Tech Updates

Rotary Indexing Tables

These are machine tool positioning appliances that are used in indexing different parts, as well as carrying out angular increments in order for them to either be assembled or assembled.

While the operation is ongoing, the rotary indexing table indexes on a center axis, stopping at a location that has been chosen initially. It stays at that post, while the operation is ongoing, and indexes to the position after that.

Usually, the rotary indexing table has the following:

A drive system,


Spindles- at least one,



Mounting holes or slots that are used in piecing those parts together.

The rotary indexing table either bears a flexible indexing angle or a fixed one. After every revolution occurs, the rotary indexing tale stays put for a selected amount of time, to ensure that the machinist carries out an operation in every station.

The bearings that are known to keep the rotary indexing table at one spot improve the accuracy and capacity of the load.

The angular contact bearings aren’t as affordable as the recirculating ball bearings, but they offer a lot more when you consider axial stiffness and load capacity. Apart from the bearings listed above, you can also see those rotary indexing tables that have cross-roller bearings.

The manual actuation, hydraulic drives, electric motors, as well as pneumatic motors power these devices- the rotary indexing table. The drive mechanisms in a rotary indexing table can be seen in either the table’s side or behind. In other cases, it may be either below or above.

Those rotary indexing tables that are powered by pneumatic motors are great for loads that are medium or small. This type of table is powered by one pneumatic cylinder out of the numerous ones it possesses, which every one of them representing an index.

When one stroke ends, the pawl ensures that the table is locked in a position. In some rotary indexing tables, the pawl is altered to adjust the indexes’ numbers.

Those tables that are powered through electricity are known to be a lot faster than those powered by pneumatic motors. They also have another advantage of being able to handle bigger loads.

Hydraulic powered table are known to opt for pressurized fluid that moves the rotational kinetic energy. Those rotary indexing tables that are manually-actuated usually possess a hand crack. Sometimes, they can be turned, loosened, and altered using the hand.

Specifications of the rotary indexing table

Before you opt for a rotary indexing table, you need to analyze its various features and specifications.

Some of the specifications that you should look at are:

The rotary indexing table’s maximum indexing increment;

What is the diameter of the work table?

What is the maximum axial load of the work table?

What is the maximum radial load of the rotary indexing table?

Features of Rotary Indexing Tables

Different rotary indexing tables have different features, based on how they are powered, but they all have common features.

A lot of rotary indexing tables have surfaces that are either lowered or raised in a controlled angle. For those that have neither of the above, they possess at least two rotating work surfaces.

CNC or Computer numerically controlled devices when they come in rotary indexing tables offer higher levels of accuracy and repeatability.

The rotary encoders are employed in relaying the point of that table surface.

These tables come in both five-axis and four-axis tables, and they offer the variable X, Y, and Z axis movement.

The four-axis tables are able to offer part movement on the X-axis, while the five-axis tables offer part movement on both the Y and X axes.

Applications of the rotary indexing tables

The rotary indexing tables are used in different industries, especially metalwork and woodwork. These type of tables are known to work well in both equipment and assembly position. They also work well in a myriad of inspection, automation, as well as machining applications.

A lot of these tools are highly functional with those machines that carry out those vertical operations that are quick and simple.

Some examples of these operations are pick and place units, dispensers, riveters, screwdrivers, industrial presses, and the resistance welders.

These parts are both unloaded and loaded either automatically or manually.