Parts of Slotting Machine & Their Types, Operation, Mechanism

Hey, everyone! In this discussion, we’ll delve into a comprehensive exploration of slotting machines. We’ll cover aspects like the components of slotting machines, the various types available, mechanisms involved, and the operations performed by slotting machines. Stay tuned for a thorough understanding of this topic.

A slotting machine bears resemblance to a shaper machine, with the key distinction lying in the vertical movement of its ram. This machinery is employed for heavier tasks, specifically when the tool requires cutting towards the machine table.

In terms of design, operation, and application, a vertical shaper and a slotting machine are nearly identical. The primary deviation lies in the fact that the ram of a vertical shaper can reciprocate at any angle with the horizontal table, in addition to its vertical stroke.

Types of Cutting Tool Materials and Their Properties

The slotting machine serves various purposes, including cutting grooves, keyways, and slots of different sizes. It excels at shaping both internal and external surfaces, handling regular and irregular surfaces, cutting internal and external gears, and undertaking operations that might prove challenging on other machine tools.

What is Slotting Machine

A slotting machine, also known as a slotter machine, belongs to the category of reciprocating machines. In this machine, the ram carries the tool and moves solely in the vertical axis, performing both downward and upward motions. Its applications include the production of various products such as keyways, grooves, slots, and more.

Similar to other essential machines in the manufacturing process like the lathe machine, drilling machine, milling machine, and planer machine, the slotting machine plays a crucial role.

Parts of Planer Machine and Their Types, Operation, Mechanism

While a drilling machine utilizes drill bits, and a milling machine employs milling cutters, each contributing to the execution of diverse operations.

Parts of Slotting Machine 

The main parts of the slotting machine are described below:

  •  Base or Bed  
  •  Column
  •  Saddle
  •  Cross-slide
  •  Rotary Table  
  •  Ram
  •  Tool Head
  •  Speed ​​Gear Box
See in figure different parts of slotting machine which is described below in detail.
Parts of Slotting Machine

Base or Bed

The machine is reinforced to endure the entire cutting force and the full load it bears. The saddle is equipped with square or dovetail guideways on the top of the bed. Cast iron is the chosen material for constructing the base.


The column, an upright component, is cast together with the base. This section of the slotting machine houses both the driving and feed mechanisms for the ram. The front vertical surface is meticulously finished to match the precision of the ram’s reciprocation. Similar to the base, it is also constructed from cast iron.


Mounted on the guideways, the saddle is adjustable towards or away from the column using either power or hand controls, facilitating the lengthwise feeding of the work. The top surface of the saddle is meticulously finished to offer precision-guideways for the cross slide.


Installed on the guideways of the saddle, the cross slide can be adjusted parallel to the face of the column. The slide’s motion is regulated either manually or through power control, delivering a cross-feed supply.

Rotary Table

A rotary table, a circular platform, is affixed atop a cross slide. Its primary function is to secure the workpiece or job during machining operations.

Workpieces are secured on the slotter’s table using a vice, ‘T’ bolts, clamps, or specialized fixtures. The rotation of the table is achieved by turning a worm, which meshes with the worm gear. The intricate gear mechanisms are housed inside the table, enabling manual or powered rotation.

Surface Grinding Machine Parts and Function,Types,Uses

‘T’ slots on the upper surface of the table are strategically cut to accommodate various clamping devices for securing different types of work or jobs. Rotary tables are particularly useful for creating circular or contoured surfaces in machining processes.


The ram holds utmost significance in the slotting machine, as it is responsible for moving the workpiece or job to cut and shape it as desired.

Equipped with a tool head, the ram undergoes reciprocating motions in both upward and downward directions along guideways. It is affixed to the guideways of the column, and a slot is crafted on the ram’s body to facilitate adjustments in the stroke position.

Tool Head

In certain slotting machines, it constitutes a segment of the ram and serves the purpose of securely gripping the tool.

This component is employed for firmly securing the tool in place.

A slotting machine utilizes a single-point cutting tool for the removal of various materials.

Speed ​​Gear Box

In the speed gearbox, power transfers from the main drive gearbox to the sliding gears of the speed gearbox through the drive shaft.

Sliding gears can be shifted to obtain the required ram speed.

Types of Slotting Machine

There are the following types of slotting machines used:

  •  General Purpose Slotting Machine
  •  Precision Tool Room Slotting Machine
  •  Puncher Slotting Machine
  •  Die Slotting Machine
  •  Production Slotting Machine
  •  Locomotive Frame Slotting Machine
  •  Traveling Head Slotting Machine  

General Purpose Slotting Machine 

It is used for simple slotting operations and is found in many sizes. 

Precision Tool Room Slotting Machine  

It is employed for tasks requiring precision.

The column of these slotting machines can be inclined to facilitate angular movement of the tools.

Additionally, it features a micrometer column for meticulous fine adjustments.

Puncher Slotting Machine

Puncher slotter machines are robust slotting machines extensively utilized for machining substantial workpieces, such as those made of forging or casting materials.

Die Slotting Machine

This slotting machine variant is primarily employed for machining a cavity in a die blank.

Unconventional Machining Process: Types, Working, Uses

The worktable in this slotter machine can also move in the transverse direction.

Production Slotting Machine

This category of slotter machine finds application in scenarios demanding extensive mass production.

These slotting machines excel in the ease of cutting gears and keyways.

Locomotive Frame Slotting Machine

It is a sizable machine equipped with two or three slotting heads capable of independent operation.

This specific slotting machine is especially well-suited for completing a locomotive frame.

Traveling Head Slotting Machine

This machine exhibits both vertical and horizontal shaping movements.

Slotting Machine Mechanism

There are the following slotting machine mechanisms used:

  •  Ram Drive Mechanism
  •  Feed Mechanism

RAM Drive Mechanism

A tool attached to a ram in a slotter undergoes vertical movements, cutting exclusively during downward strokes.

Typical mechanisms employed for this purpose include quick return mechanisms like hydraulic drive, variable speed reversible motor drive, and slotted disk mechanisms in slotting machines.

Hydraulic Drives

Hydraulic drives find application in machines designed for precision or tool room work.

The hydraulic drive minimizes vibrations, leading to an enhanced surface finish.

Variable Speed Reversible Motor Drive

Variable speed reversible motors power larger machines.

A specialized motor, adjusting its speed based on the applied field current, is utilized for this purpose.

Slotted Disk Mechanism

The mechanisms in these slotting machines consist of gears, pinions, cranks, and slotted discs.

Quick Return Mechanism working principle in Slotting Machine

In the slotter, the downward stroke is the cutting stroke, while the upward stroke is the return (or idle) stroke.

Clearly seen in the figure when the slotted link rotates then bull gear rotates.

Quick Return Mechanism working principle in Slotting Machine

When the block is at ‘A’, the ram is at the bottom position, and when the block is at ‘B’, the ram is at the top position.

The arc ACB corresponds to the cutting stroke, and the arc BDA corresponds to the return stroke.

Due to the larger size of the arc ACB compared to the arc BDA, the cutting stroke takes more time than the return stroke.

Feed Mechanism of Slotting Machine

In the slotter, the feed is delivered through the table.

A slotting machine has three types of feed movements.

In slotting feed movement for the table is following: 

  •  Longitudinal Feed
  • Cross Feed
  •  Circular

Longitudinal Feed

When the table is moved towards or away from the face of the column in the vertical direction, this feeding motion is referred to as longitudinal.

Cross Feed

When the table is moved parallel to the face of the column, this feeding motion is termed cross-feed.


When the table is rotated on the vertical axis, this feeding motion is labeled as circular.

Having explored the feed movement for the table in slotting, let’s now delve into the working principle of the feed mechanism.

Feed Mechanism Working Principle in Slotting Machine

Similar to the shaper or planer, the feed movement in the slotter follows the same pattern and is initiated at the start of the cutting stroke.

Cylindrical Grinding Machine: Working, Parts, Types, Uses

Feed movement can be imparted using either manual or power methods. Manual feed is achieved by turning the respective feed screws.

The power feed mechanism is illustrated in the figure.

Feed Mechanism Working Principle in Slotting Machine

A cam groove is machined on the surface of the bull gear, providing a track for the roller to slide along.

When the bull gear rotates, the roller, along with the lever following the contour of the cam groove, moves vertically within a brief segment of the wheel gear.

The cam groove is designed to restrict the lever’s movement to occur exclusively at the start of the cutting stroke.

Slotting Machine Operation

There are the following operations performed in the slotting machines.

  • Machining Flat Surfaces 
  • Machining Circular Surface
  • Machining Irregular Surfaces 
  • Machining of slots, keys, and grooves
See in figure different types of slotting machine operation which is described below in detail.
Slotting Machine Operation
Slotting Machine Operation

Machining Flat Surfaces

A slotting machine facilitates the effortless creation of external and internal flat surfaces on a workpiece.

By securely securing the workpiece to the table and adjusting the stroke length and position, precise machining can be achieved.

Machining Circular Surface

A slotting machine allows the machining of both the inner and outer surfaces of a cylinder.

During the machining process, the feeding is accomplished using the feed screw of a rotary table.

Machining Irregular Surfaces

By combining the cross, longitudinal, and rotary feed movements of the table, it is possible to machine a contoured surface on the workpiece using a slotting machine.

Machining of slots, keys, and grooves

A slotting machine is capable of cutting both external and internal grooves.

Particularly, slotters excel in cutting internal grooves that might pose challenges on other types of machines.

In this discussion, I’ve provided comprehensive information about slotting machines, covering aspects such as the machine’s components, types, operational procedures, and detailed insights into feed movements for the table, including longitudinal, cross, and circular feeds.

FAQ for Slotting Machine

  1. What part of the slotting machine is utilized to hold the tool?The tool head is the component of the slotting machine responsible for holding the tool.
  2. For what purpose is the slotted disc mechanism used?The slotted disc mechanism is a part of the slotting machine’s mechanism, consisting of gear, pinion, crank, and the slotted disc. It is specifically employed in quick return mechanisms.
  3. What types of feed movement are used in slotting for the table?In slotting, the feed movement for the table includes longitudinal, cross, and circular feed.
  4. What is the primary function of the ram in a slotting machine?The primary function of the ram in a slotting machine is to reciprocate the tool head, enabling the cutting of a workpiece and shaping it as desired.
  5. Which cutting tool is commonly used in a slotting machine?A single-point cutting tool is typically used in slotting machines.

In this discussion, I’ve provided comprehensive information about slotting machines, covering aspects such as the machine’s components, types, operational procedures, and detailed insights into feed movements for the table, including longitudinal, cross, and circular feeds.

I hope you all like these topics.

Thank You

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