Firm and Flexible
- Published: February 8, 2017
Ontario shop relies on versatile, but high hold power workholding system
When Aurel Nistor and Valentine Dinoiu formed Cedonia in 1996, like most entrepreneurs, they were determined to set a path for growth and success. While the business has undergone its share of challenges, it has also grown steadily through the years.
Today, Cedonia is a thriving 12-employee machine shop located in a 2,601 sq m (28,000 sq ft) facility in Mississauga, ON, housing more than 14 CNC machine tools, including two DMG MORI machines purchased in 2015 (DMU 65 monoBlock five axis milling) and 2016 (DMU 85 monoBlock five axis milling), as well as two Zeiss CMMs and MIG/TI welding systems. Machining speeds vary but can reach up to 18,000 rpms depending on the machine and the work. Like most job shops, the types of materials Cedonia can machine runs the usual gamut of stainless steel, steel, aluminum, titanium and hardened alloys, “but we can do other materials too; it depends on the customer’s specifications,” says Nistor.
There are, of course, many reasons for the company’s success but one that Nistor cites as being critical is the company’s investment in workholding solutions.
“Workholding is very important and while we’ve used different systems, in the past seven to eight years, we’ve been using primarily Lang vises that we purchased from Lino [Libertella, owner of workholding distribution firm Machine Tool Solutions). Lang has worked out a way in the design that reduces the size of the clamping and allows for machining around the part a little easier. It means we don’t need to work with very long tools and we don’t need extra clamping.”
In the past few years, Cedonia has purchased several Lang workholding vises, specifically, the Makro-Grip five axis vise equipped with Lang’s Quick-Point system that allows for quick and easy changes via the use of adaptor plates. The quick change system means Cedonia can switch the system from one machine to another without losing workholding orientation.
The modular mechanical Quick-Point, zero-point clamping system can be retrofitted to most machines and saves shops time during changeover of vises, fixtures and workpieces. Clamping studs can be mounted easily in workpieces, fixtures and other clamping devices, according to Lang, and claims that the system is one of the lowest zero point clamping systems in the world at 27 mm. It offers high process reliability with a 5 µm repeatability and 6,000 kg clamping forces. The Makro-Grip vise offers easy accessibility for five face machining and high holding power with low clamping forces that Lang attributes to its patented stamping.
The vise has high repeat accuracy for inserting workpieces without any end stops, and a centering accuracy of +/- 0.02 mm, two features Nistor likes about the system, particularly for high precision machining for parts Cedonia machines for the nuclear and automotive sectors. The Makro-Grip is designed with reversible jaws equipped with a double sided holding teeth contour and additional clamping support for non-stamped parts. Nistor also likes the flexibility of the vises. Being lightweight, the vises are easy to handle, and the quick jaw exchange can be used to convert the vice into a twin vice.
Nistor says he and his partner are on the same page when it comes to how to run a successful machine shop: invest in the right technology to meet customer needs. Indeed, he says Cedonia has used different workholding over the years and the Lang workholding systems were a significant investment, but he also adds that it’s the kind of investment that will pay off quickly in production efficiencies.
“We need to stay competitive so we invest when we have to. That’s why we invested in the DMG MORI machines and the workholding. We machine very complex parts that require very high accuracies,” and not all machines or workholding systems can meet these needs, says Nistor.
While ongoing investments are likely to be part of Cedonia’s future, at least in the foreseeable future, Nistor says they have the machines and ancillary equipment they need to meet current and future needs.
“We’re set now for the business and now we’re focused on getting more business and diversifying to replace lost business and to ensure we have work for our machines. We want to keep growing, but we want to do it in a controlled way and make the best use of the equipment, the tooling and the fixtures we have in our shop now.” SMT