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Rotary Stages

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Rotary Stages

Dover Motion offers a range of standard rotary motion systems, though our core strength is collaborating with our clients to configure the right motion solution for their unique application. Learn more about how we can work together on your next project.

What are Rotary Stages?

Three of the six degrees of freedom of every part to be positioned in a motion system are rotary: roll, pitch, and yaw. A single rotary stage, or “rotary table,” addresses all three of these through its ability to vary its mounting orientation. Many motion applications require precise rotary motion and positioning, and Dover Motion offers a number of rotary stage solutions to address these needs.

Our rotary stages use a variety of bearing and actuator technologies. For very stiff angular positioning at low to medium speeds, we use precision lapped worms and worm gears driven by a stepper or servo motor. Worm gear drive is especially valuable if the payload is offset and the system experiences a static torque. For the highest speed and precision, we recommend direct drive rotary tables such as our DRT series.

Working with Multiple Stages

While our rotary stages can be used as complete single-axis positioners, in many cases they are integrated with additional linear or rotary axes. A common example is to add a rotary stage to the top of an XY stage. In this case, it is important to consider the total range of travel. For applications where the payload must be aligned after loading it onto the stage stack, a limited travel of +/- 5 degrees may be sufficient. In other applications, 360-degree or unlimited rotation may be required.

Rotary stages can also be mounted to each other, allowing the customer’s part to be rotated in multiple axes. In one such example we designed a stack of three rotary tables that was used to move a miniature spherical laser fusion target in three rotational degrees of freedom during laser micromachining.

Does a standard rotary stage have two limit switches?

No, our standard motorized rotary stage has only 1 limit switch. The switch is typically wired to pin 2 on the limit encoder connector. The limit switch is intended to be used for homing. The homing routine will work with an initial positive or negative jog move of the motorized rotary stage until the limit switch triggers. If an encoder is also used, the home or zero position can then be set at the point where the limit switch is triggered.

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