Many people will hear the phrase rotary tables uttered in certain circles without fully understanding what the term relates to.  The truth is that rotary tables are a very important piece of equipment that plays a huge rule in shaping the world around us.  A high number of the products that we buy as consumers are manufactured using processes that involve the use of rotary tables.  Here we look at exactly what a rotary table is and touch on some areas of manufacture in which it is used.

Looking at the uses

Rotary tables are primarily used in the manufacture of metal parts and components.  They are usually used in unison with a drilling press or a milling machine.  Drilling presses are typically used by machinist enthusiasts who like to undertake their own metal shaping projects.  They can also be frequently found in design and technology classrooms in the educational setting.  The machine works on a vertical basis with the rotary table holding the piece being worked on in a solid position.  The job of the rotary table when using a milling machine is much the same; however the orientation is different with milling machines working on a horizontal basis.

Technical uses

Using rotary tables on a drill press can be quite limited and only smaller designs are used in this application.  They are more commonly used on a milling machine, which utilises them to enable a more detailed and accurate operation.  The rotary table holds the metal piece in place, whilst the milling machine brings in tools that are specially mounted on a head to shape the metal to the required dimensions.  Usually the shaping tool will be rotating at great speeds in order to strip away the excess metal.  However, in some applications it will be the metal that rotates whilst the tool is pushed into it.  For more complex shape designs rotary tables can actually rotate, which gives the shaping tools more angles with which to tackle the metal to be shaped.

Areas of manufacture

Rotary tables are used in literally almost every area of manufacture.  However, they are especially useful in the making of automobiles, where precision metal components are essential for quality and safety.  Another area that they are frequently used in is the production of heavy duty machinery, such as printing presses, where the parts of machines are subjected to constant and repetitive use.



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