Headstocks and Tailstocks

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Maximise flexibility
safety and production.

Headstock and tailstocks are used for assembly, handling and welding applications of short and long work pieces.

Key Plant Automation headstocks and tailstocks are engineered to bring unmatched flexibility, safety, and productivity to your workpiece handling needs. These versatile systems are ideal for a wide range of workpieces, from long rectangular pieces requiring support at both ends to smaller weldments like pipe elbows, commonly found in pipeshops. Whether welding manually or automating the process, our headstocks ensure consistent weld quality, reducing the need for future rework.

You can acquire our headstocks through purchase, rental, or lease options, making it convenient for you to choose the solution that best fits your needs. Additionally, we offer specialised designs with clamps and jig tooling for larger or unique components. Explore our HSC, HSVP, Port-a-Lift, Elevating, and Hollow Bore models, and let Key Plant Automation enhance your workpiece handling capabilities.

A custom built headstock positioner with special purpose clamping system
Key Plant Automation HSVP Fixed height headstock positioner

HSC Series

Explore our Fixed Height Headstocks equipped with a 3-jaw chuck for secure internal and external clamping.

Key Plant Automation HSVP Fixed height headstock and tailstock positioner

HSVP Series

Discover our highly sought-after Fixed Height Headstock and Tailstock Range.

Key Plant Automation Port-A-Lift elevating headstock and tailstock

PAL Series

Introducing the Port-a-Lift: Your cutting-edge solution for handling workpieces up to 50,000lbs!

Key Plant Automation Standard elevating headstock and tailstock

EST Series

Tackle the heaviest 10,000lb – 55,000lb challenges with our standard elevating headstock and tailstock systems.

EHD Series.

Heavy Duty Precision for 25+ Tonne Workpieces

Introducing the Key Plant Automation EHD Series – custom designed systems for the most demanding welding applications with workpieces exceeding 25 tonnes (55,000lbs). Ideal for heavy industries like construction, mining, and shipbuilding, as well as the manufacturing of large machinery such as wind turbines and cranes.

EHD Series Headstocks and Tailstocks offer smooth, safe, and controlled rotation, making them a valuable asset for any business engaged in extra heavy-duty welding, fabrication and assembly. These systems enhance safety, efficiency, and productivity, reducing rework and ensuring optimal results for massive workpieces.

HBHS Series.

Hollowbore Headstocks

Achieving controlled and consistent welds has never been easier with our HBHS Hollow Bore Headstock Series. These machines are thoughtfully equipped with a heavy-duty 3-jaw self-centering clamp featuring a hollow bore at the center, allowing your workpiece to pass through effortlessly while providing the flexibility for chuck clamp adjustments.

A Key Plant Automation HBHS Hollowbore Headstock positioner

Custom-built headstocks and tailstocks for your unique needs.

With our in-depth engineering knowledge and cutting-edge technology, we can design, manufacture, and install special purpose headstocks and tailstocks tailored to your unique industry needs. We serve a wide range of industries, from defence contractors to shipbuilding manufacturers.

[Background Image] A 100 Tonne capacity extra heavy duty headstock and tailstock system with specialised clamping system. Proudly manufactured in the United Kingdom, at our global headquarters in Leek, Staffordshire.

Series selection.

Extensive Range of Headstock & Tailstock Positioners

At Key Plant Automation, we’ve been designing and manufacturing headstock and tailstock positioners for over 60 years.

Fixed Height Headstocks (HSC Series)

Key Plant HSC fixed height headstocks come with a 3-jaw self-centering machine chuck for internal and external clamping. Popular in pipe welding and fabrication, we offer a range of HSC headstocks for sale, rental, and lease.

Fixed Height Headstock & Tailstocks (HSVP Series)

The fixed-height HSVP headstock model, like the HSC range, excels in pipe shops and can be used with our Adjust-O-Stand pipe supports. Various Safe Working Load (SWL) capacities are available for sale, rental, and lease.

Port-A-Lift (PAL Series)

Our PAL Series offers powered elevating headstock and tailstocks, ensuring maximum efficiency and safety. They use a hardened stainless-steel screw and electrically synchronised ball screw to elevate the headstock and tailstock.

Hollowbore Headstocks (HBHS Series)

The HBHS Series facilitates highly controlled and consistent welds with a heavy-duty 3-jaw self-centering clamp and a hollow bore through the center. These headstocks can be used with adjustable height support idlers on rails.

Standard Elevating (EST Series)

Immerse yourself in the world of precision with the EST Series, where smooth, safe, and controlled rotation is the norm. This variable height synchronised headstock and tailstock system offers both stationary and floor rail options, catering to workpiece capacities ranging from 10,000lbs to 55,000lbs.

Extra Heavy Duty (EHD Series)

For those handling even larger and heavier workpieces, the EHD Series offers the same seamless rotation excellence as the EST Series. Whether you’re engaged in manual or automated welding, these systems provide stationary and floor rail options, tailored for capacities starting from 55,000lbs.

Headstock Options and Features

X3 gripper welding chuck fitted on a Port-A-Lift headstock

Chuck Type

Pick the gripper chuck best suitable for your workpiece; 2, 3 and 4 jaw options available.

A close up of a control pendant


Headstocks are equipped with a standard wired pendant. We also offer advanced alternatives.

Motorised height adjustable positioner option

Height Option

As the manufacturer; we offer motorised, manual and fixed-height headstock options.

A selection of Elbow Jigs for welding pipe elbows

Elbow Jigs

 Ideal for welding elbow joints and alternating direction tasks. Various diameters available.

A DS15 diameter selector being installed on a welding positioner


Automatically calculates the required RPM of your headstock table, and sets the speed demand in the inverter drive (VFD).

Man-O-Matic controller installation


The innovative Man-O-Matic controller enables a sequence of pre-determined positions to be set.

Gears and motors


For the utmost workpiece precision, we offer precise rotational speed control with a closed-loop encoder system.

A Key Plant Automation HSC Headstock integration setup with Column and Boom welding manipulators


Optimise productivity by integrating your headstock with other Key Plant equipment, such as column and booms.

Used headstocks
and tailstocks

Ex-Rental and Pre-Owned Equipment

Working within a budget or looking for a cost-effective option? We offer a comprehensive stock of used and ex-rental equipment available for purchase. With various models and capacities to choose from, you can find a great deal that suits your specific requirements. Contact us today to discuss your needs and find the perfect used positioner.