FIELD NOTES: Schunk Kontec KSC vise
- May 24, 2019
end user: JE Bearing & Machine Ltd.
JE Bearing & Machine Ltd. is a 3,159 sq m (34,000 sq ft) machine shop located in Tilsonburg, ON, that does a bit of everything, from bearing sales and service to machining parts for military, food and beverage, pneumatics and hydraulics and transportation customers.
Plant manager Derek Rozon recalls that in 2016, JE Bearing decided it was time to upgrade its workholding to match its five axis machining capabilities. Up to that point, it was using fairly standard workholding that limited the accessibility of the workpiece, necessitating repeated adjustments and setup in the course of a single job. Something more versatile was required.
That something turned out to be the Kontec KSC vise from Schunk. JE Bearing purchased the Schunk workholding devices from distributor E.M. Precise, based in Stoney Creek, ON. JE Bearing adopted the KSC 125 and its smaller cousin the KSC 80—the model numbers indicating the width in millimetres of the clamping vise. The Kontec KSC has a small profile and flat design, which improves workpiece accessibility for machining finished and unfinished parts on three, four and five axis machines. The vise delivers a wide clamping range and high clamping forces for its size.
When asked whether the vise delivers time savings, better accuracy or higher quality parts, JE Bearing plant manager Derek Rozon says “all of the above.” But the accessibility is what he keeps coming back to. JE Bearing has a range of three, four and five axis machines, but Rozon says the KSC is especially useful on the five axis DMG Mori DMU 85 monoBlock, where operators can get access to the workpiece on all five sides.
“The vise allows us do parts faster, especially on the five axis machine,” Rozon says. “It allows us to hold on to a small amount of stock with great holding power, and it gives us access to
five sides of the part, which is a huge advantage for five axis.”
Because of its small profile, the KSC 125 minimizes obstructions for JE Bearing’s operators. “It makes things much easier,” Rozon says. “Without that access, you’d have to do a part in multiple setups instead of just one. It would take a lot longer on every job.”
Rozon is quick to acknowledge that there are a lot of similar vises available on the market. “These types of vises are pretty common but finding one that can hold accurately every single time you use it is another matter. For cost to performance, I believe Schunk is among the best out there. We use them almost every day and over three years we’ve had very few problems.”