The Future of Workholding is Closer Than You Think

Not too long ago, the Internet connected individuals and allowed them to communicate at a pace previously thought unimaginable. Manufacturing has already begun a similar process that will connect machining operations in real time through digital solutions. Perceptive organizations are already implementing Industry 4.0 into their everyday manufacturing operations, gaining flexibility, saving time and enhancing quality for their customers.

Connectivity = Productivity
How does workholding fit into this equation? Imagine innovative technology that enables machining data communication and collection, not just across the shop, but around the world. Any operator who solves a machining issue could automatically update all other machines/systems corporate-wide in a secure fashion. The result would be reduced production time, increased productivity and guaranteed repeatable accuracy.

smw_data_sheet_mm_productA Sneak Peak at Tomorrow
You don’t have to use your imagination to envision the benefits of i4.0 workholding. We are currently investing time and money in a new generation of electronic/digital processes and products. The MM e-motion Electric Power Clamp and the F500 Electric Flange are already operational and will soon be on the market. Electro-mechanical motors (hence the name) on each jaw can control clamping force, stroke and clamping position. The grip force can be altered in process, without unclamping the part, with the wireless transmission of energy and signals via an inductive coupler.

Manufactured and programmed with our proprietary interfaces and patented systems, the MM e-motion can transmit data and power wirelessly from stationary units to rotating chucks. This provides an amazing degree of flexibility. Since the MM e-motion can clamp any shape workpiece, different components can be machined just by bringing in new pallets!

The Ultimate Remote Control
Operated remotely at one location under the direction of one operator, the chuck can be electromechanically actuated, measure, autobalance, communicate and share info with other machines worldwide. The futuristic technology used in the F500 e-motion Electric Flange and throughout the e-motion series has already been recognized, having been named an Industry 4.0 Product in Germany last year. We are the only workholding company to receive such an honor.

Benefits of i4.0 Workholding
These workholding devices of the future (along with others in progress) will have a variety of benefits for manufacturing. Following are a few examples:

• Safety: Safety signals are constantly transmitted back and forth from chuck to operator along with real time status of the workholding.

• Quality: The process is accurate and repeatable time after time. This is especially important in industries like aerospace.

• Flexibility: Electronically actuated chucks works like the different axes of a CNC machine, working together to position or reposition a part.

• Workforce Utilization: Putting more machines under the control of fewer operators is vital as skilled workers reach retirement age without enough coming behind them to fill voids.

No matter how simple or complex your workholding needs, you’ll be sure to find the right product for you at SMW Autoblok, now and in the future. If you would like to discuss your particular needs, please contact us.