We offer precision horizontal index tables for both manual and automated manufacturing processes.
CNC Index Tables
The HHI Series horizontal CNC index table from TJR Precision Technology employs a hydrolic braking system and is designed to be incorporated into a machine’s CNC control or operated with TJR’s SAC (Single Axis Controller).
Manual Index Tables
The GCT series from Ganro Industrial Corp. is clamped and unclamped pneumatically or hydraulically. Once unclamped the GCT series is manually indexed to the desired degree and securely clamped into position.
You may also be interested in our Horizontal Rotary Table
More About Index Rotary Tables
CNC machining, or computer numerical control, refers to machines that are used for milling work. This industrial process, created to operate without the need for human supervision, allowing companies to create parts with accuracy and little down time.
The machine receives coded instructions, sent by a computer for precision fabrication. Whereas old CNC machines received code through wired controllers, newer models operate computer software. Communication between the devices works via CD, USB drive or even over a shared network.
There are actually several kinds of CNC machines that work with the almost limitless number of different parts that might be needed. These milling machines, machining centers and lathes work most effectively with accessories that maximize their capabilities and efficiency. One of the most effective of these is the Ganro Industrial Corp.’s index rotary tables, available through CNC Indexing & Feeding Technologies.
How does an index rotary table work?
Let’s start with the parts of an index rotary table. Among these parts is an indexing head. This spiral head is a specially made tool that allows a workpiece to be indexed in a circular fashion. Indexing means that the piece can be easily rotated to a specific angle. Indexing heads can be placed on milling machine tables, as well as other CNC machining devices.
What’s the difference between a rotary head and a rotary table? The rotary table is made to tilt, and to rotate. This ability lets the piece positive-lock at finer gradations of rotation. It is held the same way as the indexing head, even though the function is slightly different. Tables use an indexing head to better cut and shape to perfection, using pre-set angles, circles or dividers.
The rotary table’s contribution to metalworking is in the fact that it lets the operate drill or cut a piece around a fixed axis. In addition, it can be fitted with plates that provide divisions that cannot work with regular indexing plates.
What is the difference between a manual and CNC index rotary table?
First, understand that CNC rotary tables are a type of automated rotary tables. The difference comes in the manually controlled rotary tables that operate via lever or a hand wheel.
What makes these CNC rotary tables automatic is the fact that commands are being programmed into the machine via Computer Numerical Control. Some machines are controlled by computer-aided design programs, and this also increases efficiency. The indexing heads are also available in manual or automatic function.
Index rotary tables allow for more precise and elegant work, whereas CNC controlled systems specialize in faster and more efficient production.
What are common uses of indexing rotary tables?
The primary use of an index rotary table is to make arcs and circles in part fabrication. Many workpieces must be rotated at a precise angle or division and in between operations.
This machine tool accessory adds extra capability to your equipment, since you can now make straight cuts at multiple angles, cut small circles or arcs into a piece, bore holes, perform spot facing, cut gears, cut holes in a part without having to change machines or a drill bit, cut curves into a piece, or precisely drill holes onto a very small part of the piece.
Important parts to remember include a dividing head and an index plate, since these can help to make the tables rotate in precise and controlled measurements. The tables can also be mounted in a few ways, whether horizontally or flat, or even used with tail stock to help work in between narrow centers.
Another advantage is that index tables can hold round parts for better milling accuracy. However, for this capacity, you must also use a three jaw chuck. They can also be mounted on a tilt table. This lets you mill even if you need compound angles or other complex pieces.
The premise for adding an indexing rotary table to your existing machining tool is to practically and affordably increase the menu of what your equipment can do. This can increase your business’s efficiency in production, reduce your down time and increase your profit margin.
What industries use them and for what purposes?
There is a wide variety of companies that use index tables and others that can benefit from these machines, if only they would consider all the options.
Companies that produce new products obviously are the biggest industry that utilizes index rotary tables. However, contract shops and other workpiece producers stand to profit as well.
With the rise of DIY projects, tool producing companies also stand to benefit, by creating tools that can cut easily, or other related fixtures, dies, molds and other miscellaneous pieces. In this age of free invention, prototypes are easier to make now and most products require special pieces to create new products.
Engineering and planning is a major business that is thriving and which requires careful attention to details. This is why product makers use machine accessories like index tables to make precise specifications and to document the process for their own records.
Most companies that create workpieces specialize in a particular type of part, as opposed to custom making any and all orders. Therefore, they may only see fit to have one CNC machine or tool. They may only have one small area for production. This is why efficiency is important for specialization purposes. If the process is not efficient then the work is not profitable.
What benefits do index rotary tables offer?
The benefits come mostly in cost savings. If a part producing company is asked to create a product or product piece from a larger product seller, this means the creating the piece at a fraction of the price and resources that would be available to the larger company — and doing it quickly, beyond the means of what the large company can do.
Planning is key; especially when it comes to saving on resources. CNC machines and index tables are used according to a documented cycle and process, that can match the production volume.
So much of the efficiency relies on the machine’s quality. After all, these machines have to work constantly and always be busy in the cycle.
What training/experience is needed to use this type of tool accessory?
The human factor is more important during the shipping process, not the machining process. Of course, there is not a complete absence of the human factor; an experienced supervisor is needed to assume responsibility over a project, which will require setting up the machine, overseeing the production run, and if necessary making adjustments to the software program that works with the machine.
Operating index rotary tables in conjunction with a milling machine or other equipment requires a certain degree of education and work experience. Most CNC machinists have excellent conceptual skills, process improvement knowledge, supply management experience and the ability to manage inventory control. They must also possess careful attention to detail in their everyday behavior, with the ability to make good judgment.
The work load will involve programming or adjusting the software as needed, operated the index table with a CNC machine, maintaining safety and quality standards, managing complex and potentially dangerous equipment, and keeping accurate records for transparency. The ability to study work orders is also important, whether through blueprints, engineering plans, drawings or graphics, mathematical parameters and even the educated interpretation of geometric information.
Is there regular maintenance required for an index rotary table?
Lubrication is very important. The index rotary table gear box and worm shaft require high quality oil (such as ISO 100-150). The oil levels should be monitored on a regular basis. The oil should be completely changed every 6 months if the index rotary table is used in normal operation conditions. This is important to insure high quality function as well as to increase longevity of the index rotary table.
The environment should also be cleaned. Debris on the machine could interfere with production. Clean out the table and wipe it down with oil.
What practices keep these tool accessories in good working order?
Use the machine only as directed. This heavy device cannot be dropped or used recklessly, as this will easily affect or impede performance. Do not hammer the table face. Indexing is about precise shaping, not experimenting with your own tools.
Do not attempt to run the table without lubrication, as indicated, and do not use the machine if any debris is still lodged in between moving parts. The worm assembly part, for instance, must be completely clean. Dry and generally cool temperatures work best; dampness can lead to rusting.
An index rotary table can help to improve your industrial business, and it can not just save money but also increase your income by increasing your market size and production capabilities.