Many manufacturers, especially high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) job shops, are looking for ways to better utilize their machines. Zero-point clamping systems drastically shorten idle times by connecting workpieces, vices, pallets, or devices with the machine table within seconds. Because multiple pallets can be equipped outside the machine during machining time, machine spindle utilization is significantly extended, reducing setup time by as much as 90%.
The Easylock zero-point clamping system from Röhm (Sontheim, Germany) has a draw bolt system that serves as a precision interface between the pallet carrier and the receiver unit. The pallet carrier can be fitted with vises, stationary lathe chucks, collet chucks, and customized fixturing solutions. The benefit of the Easylock system is its repeatability of less than 5 µm.
Consider this common scenario: The setup operator has a new job on a vertical machining center (VMC). Preparation can take two hours: tearing down the old setup, cleaning the table and T-slots, stoning the table to remove nicks and burrs, retrieving new workholding, determining new layout, using a dial indicator, finishing the alignment, entering fixture offsets into the CNC control, entering the program, clamping the workpiece, bringing the tool to proper Z-position, and carefully stepping through cuts.
Easylock eliminates all these steps. By maintaining an established zero point, Rohm’s automation-ready method greatly reduces setup time.
As a system supplier, Röhm offers palletizing as well as clamping devices from a single source. Easylock can be actuated pneumatically or hydraulically. The prefabricated pallets can be combined in a modular system with a multitude of standard clamping devices available in different sizes with 62 mm-to-138-mm diameters.
All clamping units are made with stainless steel; the receiver carrier and pallets are high-strength aluminum. The system is well suited for manufacturing processes such as milling, grinding or drilling as well as measurement-related processes.
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