Customized Workholding Makes Perfect Parts Possible

DSC_3583When our customers take delivery of one of our chucks, it is already outfitted with the proper clamping devices that hold workpieces firmly in place for machining. Sometimes, our standard products are good to go right off the shelf. But, more often than not, the workholding has been custom-machined to be a perfect match with a particular part. To maintain control of this process, ensure quality and reduce delivery times, this is done in our own machine shop at our company headquarters in Wheeling, Illinois. We call it the “Prototype” shop because each piece is a “run of one.” On any given day, the shop will turn out a variety of jaws, grippers, part stops, locating and positioning components.

Designed for a Perfect Fit
The process begins when a customer sends their workpiece to our Engineering Department for evaluation. The engineers determine the proper chuck for the part and then design the workholding components that will actually grip the workpiece. The manufacturing team will discus the plans with the engineers, select the proper operation sequence and machine tool(s) in the Prototype Shop and start cutting. Time for the process depends on the detail, complexity, tolerances and manufacturing difficulty.

DSC_3580 copy 2The Right Equipment for the Job
To meet the everyday challenge of turning out intricate and detailed workholding devices, our Prototype Shop is well equipped with a variety of high precision lathes and milling centers. We have one 5-axis machine and a number of 3-axis verticals, as well as turning centers with live tools for flexibility, along with the usual band saws, grinders, etc. We can handle a wide range of workholding from 24” diameter down to components that are only 1/16” in diameter.

Since most of the parts machined in the shop are one offs, a premium is placed on cutting down set up times. One of the best time-savers in the shop is our own APS Automatic Positioning System, which can reduce the setup process by up to 90%. We use it for turning, milling, measuring and grinding operations.

 

Our SinterGrip inserts also shave minutes off sintergripof set ups. They can bite into a piece of stock as little as an 1/8” in and lock it solid so we can work the whole piece without the risk of mismatching caused by manual indexing. “Teaming SinterGrip inserts with our 5-axis machine saves a ton of time,” said CNC Supervisor John Jurney.

Personalized Attention to Each Component
“Our machine shop is run by a highly educated and motivated team who have been given top-of-the-line machine tools and software to work with,” John said. “That is why SMW Autoblok is able to provide our customers with the ultimate in workholding customization for any application.”

If you’re not satisfied with the results from your workholding, please contact us and we’ll put our Prototype professionals to work for you.