by Mary Scianna
DSA Precision Machining’s workholding investments include the Lang Makro-Grip vises and Quick-Point zero clamping system, and SPD electro-permanent magnetic chucks. The products were all purchased from workholding product distributor, Machine Tool Solutions Ltd., Brampton, ON.
The Lang Makro-Grip centre vise is well-suited to five axis movement because it holds a part securely during machining in all five axes. The secret to the vise’s effectiveness lies in the holding teeth contour of the jaw and in Lang’s Quick-Point zero point clamping system—base metal plates available in rectangular, square and round shapes—that holds the vise in place.
“We can interchange difference vises on the plate because the Lang system comes with probes that are inserted onto the plate and lock the vises into the programmed position,” explains Chris De Simone.
He adds that he likes the flexibility and the time-saving feature of the workholding system. In the past, DSA would use one vise for each machine and each time it had to be set up for a new part, a machinist would have to remove the vise and set up the X, Y and Z coordinates and stop resets. “It would take an hour to do this and with this system, it takes maybe two minutes. In the programming office, we know the distance from the device to the centre for a part, so we know the positions for all of them and it’s quick and versatile.”
An important feature is how the vises clamp onto the part. At first glance, one might wonder at the vise’s ability to hold the part—the jaws hold the part using only about 4 mm or 1/8 in. of the part—but the jaws keep the part securely clamped. It means that once the part is finished, there is less waste metal that needs to be machined off the part.
With magnetic workholding, the De Simones’ skepticism quickly dissipated when they began to use the SPD electro-permanent magnetic chucks for machining heavy, long plates on its Haas vertical machining centre.
The magnetic chucks can support weights up to 150 lb. More importantly, because these chucks are electro-permanent systems, they hold parts in place securely—even if there’s a power failure. So there is no fear of heavy parts flying off a machine, says Chris. The system is also energy efficient: magnetic force is generated only during the magnetizing and demagnetizing phases; there is no power absorption during the machining process.
Tony and Chris have tweaked the system to minimize chip maintenance. They added aluminum between the magnetic metal squares on the rectangular plate to prevent chips from sticking on the surface. SMT