If you want to reduce your overall costs and increase your flexibility to meet your customers’ demands, consider incorporating off-machine set-ups into your machining process.
Your machine setup time includes the time it takes to prepare your machine for its next run after it has completed producing the last part of a previous run in four main stages:
- Preparation - gathering the required tools for the next job.
- Exchanging - exchanging machined parts for the pre-machined parts.
- Positioning - repositioning and calibration to ensure tools are properly situated.
- Gauging - examining materials and tools, and testing adjustments before running the machine.
Longer setup times increase your machine’s downtime; and we all know if you’re not making chips, then you aren’t making money.
To truly get value out of your setup times, they need to be quick and efficient. Shorter setup times lead to:
- Decreased lead times and increased capacities.
- Avoided or delayed capital equipment purchases.
- Better quality and more consistent processes.
- Lower manufacturing costs and improved cash flow.
- Less inventory.
- Increased flexibility to meet client demands.
- Better use of your workforce.
- Less process variability.
Using Grid Plates for Off-Machine Setups
Grid plates that feature 2-inch grid patterns, such as AMROK’s, ensure repeatable positioning of fixtures from one job to the next. Because of this standardized hole pattern, the grid plates are easily located with precision locating screws. This eliminates the need to recalibrate with each new cycle.
Parts are installed on the grid plate using precision locating screws on the 2-inch grid, so they are in the same spot every time a new piece is loaded.
The animation below shows a great example of a high-density plate loaded with low-profile workholding fixtures. These ID Xpansion and Uniforce clamps from Mitee-Bite feature low-profile designs with precise workpiece gripping that enable high-density machining.
AMROK Tombstones and fixture plates are designed to hold tight tolerances for flatness, parallelism, perpendicularity, surface finish, and hole location so you can stop searching and start machining.
Contact our workholding experts using the below form for more information.
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