Workholding Technology Reduces Operations, Scrap, Labor
IMTS 2018: Blue Photon’s photo-activated adhesive workholding system is said to save time and money by reducing the number of operations, scrap and labor.
Blue Photon’s photo-activated adhesive workholding system is said to save time and money by reducing the number of operations, scrap and labor. The company is also introducing its universal fixture kit, which adapts easily to most parts, enabling users to begin using the workholding system immediately. The kit is simple to implement with existing machine tools.
The company’s workholding process involves application of its BlueGrip workholding adhesive to the grippers, followed by spot curing by ultraviolet light for 60 seconds, enabling five-axis machining. The part debonds with a ¼-turn twist of the gripper or a hot water soak. The residual adhesive is simply removed by the application with pressurized steam or a hot water spray and a light peeling action.
The holding force produced by the grippers is said to easily withstand the requirements of most machining applications. The system can secure ferrous and non-ferrous materials as well as superalloys, composites and plastics.
Modular fixturing makes sense for this manufacturer, whether it's machining one- or two-of-a-kind parts for its custom machine tools or larger quantities for its contract machining business.
A non-woven porous material with a special coating enables vacuum chucks and tables to hold sheets of metal and other materials more effectively on CNC routing machines. The material, called Vilmill, is used as a substrate between the sheet or plate material to be machined and a suitable vacuum table or vacuum chuck where it is held securely in place by the vacuum.
Affordable indexers and fourth-axis rotary tables greatly enhance the capability of vertical machining centers. It’s almost as good as having a horizontal machining center.