Beginner’s Guide to Rotary Motion Components

Rotary tables and other rotary systems are used in many different industries. These systems are applicable to many different needs and come with many different features and functionalities. One of the reasons for this is because they come with various components that can be changed and adjusted to get the optimal performance required.

It can be difficult to find the right components for your operational needs, as there is a large variety available. However, you need to know what they are designed for and what their basic functions are to find the right component that will help you improve your operations.

In this short guide, we will present you some of the common rotary motion components and tell you a bit about them.

Ball Screws

Ball screws are one of the most important rotary motion components to know because they are designed to convert rotary into linear motion and the other way around. In most cases, they are power screws that have a line of ball bearings located between the nut and screw within a recirculating track.

They have a very low wear rate and their service life can be predicted accurately. Some rely on sliding friction to transform rotary motion into linear motion and in most cases, their assembly includes bearing support, a nut, and a screw.

Electric Rotary Actuators

Electric rotary actuators are used to drive different components in a rotary motion using a motor’s electromagnetic power. Usually, they are used for their indexing and control capabilities, which help create multiple positioning throughout a single stroke. The element of rotation for these components can be a rotary table or a circular shaft.

The rotary tables have a bolt pattern where other components can be mounted, while circular shafts have keyways. There are options with both double and single shafts. The length and diameter of both rotary tables and shafts are very important for every application.

Rotary Stages or Rotary Tables

Rotary stages are designed to rotate various objects in different control and motion applications. There several different types of these mechanical devices and they can be referred to in different ways, with the most common ones being rotary stages or rotary tables. They can rely on shafts, rotating tables, and rings to make a certain object move in a designated circular motion.

Rotary stages can be very different when it comes to applications and features. There are models that give positional feedback through limit switches, home switches, resolvers, or encoders. Some other models have clutch and brake combinations or lock and brake mechanisms.

They can be used in completely automated systems, manufacturing, various testing applications, and so on.

Roller screws

Roller screws, satellite roller screws, or planetary roller screws are used to convert rotary motion into accurate linear motion, similarly to ball screws. Compared to ball screws, planetary roller screws have a much greater number of contact points and this is why they are able to provide smoother motion, as well as a higher level of stiffness.

This is why they are used for applications that need a high level of thrust output, along with a high level of stiffness. Roller screws are also often used in linear actuators that are mechanical, electrical or a combination of the two.

The added number of bearing points make the roller screw more precise and help them achieve greater rotational speed and load rating while having a longer operational lifetime.

Hydraulic Rotary Actuators

These components rely on pressured fluid to rotate various components. Compared to pneumatic actuators, they are more powerful, as the pressure which is created in hydraulic elements has the ability to produce far greater levels of torque. They have two types of rotary elements, as well as tables and shafts, and can also have a single and double shaft.

However, hydraulic actuators have different applications due to their performance specifications and they are often used for construction, mining, marine, recycling, and military purposes. Some systems are used for propeller steering on marine vessels. On the other hand, others can be used on excavators, earth moving machines, bulldozers, and so on.

We are only scratching the surface here and there are many other rotary components that find a wide range of applications. If you want to learn more, check out our website and see what we have to offer.