It’s no secret that automating processes has some serious advantages for machining. Hydraulic, or power, workholding fixtures provide a partially automated solution for manufacturers looking to streamline their processes without committing to a fully robotic system.
Components including cylinders, pumps and valves are used in this CNC workholding solution to support and clamp parts. When hydraulic pressure is utilized, arms swing over the part and push down to apply a consistent clamping force. They automatically conform to the size and shape of the part, allowing for a wide variance in workpiece sizes.
The primary benefit of hydraulic workholding solutions is their speed. Operators save time that would normally be allotted for clamping and unclamping workpieces, which in turn results in less downtime. Additionally, by minimizing operator interaction, this system also reduces the possibility of injury or error.
Hydraulics provide a consistent clamping force to each run, minimizing errors possible with manual systems. Since the process often involves just pulling a lever, machine operators don’t need to worry about clamping a part exactly the same as the operator on the shift before theirs. By just setting the correct PSI for a job, programmers can eliminate much of the error that could lead to unnecessarily scrapped parts.
A final benefit of using hydraulics is more fixturing space. With clamps designed to lift up and out of the way, power workholding solutions can take up less real estate on their foundation. This can allow for more parts to be machined at a time and promote a more efficient process overall.
Learn more about improving your setup with hydraulic clamping here.
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