In the past, companies who purchased a new CNC mill mounted a 6-in. single-station vise on the table and started making chips. When more capacity was needed, a second vise was added, then a third. When the table space was maxed out and business continued to expand, another machine was purchased. And, another person had to be hired to run the machine. Custom fixtures were developed for long-run jobs, but these could be problematic as part families changed or a product was cancelled.
With labor cost about 40% of overall production costs, either model begins to present problems for long-term growth. Work holding has become more important than selecting cutting tools, software, tool holders and coolant in making CNC milling a profit center. With chip-to-chip times less than one second, many people still fail to consider how to get maximum usage out of available table area. Think about it like this: If you have 40 in. X 20 in. of travel shouldn't you be looking at the best way to fill that space, effectively, with parts? If your spindle is not making chips you're not only experiencing downtime on the machine but you are losing effective uptime. This presentation will demonstrate how to maximize spindle up-time.
Examine multiple solutions for work-holding and fixturing problems
Understand the importance of developing a long-term plan for work holding
Learn how dedicated fixtures can be designed with modular components that provide interchangeability for future products, part family changes and future customers
Develop a deeper understanding of the variety of sources for off-the-shelf fixturing components and how they can be used together; no single manufacturer can provide a complete solution