CNC Workholding for Milling Machines
In the world of manufacturing, specifically machining of material, there is an art to proper CNC workholding.
You may have the concept and design of a valuable product or part, the program skillfully complete with the optimum machine and material. But if you do not have a means to hold the material during your process, rigid throughout all surfaces and vibration free, the race is lost. “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” This quote is fully understood by every machinist, tool and die maker, Production Cell Supervisor, Project and Plant Manager. Nothing will stop a successful process in it’s tracks like material poorly held causing tool breakage, material slip, high scrap rates, possible machine damage and worse, potential operator injury. A fixture, a fixture my process needs a fixture!
At DATRON we have heard this cry many years ago and sought solutions to be used with our machines for the many varied process requirements that the DATRON machine is used for. These had to be versatile, minimal labor requirement for use, repeated usage, allow accuracies to match the DATRON machine and like the DATRON machine provide thousands of hours of reliable use.
Another great benefit of using tested CNC workholding with your DATRON machine is the savings of time and material loss. Once you have optimized your product, program, material and machine process the last element to review and add profit margin points to your product is time. Operator time lost while loading and unloading the machine. Increased scraping of product due to slippage. The loss tool rate or shortened tool life requiring operators to change tools prematurely. These are all examples of time cost/time loss occurrences that translate to dollars lost. The end loss could be in cents or dollars per part but multiplied by the number of parts could very well be a significant amount of money making or breaking the production project. The reduction or elimination of these occurrences will reduce the loss or add profit margin points to your end result.
I would like to introduce the CNC workholding royalty to augment the DATRON machines:
Wedge Clamping Elements
Compact Centric Clamps
Pneumatic Clamps: Short stroke, positional
Pneumatic Vertical Clamps
Vacuum Chuck, Vacuum Table
Precision Rotary Axis
Precision Rotary Axis with Tailstock
Rotary Swivel Table (Trunnion 5 Axis)
Pick n Place System (Automation)
In the coming weeks I will discuss each of these products, description and use. Each of the above products have the DATRON “Test of Time” for versatility and longevity of use. When used properly they can achieve perfect holding with production labor time/material loss savings adding profit margin points to your process.
For more information on these Workholding Options, download our Accessories Catalog.
Download Accessories Catalog:
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About the Author
Craig Powers is the Customer Support Manager at DATRON Dynamics and has been with the company for 7 years. Prior to coming to DATRON Craig was a machinist and managed a job shop in New Hampshire. Craig is in charge of all “after sales” support including the implementation of operator training programs, maintenance programs, machine rebuilds, as well as the sales of accessories and tooling.