Hydraulic fixturing can support a wide variety of workpieces. For this reason, it is popular in many industries where some part variance is common, or where a “family” of workpieces must be machined. By utilizing a solution like this one, machines can process an entire family of parts on one tombstone.
Hydraulic workholding solutions utilize cylinders, clamps, and valves to create a strong clamping force. According to Vektek, even a single device that fits in your hand can generate five tons of force. When implemented on a tombstone, these workholding fixtures can offer a significant increase in CNC machine productivity and allow multiple different parts to be machined in a single run.
For those looking to make the switch to hydraulic workholding fixtures, the transition may seem confusing. However, outfitting a tombstone with power workholding includes the following basics:
Clamping cylinders are a common form of hydraulic clamping and work by pushing up against a part to hold it in place. Cylinders can also be used to position a part correctly on a fixture or prevent deformation.
Swing clamps can position or clamp when in use, and swing out of the way when not. This makes them ideal systems for easy loading and unloading.
Valves are utilized to direct hydraulic oil within the workholding rig. Directional control valves control the flow of oil to the cylinders and back.
In the video above, multiple VEKTEK workholding components are able to support a full family of production parts. Controlled by a top plate decoupler, the fixture takes advantage of four individually controlled faces. Swing clamps use a 90-degree movement to move onto the part out of the way.
Switching to a hydraulic workholding system can seem like a daunting task, but is well worth it for the increase in productivity. If you’re looking to make the switch but don’t know where to start, contact our team today: https://www.ame.com/hydraulic-pneumatic.
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