To be competitive in today's market, all machines need efficient workpiece handling. Efficient part loading systems are always included in the acquisition of high-volume manufacturing cells but all too often getting fixtures on and off the CNC milling machine is forgotten. In today's market, time is money. The UNILOCK system from Big Kaiser removes set-up time and replaces it with production time.
How it works
The UNILOCK utilizes spring pressure to drive wedges against a tapered wedge lock (clamping knob). Air pressure is used to compress the springs, releasing the wedge lock. Clamping is achieved by bleeding the air pressure out of the chuck. To facilitate palletization, the clamping knob is attached to a base plate, fixture or directly to a workpiece. The result is quick and repeatable clamping.
During day-to-day use, chucks can be cleaned with compressed air. The fit between the clamping rams and the chuck body will not allow air pressure to push chips inside of the chuck. If you get chips in the clamping pocket, simply blow them out with an air gun. When open, the wedges completely retract. The one-to-one length to diameter ratio of the pocket is easily blown out. There is no need for a vacuum. The 40mm tall by 40mm diameter clamping knob is extremely stable and can double as a foot when moving fixtures and workpieces around the shop. You will not need protective sleeves or special shelving when storing or transporting UNILOCK palletized fixtures or workpieces. Male and female threads are available in multiple sizes.
Fixtures and many workpieces are easily adapted to the UNILOCK clamping knobs. Tremendous savings are available if the fixture or workpiece can be reoriented
or transferred to machine additional faces while remaining attached to the UNILOCK clamping components. On horizontal machines with columns, fixtures can be rotated 90 degrees or moved to the top. Transferring fixtured parts through as many operations as possible eliminates additional fixtures and clamping/unclamping time. Less clamping and unclamping of parts also reduces scrap and improves feature-to-feature accuracies.
Once you grab the part, you can use the UNILOCK to send it to as many operations as possible without removing the part from the fixture. UNILOCK positions and clamps from one face leaving the other faces available for machining. Rotary tables, angle/sine plates and multi-sided tombstones facilitate part reorientation for subsequent operations.
Give us a call if you have an workholding application that costing you money and let's see if we can come up with a UNILOCK solution
Our blog section is written by several different people. Sometimes, it from our team here at Next Generation Tooling at other times it's by one of the wonderful manufacturer's we represent in California and Nevada