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Automated Tool Clamping, Measurement

This system combines tool presetting with tool clamping to automatically set, measure and clamp tools.

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I’ve written about a number of different toolholding technologies. One is the PowRGrip toolholding system from Rego-Fix. This system consists of precision, collet-style toolholders and a benchtop hydraulic press used to insert or remove collets from the holders. R&G Precision Machining is one shop that uses this system, believing (as I describe in this story) it combines high clamping force with quicker, safer tool changes than shrink-fit systems. After clamping, R&G then takes completed tool assemblies to its Zoller presetter for measurement.

However, as I learned at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) last September, Rego-Fix and Zoller have since teamed up to create an automated solution that performs tool clamping with the PowRGrip and tool measurement with a Zoller Venturion 600 presetter, as is shown in this video. Once an operator installs a tool in a PowRGrip toolholder, the system will perform tool clamping (in less than 10 seconds), presetting and measurement without further operator intervention. This system works with tools that feature clamping diameters ranging from 0.2 to 25.4 mm, and length presetting repeatability is said to be less than 10 microns. It seems right up the alley for shops that are considering other automated processes, such as machine tending using robots.

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