Pioneers in Machining Technology
An alternative to the traditional machine vice for component clamping during CNC metalworking is being marketed in the UK by NCMT under a new agency agreement with the US manufacturer, Techni-Grip. The system provides secure clamping for single or multiple parts and can reduce the number of operations required for machining components, especially those of more complex design.
The patented, highly repeatable workholding system is based on a pin-and-hole design for consistent, positive location combined with a dovetail cut for gripping strength. The holes and dovetail are machined into each billet in a rapid preparatory cycle before clamping.
Techni-Grip claims numerous advantages for its workholding system. The concept is to increase profitability by standardising billet preparation and set-up, and to reduce the number of fixtures needed by up to 80 per cent, it is claimed. Further benefits include easy workpiece set-up and removal, and a reduction in excess material required for clamping while eliminating dimensional distortion caused by conventional vice pressure.
By locating on two pins and holding on to just 2.5 to 3.0 mm of material, Techni-Grip units allow a cutter virtually unrestricted access to the component being machined. No clamps, vice handles or other fixture accessories are needed. The system allows the programmer and setter / operator to use fixed workpiece datums, reducing set-up and cycle times, sometimes dramatically.
In one user example, a manufacturing process using conventional vices required seven operations and a total machining time of 3.08 hours to produce one part. This was reduced using the US manufacturer's workholding product to a much leaner three operations taking 1.39 hours, resulting in a cost saving per part of US$ 101.40.