manual tilt rotary table
The manual tilt rotary table is a relatively more versatile type among all the manual rotary tables, since it enables the table center to be arranged horizontally or vertically depending on the need of the process.

The components of this type of rotary table are engaged by worm gears, and supported by rigid radial and axial bearings. On the side of the table, it is equipped with a ratchet handle and a brake handle. In combination with the brake, this assembly ensures the firmest clamping force and stabilizes the table when it is tilted, in order to prevent the center table from shifting. 

This type of rotary table can be fitted on either large or small sizes of workpieces. With the stable clamp on the small workpieces, they can be easily tilted and cut without problem. As for the larger workpieces, the table can be arranged vertically and combined with the tailstock on the opposite site of the machine. With the assistance of the tailstock, the clamping force is doubled, and thus makes the machining works go smoothly.

● Manual index rotary table
The manual index rotary table is stationary on the horizontal surface, and the components are also engaged with worm gear on the side of the table. In addition, the shaft of the transmission system is secured by the ball bearings. 

In general, there would be a control lever that controls the supply of lubricants. Since the transmission of the rotary motion requires lubrication to protect the mechanism, the supply of lubricants is important. By simply pulling the lever on the side, the lubricants can be distributed underneath the table.

Since this type of rotary table can only be horizontally mounted, the ability to clamp different sizes of workpieces is limited. However, it is not the complexity of the table that determines the ability of the table to hold the workpieces. In fact, the size of the table has something to do with it. Therefore, to enhance the versatility of the manual index rotary table, the table can be made as different sizes as the workpieces are machined on the horizontal surface.

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