Metalworking is all about achieving the highest level of accuracy, and for this, you need a specialized device. That’s where a rotary table kicks in. This high precision device is perfect for precise positioning when the operator needs to cut or drill at exact intervals around a fixed vertical or horizontal axis.
When it comes to various indexing operations, it’s possible to use rotary tables that allow you to use index plates. On the other hand, there are also rotary tables that support dividing plates. Such tables are perfect for regular work positioning in those situations when indexing plates are needed but aren’t available at divisions.
At such divisions, these rotary tables are used with various fixtures and because of that, they are also called an indexing or a dividing head.
High Production Performance
Since a rotary table is a perfect working device for high production performance, rotary tables are high in demand across a wide range of industries. Food, electronics, chemical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, medical, science, almost every industry in the world uses these tables due to their high precision and high production performance.
How to Set Up a Rotary Table
Before using a rotary table, you first need to set it up. You can do that easily by following two important steps. The first one is all about ensuring that your part fits perfectly on the table. You can do that by centering the part. Clamp down a rotary table on the mill table by putting an indicator holder on the revolving axis on the mill.
To do that, you’ll need a round feature on the part itself, as you need to indicate on it to make the centering possible. Bump the part in and spin a rotary table to make sure that it doesn’t show any movement on the indicator. Now that it’s all set up, it’s time for the second step.
The second step is where you need to locate the center of rotation. You can do that by looking under the spindle of the mill as it’s usually much easier to find the rotating center by looking directly under the mill. To find the spindle, use the X and Y handwheels, as these will help you locate the center.
Then, the indicator holder will help you to center a circular feature under the revolving axis by indexing it off. Turn the indicator around directly on the axis by adjusting the table handwheels to position the indicator relative to the rotating axis position.
It’s extremely important to make sure that the indicator holder remains put when compared to the spindle position to ensure optimal positioning and centering.
If you take a chuck and mount it on the rotary table, you get a perfect place for a rounding fixture. Just like setting up a rotary table, a rounding fixture also needs a special, step-by-step setup process, but it gets much easier simply because once you’ve set up a rotary table, all you have to do is mount a chuck on it and you’re good to go.
This is a way to bypass a complicated rounding fixture setup process so all you need to do this is a rotary table and a chuck. If you need to round with end holes, you’ll want to avoid rotary overrun. The most common use for any rotary table is rounding.
You can do it partially by cranking a rounding part around the table and this is where you need to pay special attention, as when rounding partially you can easily get over the edge. If you don’t pay attention, you can easily go too far and make a huge mess.
The best thing to do to avoid this is making the exact stop points by drilling the endpoints. That way, you’ll make the stopping point a lot less sensitive on the rotor itself and ensure maximum precision while rounding partially.
Centering Under the Spindle
If you need centering under the spindle, the best thing to do is use a Blake indicator, as this will significantly speed up the entire process. Still, if a Bale isn’t available, a collect fixture designed specifically for rotary tables will take care of this problem.
By installing a collect fixture directly on the table, you can align both the table axis and the collet axis. By doing so, you get a perfect solution for centering under the spindle with utmost precision and accuracy to ensure no mistakes and errors occur.