Hydraulically clamped fixtures have many advantages over manually clamped fixtures. In most cases, these benefits reduce costs for manufacturers allowing them to justify the initial investment for a hydraulic clamping system.
Advantages of Hydraulic Clamping:
- More productivity. More parts will fit within machine envelope due to the high clamp forces generated with small hydraulic components.
- Consistent clamping forces. Every cycle, your parts are clamped with the same clamping force, eliminating variables and improving process stability.
- Repeatable clamp location. Every cycle, your parts are clamped in the same location eliminating the variability in part deflection from clamping forces.
- Eliminates human error. Assurance that every clamp will be actuated with every cycle, eliminating human error and missed steps.
- Eliminates human error. Assurance that your proven clamping sequence was followed on every cycle.
- Faster load and unload times and more productivity when cycle times are operator dependent.
- Ergonomic efficiency. Allows operators to be consistently more productive with less effort.
- Improved part stability. Hydraulic work supports can be used to support the part and/or dampen machining forces without distorting the work piece. Manual work supports are easily ignored, distort the part and cause miss-loads.
- Flexibility. Sophisticated clamping sequences can be developed with “live” hydraulic systems. Clamping can be sequenced automatically during the machining cycle to provide clearance for cutting tools, to remove forces for finish cuts of close tolerance features, retain parts for robotic loading, reduce cycle times and improve productivity.
Manufacturers can no longer afford the benefits of having experienced journeymen machinists running production equipment. The availability of skilled operators has diminished and our schools are not turning out machining protégés like they used to. Hydraulic clamping enables manufacturers to put more intelligence into the fixture eliminating human error and producing a more stable, predictable processes no matter who the operator is or what production shift your machine runs.