Tooling & Workholding

Workholding

Workholding refers to any device that is used to a secure a workpiece and hold it in place against the forces of machining. The most basic workholding device is a simple clamp that is screwed into place on a machining center’s table, but workholding can also involve complex fixtures that are custom-built for particular parts. Other common workholding devices include vises and chucks, as well as indexers or rotary tables that are able to change the part’s position while it is held, so the machine can reach various features of the part without the setup having to be changed. In most machining applications, workholding also locates the part. In turning, for example, a chuck not only holds the part securely but also holds it precisely on the centerline of the spindle. On a machining center, the vise or fixture that holds the part may also hold it in the precise position and orientation where the machining program expects to find it. For this reason, components such as locating pins and workstops that make it easy to place piece after piece in the same location are also common workholding components.

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Featured Zone Content

The Case for Custom Fixturing


Photos of custom fixtures illustrate the types of applications that call for non-standard workholding.

Small Engine Precision Fuels Fifth-Axis Production Workholding Concept


The challenge holding tight tolerances for its billet RC helicopter engine components drove this company to develop an innovative fifth-axis tombstone device to complete multiple parts on an HMC in one setup.

Get That Part off the Table


Vertical machining centers with simultaneous five-axis machining capability have become popular in recent years.

Incremental Automation


This machine tool supplier sees shops searching for just a little bit of unattended capacity. Many shops are closer to obtaining this extra capacity than they realize.



New Jaws Speed Change-Over for Short-Run Jobs

By: Edited by Emily Probst
This shop found that a quick-change jaw system reduced 80-minute change-over times to just 8 minutes.

Riten Industries Adjusta-Point live center

Live Center Adjusts for Off-Line Center Holes

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
The Adjusta-Point radial compensating live center from Riten Industries is designed for applications in which a workpiece’s center hole is not quite on center.

Hainbuch Spanntop workholding system

Workholding System Converts Basic Chucks

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Hainbuch’s Spanntop high-precision workholding system enables converting the basic chuck for OD, ID and three-jaw clamping operations with a change-over time of 10 sec.

Hainbuch Spanntop workholding system

Workholding System Converts Basic Chucks

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Hainbuch’s Spanntop high-precision workholding system enables converting the basic chuck for OD, ID and three-jaw clamping operations with a change-over time of 10 sec.

Adaptable Automation

By: Peter Zelinski
A system for automatically swapping both workpieces and workholding enables a robot-loaded VMC to be quickly reconfigured for a new or modified job. The same system lets the robot change jobs in the midst of an unattended run. Thanks to the extra capacity from unattended production, the motorcycle part maker that developed this system has finally stopped shipping products late during the busiest part of its year.


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Self centering vise is a cost effective and universal workholding method for five sided machining.
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