• MMS Youtube
  • MMS Facebook
  • MMS Linkedin
  • MMS Twitter
11/14/2008 | 2 MINUTE READ

Fixturing Device Simplifies Squaring

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Peter Schmidt of the Hermann Schmidt Company developed a intuitive fixture for squaring blocks for the die and mold industry. The system interfaces well with components from the System 3R catalog and is capable of making a block square within millionths of an inch.


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Related Suppliers

Accurately squaring mold and die blocks is a fundamental task in the die and moldmaking industries. Every block in a die touches and/or is surrounded by other blocks, so their size and squareness influence overall die accuracy. In a mold, block accuracy is even more of a concern because the mold may have as many as 256 exact copies of the same block. It is important to be able to remove one block that needs polishing and replace it with an exact copy to allow the molding machine to keep running.
    For years, machinists have squared blocks with a solid square, a vise and a knee mill. After heat treatment, block squaring is often completed on a grinder using a trusted angle square and a C clamp. Unfortunately, shops face challenges with increased offshore competition and a lack of skilled machinists capable of accurately performing this type of work. That’s why they’ve tried to develop fixtures that make the squaring process simpler and more accurate. The problem with most of these fixturing solutions is that they are complicated and don’t yield the needed accuracies.
    Peter Schmidt of Hermann Schmidt Co. has developed a solution designed to overcome these challenges and take the guesswork out of block squaring. Mr. Schmidt says the solution is easy to operate and yields accurate results using machines found in the average shop. The device, called SquareTech, is produced and sold by System 3R USA Inc. (Elk Grove Village, Illinois).
    SquareTech has two primary components: a base and an indexing fixture. The base can be bolted to a mill’s T-slot table or to a flat plate for attachment to a magnetic grinding chuck. The indexing fixture has a circular profile that slides into the base. It is located and locked into the base with a precision ring around its periphery. That ring engages another ring of ball bearings located inside the base to lock precisely and rigidly regardless of the fixture’s rotation angle. The ball-bearing ring is constantly engaged via spring pressure regardless of whether the indexing fixture is present in the base or not. The indexing fixture can be removed from the base by using shop air. Air pressure applied through a control valve in the base overcomes the spring pressure. The ball bearings then recede into the base to allow the indexing fixture to spin freely.

    The indexing fixture is compatible with many workpiece interfaces using components from System 3R.The SquareTech system accurately indexes parts as heavy as 200 pounds every 90 degrees. A test was recently performed at a customer site using the SquareTech system to grind a block made of D-2 tool steel. The flat grinding machine used for the test was in good condition and was located in a facility with an ambient temperature of 71° F. The part was checked with certified gages on a recently certified grade-A surface plate. In preparation for the test, the top and bottom surfaces of the block were ground parallel. The block was then attached to the indexing fixture with a standard electromagnet to provide access to the remaining four sides. Each side was ground in succession until the block had made five revolutions, with each side being ground five times. This test yielded a cube with total squareness error of less than 0.000060 inch.

Hand holding a crystal ball

We’d rather send you $15 than rely on our crystal ball…

It’s Capital Spending Survey season and the manufacturing industry is counting on you to participate! Odds are that you received our 5-minute Metalworking survey from Modern Machine Shop in your mail or email. Fill it out and we’ll email you $15 to exchange for your choice of gift card or charitable donation. Are you in the U.S. and not sure you received the survey? Contact us to access it.

Help us inform the industry and everybody benefits.


  • For Superfinishing Excellence, Start With The Right Finish

    The key to excellence in superfinishing operations is the incoming grinding finish on the workpieces. With the right start, superfinishing is a very effective and economical process for achieving mirror-like finishes.

  • Advanced Grinding, Plain and Simple

    Advanced grinding equipment gives this shop the flexibility and automation it needs to serve customers with either rapid-response or high-volume jobs.

  • Jig Grinding On A Machining Center

    Roughing and finishing on a single machine, using a single setup, has appeal for most shops. The advantages in time savings and accuracy are obvious. Eliminating the transport of workpieces between machines, as well as the setup for those secondary operations, is a boon for throughput. Critical features that need to maintain dimensional relationships can be much more reliably produced if machined complete in one clamping.

Related Topics