Rotary stages, rotary tables, or rotation stages are different terms used for the same mechanical component. This component is a vital part of various rotary machines that are used for production, engraving, and manufacturing different products and materials.
These systems are used in many different industries from automotive production, automation industry, aerospace industry, and so on. This means that there are many different rotary tables in terms of size, speed, accuracy, and all the important characteristics.
However, choosing the right one for your needs can be very difficult. You need to understand your needs and know which type of rotary table would be the best fit. This is why we decided to make a short guide that will quickly explain all the important things you need to know about rotary stages.
What is a Rotary Stage?
As we said earlier, rotary stages are mechanical components that are usually a part of a large motion system that is designed to rotate objects in a single rotation plane or axis. What all rotary stages have in common is that they are made out of two important parts: the base and platform.
These two are connected with some form of guide or a bearing so that the platform is limited to a rotation movement revolving around the plane or an axis. Most commonly, when talking about rotary stages, it usually includes systems that also have a mechanism for controlling the platform’s angular position from the aspect of the base.
Rotary table relies on the worm gear, which is precisely built and forms an assembly combined with an angular bearing, cross roller, or ball to help give support the top load of the table. Different rotary stages have different gear ratios which provide high speeds or high precision. The applications of servo motors or step motors to drive rotary stages gives the option to control the overall motion and adjust speed precisely.
How to Choose the Right Rotary Stage?
One of the biggest issues companies and professionals have with rotary stages is that they don’t know how to choose the right one. This is why we wanted to share our expertise in a coherent and concise way to help you get to the bottom of it and not have to waste a lot of time figuring out what’s important.
We will explain some of the crucial things you need to understand about rotary stages so let’s talk about the two most popular types of rotary stages, the 300 and 400 series.
The 300 series is best applicable for the purpose of general automation that requires consistency in repeatability and solid accuracy. A typical example of this kind of application is robot bottle filling for drugs.
Even though this kind of application doesn’t require extremely precise positioning, it does require different positioning locations and speeds. This is why the 300 series is great for this kind of use, as it is accurate enough without being complex. At the same time, it means it’s affordable.
On the other hand, the 400 series supports greater load capacity and is more accurate. This kind of stage is better for more complex tasks, such as in the automotive or aerospace industry, where there is a need for great precision during operation and where the pieces which need to be operated on can be very heavy.
Rotary tables can be mounted in two different ways: horizontally and vertically. You need to consider which option works better for you. There are also rotary stages that can be mounted both ways but that has its drawbacks.
All rotary stages have different features and you need to find the right ones for you. These include index positioning, improved accuracy, speed options, number of positioning, portability, safety systems, and so on.
Custom Rotary Stages
Even though there are many standardized rotary stages that can be used for various needs, there are still a lot of situations where companies have special requirements. In these situations, the best action is to find a provider that can deliver a customized stage that is built specifically for your needs.
Still, custom doesn’t necessarily mean complex. In some situations, for example, the only custom part of the rotary stage needed is the bolt hole. Sometimes there is little space for the rotary positioning device and it needs to be adjusted properly so that it can fit the workspace properly.
We hope that this small guide helps you understand the essentials of rotary stages and that you have a better understanding of what they do and how to purchase the right one.