There are many options to consider when choosing the best indexing rotary table for your manufacturing operation. What design is best? How big does it need to be? Should I choose a CNC or manually operated indexer?
At CNC Indexing & Feeding Technologies, we have the right indexing rotary table to meet the needs of small and large manufacturers alike. We offer one-stop shopping for all of your shop’s rotary table needs with top-of-the-line tables from Ganro Industrial Corp.
With the full product line of Ganro’s indexing rotary tables available, you will find an indexer that can stand up to even the most demanding applications with exceptional accuracy and durability.
Choosing the right table starts with a few basic decisions regarding design and operations. Here are a few important options to consider before you buy an indexing rotary table.
1. Wormgear versus Facegear
The first thing most machining operations should decide on is the mechanics of their indexing rotary table. CNC Indexing offers wormgear and facegear options.
Wormgear designs, such as Ganro standard rotary tables, is the most popular indexing rotary table design on the market. These indexers can stop at 360,000 positions in 0.001 degree increments, offering essentially infinite positioning options. The wormgear-style table is ideal for the job-shop that never knows what work will come next because of the high level of flexibility it affords.
Facegear indexers such as Ganro’s DC Series utilizes a Hirth coupling design that provides extreme rigidity for heavy cutting applications. With more limited indexing positions in 1 degree increments, this design is generally used in dedicated applications, such as for a machine that makes the same part day in and day out.
2. Table Specs
In table specifications, one of the primary concerns should be the worktable diameter, which refers to the surface area of your indexing rotary table. When deciding on the diameter needed for your indexing rotary table, consider the maximum size of the workpieces you’ll need it to accommodate.
In addition to the size of the workpiece, you’ll need to consider the weight of the objects you’ll be machining. Choose a table that can support the maximum weight load for the type of workpieces you’ll be machining.
The Ganro product line offers many table sizes, from large standard rotary tables to compact tilt rotary tables.
3. Mounting Options
When it comes to mounting, there are three options: vertical, horizontal, or versatile. For the small manufacturing operation, job-shop and subcontract facility, versatility in an indexing rotary table is often vital to efficient operations. On the other hand, large manufacturers typically look for the best product for each application.
Vertical machining centers, or VMCs, come standard with 3 axes and are the most popular type of machine. The way the machine is designed, a rotary table will ideally be mounted vertically to add a 4th axis, or A axis. It is possible, though less common, to mount horizontally for a 4th axis, or C axis. With CNC Indexing’s DR and DC series of Ganro indexing rotary tables, the most common use is vertical mounting However, the table is designed for mounting either direction, and some customers will change mounting direction to accommodate different jobs.
Horizontal machining centers, or HMCs, come standard with 5 axes, but a 6th axis, or C axis, can be added to allow for complex part production. The Ganro DR Series mounted vertically would allow for this, although this is a less frequent use.
Horizontal boring mills, or HBMs, are able to utilize indexing rotary tables in vertical OR horizontal positions, though horizontal mounting is more common.
4. CNC versus Manual Operations
Like everything else in today’s technologically advanced world, the manufacturing industry has increasingly leaned toward computer-controlled equipment. With indexing rotary tables, this is no different. Manual indexers still have a place, but manual rotary tables are less commonly used than CNC operations. CNC Indexing offers only one full-blown manual indexing rotary table, the Ganro GCT Series.
For customers who require of their rotary tables horizontal mounting options, there are several reasons a shop might lean toward a manual table, including:
- Lower operating budget.
- Infrequent need for indexes.
- An older machine is being used.
- The machine’s control can’t run additional axis.
- No electrical interface is needed, which means easier installation and use.
A table that also offers CNC rotary tables, such as the HR Series from Ganro, would be more functional for a manufacturer if:
- Indexing is frequently needed.
- Odd indexing angles are required.
- Interpolation (simultaneous indexing and cutting) is needed.
- The shop is looking to decrease the amount of labor needed in the process.
For operations with VCMs that are looking to increase from 3 to 5 axes, CNC Indexing offers the TR Series tilting rotary tables or TRM Series of manual tilt rotary tables.
The TRM series of manual tilt rotary tables is a better fit for shops with a low budget; fewer tilting angle requirements; no 5-axis contouring needs; and machine control that is not capable of running a 5th axis.
When control of 5 axes is needed; higher part quantities and/or complex parts that require full interpolation are being manufactured; or the indexing rotary table is being purchased with a new machine package, the TR Series is often the best choice.
No matter what your indexing needs, CNC Indexing & Feeding Technologies has the right rotary tables and accessories to keep your manufacturing operations running smoothly and efficiently. Call 513-770-4200 today to learn more about our complete line of Ganro products and find out how you can increase capabilities, improve accuracy and reduce manufacturing cycle times in your shop.