Slotting Machine: Its Parts, Types & Working

What is Slotting Machine?

Slotting machine is a reciprocating machine tool in which, the ram holding the tool reciprocates in a vertical axis and the cutting action of the tool is only during the downward stroke

Definition: A slotting machine is defined as a machine tool that uses to remove unwanted material chips from the workpiece to create splines, grooves, and more. Here the ram (tool attached) rotates, while in the shaper the ram moves horizontally.

The slotting machines are actually vertical planar, and their mechanical structure principle is similar to that of a head planer. The inserting knife moves back and forth in the vertical direction as the principal direction, while the processed object is moved intermittently or as a feed motion on a circular arc.

The slotting machines are mainly used for cutting planes, building surfaces, and keyways, and is suitable for single or small batch production.

Slotting Machine Diagram

Slotting Machine Diagram
slotting machine diagram

Working Principle of Slotter Machine

The working of the slotter machine is similar to that of the shaper machine, but the main difference between them is that the shaper machine works horizontally, while the slotter machine works vertically

As we have read all the parts in detail.

Now the ram is attached to the crank and the crank is connected to the gears. So, what occurred here is when we increase or decrease the gear speed, the rotation of the crank increases and decreases. And as by these, the ram goes up and down.

We have combined the workpiece to the work table and manually we bring the ram near to the workpiece and according to the ram we adjust the worktable and then we have to clamp it. Now we provide the power as per gear the crank turns and the crank attached to the ram so the ram moves up and down.

During the down (RAM goes down) there is a cutting stroke and there is no cut while going up or returning the stroke. If we have to cut it into several sections, we manually feed it to the work table, and as per demand, it cuts.

Parts of Slotting Machine

A slotter machine consists of these following parts:

  1. Base
  2. Saddle
  3. Ram and tool head
  4. Ram drive
  5. Column
  6. Cross-slide
  7. Rotating or Circular table
  8. Feed drive

1) Base

  • It should be enough rigid to take up the entire load of the machine.
  • It has to take all the load (dynamic and Impact loading) while operating.
  • The guideways perpendicular to the column face should be accurately finished to move the saddle easily and accurately.
  • Generally, it is made of Cast Iron.

2) Saddle

  • It rides on guideways on the base to provide a longitudinal feed of the table, i.e. in a perpendicular path to the front vertical face of the column.
  • It additionally provides guideways on its top face, perpendicular to the guideways on the base for the cross-slide.
  • The longitudinal supplies may be given either manually or by power.

3) Ram and Tool Head

  • Ram drives on the guideways installed on the front vertical face of the column.
  • Ram gives a slot for adjusting the position of the stroke.
  • Ram provides the tool, which is attached at the bottom end of the tool head.

4) Ram Drive

  • It provides the circular motion of the motor to the reciprocating motion of the ram in a vertical plane.
  • It also provides the arrangement of slower speed during the cutting or forward stroke and greater speed during the return stroke to reduce the idle time.

5) Column

  • The right vertical cast integral rigid portion of the base is the column; it serves the following purposes:
  • It houses the driving device of the ram, which reciprocates on its front vertical face.
  • It also houses the feeding mechanism of the table.
Parts of Slotting Machine

6) Cross-Slide

  • It is installed on the guideways of the saddle and can provide cross-feeding of the table.
  • It holds the circular table.
  • It implements the arrangement of cross-feeding either manually or by power.

7) Circular table or Rotating Table

  • It can turn on cross-slide to produce circular feeding of the work.
  • It can continue the work by clamping, using fixtures, fixing vice, etc.
  • It has the structure of rotary feeding either by hand or by power.
  • On some machines, the table may be graduated in degrees for indexing.

8) Feed Drive

  • It gives the arrangement of longitudinal and crosses a feed of the table either by power or manual.
  • It also gives the arrangement of circular or rotary feeding of the table on a vertical axis.
  • Intermittent feeding of the table is supplied at the beginning of each cutting or forward stroke of the ram.

Mechanism of Slotting Machine

  • Hydraulic Drive
  • Variable Speed Motor Drive

Hydraulic Drive:

A speed motor operates a hydraulic pump that delivers oil at a constant pressure on the line. A regulating valve considers oil under pressure at each end alternately on the piston.

At the same time releasing oil from the different end of the piston to return to the reservoir. The piston is pushed with oil and attached to the piston rod with the ram, moving the ram forward while carrying the tool.

Oil penetration at each end of the piston is accomplished alternately, with the help of travel dogs and pilot valves. As Ram moves forward and completes his stroke (forward and return), a trip dog pilot will trip the valve which will operate the regulating valve.

The regulating valve will accept the oil on the other side of the piston and the ram speed will be reversed. The length of the ram stroke will depend on the position of the trip dogs. The length of the ramp stroke can be changed by moving the trip dogs to the desired position.

Variable Speed Motor Drive:

In this type of slotter, the speed is achieved by various gears present in the gearbox and the shaft rotates with the help of an electric motor. Originally, it is used in modern large slotting machines.

Types of Slotting Machine

There are mainly two kinds of Slotting machines that include precision slotter and puncher slotter. Both of them have been discussed below.

1) Punch Slotting Machine

This puncher slotter is really rigid and heavy machine that has been designed for removing a large percentage of metal from castings and forgings. The stroke length of the puncture slotter is sufficiently large. It can be anywhere between two thousand and eighteen hundred meters.

The ram of the puncture slotter is usually operated by a lattice of the spiral pinion with severed teeth on the underside of the ram. Here the pine is driven by a reversible electric variable speed motor that is similar to a planer. Electrical gears control the feed.

How does Punch Slotting machine work?

  • The ram is usually driven by a spiral pinion meshing with the rack teeth cut on the underside of the ram.
  • The pinion is driven by a variable speed reversible electric motor similar to that of a planer machine.
  • The Feed is controlled by electrical gear.

2) Precision Toolroom Slotting Machine

This slotter is a machine that is easier when compared to puncher plotters. They can operate at really high speeds. The machine has been designed for taking the light cuts which present an accurate finish. Using the special jigs, the machine is capable of handling a large number of tasks on a production basis.

3) Production Slotting Machine

Production Slotter is mainly used for general production work. A slotted disc with a connecting rod is used for reciprocating the action of the ram. A flywheel is used in this slotter to prevent stroke at the end of the stroke.

4) Special Purpose Slotting Machine

This type of slotter machine offers a high volume of production at a low cost, also it gives greater accuracy too.

The key seater slotter additionally recognized as key seating machines is a special type of slotter designed to cut keyways. The key seater is related to vertical shapers, the variation is that the cutting tool on a key seater enters the workpiece as of the bottom and cuts on the down-stroke, as the tool on a shaper enters the workpiece as of the top and cuts downward.

Specification of Slotting Machine

The specifications of Slotting Machines depend on several factors some of these are:

  • Power Input
  • Type of drive
  • Maximum table drive
  • Number of feeds
  • Table feed
  • Floor space required
  • The maximum length of ram stroke
  • Number of speeds
  • The diameter of the Work Table in MM
  • kW of motor

Operations of Slotting Machine

It is used for various operations like:

  • Internal and external Flat surface Machining.
  • The inner recess of circular, semi-circular, convex surfaces and concave.
  • For shaping inside and outside forms or profiles.
  • Machining operation of Dies and Punches.
  • The operation like slots, grooves, splines, and keyways for both internal and external surfaces.
  • The machine operates vertical, Horizontal, and at Some angles too (Inclined Surfaces).
  • Irregular surface machining.
  • Internal and External Circular surfaces Machining.
  • Blind Holes Internal machining.
  • Internal and external gear teeth machining.

Applications of Slotting Machine

The main applications of slotting machine are

  • To cutting keys, slots, metal sheets, grooves of various shapes and forming regular or irregular shapes used in many manufacturing units. It can be used in any workshop where vertical tool movement is necessary and required to manufacture different metal objects.
  • It is used for light cuts, splines, inside keyways, the straight dagger of internal spur gears, inside curved face of circular section, internal oil grooves and etc.
  • The internal recess of circular, concave & convex surfaces.
  • It is also used for the Machining of internal and external gears.
  • Enlargement and finishing noncircular holes bordered by a number of flat surfaces.
  • Internal grooves and slots of rectangular with curved sections.
  • Internal machining of blind geometrical holes similar to the hexagonal socket.
  • Internal flat surfaces.

Advantages of Slotting Machine

The advantages of Slotting Machines are:

  • This is a light machine.
  • Low-cost machine.
  • Low Maintenance.
  • Accurate surface finish.
  • The tool uses here is a single-point cutting tool.
  • Machine efficiency is more.

Disadvantages of Slotting Machine:

The disadvantages of Slotter Machines are:

  • Skilled worker requires to operate.
  • Rigid in construction.


A Slotter machine is defined as a machine tool uses for removing unwanted material chips from the workpiece to make splines, grooves, and more. Here the Ram (Tool attached) moves reciprocating, whereas In shaper the ram moves horizontally.

  1. Hydraulic Drive (Greater speed Flexibility, Smoother operation, Stroke length can be adjusted )
  2. Variable Speed Motor Drive (In this Multi-speed arrangement)

A slotter machine consists of the following parts:
1. Base
2. Column
3. Saddle
4. Cross-slide
5. Rotating or Circular table
6. Ram and tool head
7. Ram drive
8. Feed drive

Slotter Machines are can be categorized into these 4-types.
1. Punch Slotter
2. Precision Toolroom slotter
3. Production Slotter and
4. Special Purpose Slotter Machine

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