The ideal method for holding sheet material.

The Best Vacuum Workholding Doesn’t Require a Gasket

Working with plate stock should be easy, right?

You’ve probably seen it or done it yourself – holding down a sheet of material with glue, double-sided sticky tape, or a myriad of clamps and bolts that you need to program around. Vacuum workholding is clearly a superior method, but even so, particular attention is needed for setting up the gasket, or creating a custom vacuum nest for your parts. At some point you have to ask yourself, “there must be a better way?”

A Better Way

As a result of fine-tuning vacuum workholding systems for over 20 years, DATRON has perfected the recipe. While the core concept is the same as typical vacuum chucks, the similarities stop there: 

 

  • Vacuum ports are spread over surface for even distribution
  • Unused zones can be deactivated with the twist of a grommet
  • Vacuum is spread through sacrificial Vacucard layer, replacing any need for gaskets 
  • High flow vacuum pumps ensure tight grip on even small parts
  • Any shape can be cut out easily without rigorous setup 
DATRON vacuum table

“The vacuum table combined with the machine’s integrated probe makes it so easy to set up a job – it’s faster and takes out the element of human error.”

— Bill Rogers, Ellis &Ellis Sign Systems

The Benefits

Engineered for Flexibility, Appreciated for Simplicity.

Here’s what makes DATRON’s vacuum workholding better:

Plug & Play system

The table is mounted via a conical grid system which can be removed and reinstalled with a high level of repeatability. Since vacuum supply is routed through the bottom of the machine table, there are no hoses to wrestle with – making setup a plug-and-play experience.

Next level flexibility

The use of the Vacucard sacrificial layer allows for rapid part setup and limitless ability to hold various materials, shapes, and sizes – perfect for high-mix and low-volume jobs.  

superior technology

The Protection Fields software function allows you to set a “no-fly zone” around your vacuum chuck. As a result, tools can come within thousandths of an inch before the operator is alerted and the program is halted immediately. Combined with automatic tool length measuring, your investment is protected.

DATRON vacuum chuck with VacuCard
DATRON Vacuum chuck with materials

The Results

“And by using the vacuum chuck to hold sheet material on the neo, we’re able to batch machine these parts which has reduced cycle time by nearly 50%.””

— Paul Strippelhoff, President, Carbide Products (KY)

Resources

9 Things You Need to Know About Vacuum Chucks

After a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on social media, we noticed that there were a lot of questions about vacuum workholding. So, we made a blog answering the most common questions. Take a look and be sure to check out the 9 Things You Need to Know About Vacuum Chucks video that was shot to go along with the blog.

Customer Workholding Demonstration

Tim Allard of RapidDTM explains how he uses a vacuum table to aggressively batch mill parts on his DATRON M8Cube. 

DATRON Webinar

Take a look at a comprehensive guide covering everything from basic gasket fixtures, how design, integratation, and more.

5 Tips For Holding Small Parts

A vacuum table is a must have fixture for many industries – rapid prototyping, signage, front panels, etc., but where it can truly shine is holding very small parts. Learn more about holding your small parts with these five tips.

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Questions About DATRON CNC Milling Machines?

DATRON machines dramatically reduce practically every aspect of your machining workflow. If you have any questions regarding DATRON CNC Milling Machines, tooling, accessories, or more, please contact us. 

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