BIG KAISER Tooling Today

1 . How does BIG KAISER address inherent issues caused by traditional fixture systems in multi-axis machining centers? In today’s marketplace where part mix is high and volumes are low, the ability for a shop to thrive requires flexibility to change at a moment’s notice, all while maintaining high part quality. Fixturing requirements are becoming more complex as workpiece complexity is increasing. Parts that have traditionally posed workholding challenges now are being held rigidly and securely with modern-day solutions. 2 . When do I need to start looking at traditional fixturing alternatives to gain flexibility? Traditional workholding systems including vises, toe clamps, V blocks, and risers, are flexible and inexpensive, can easily be reconfigured, and don’t need a CAD/CAM program to use. However, in 5-axis machining, they may cause interference, limit part accessibility, and waste time setting up components. BIG KAISER offers a workholding system that combines a dovetail clamp, is modular to accommodate various workpieces, provides elevation to move the part off the table, and clamping near the workpiece to eliminate part squeeze-out.

3 . Are zero-point clamping workholding systems only applicable for machining processes such as milling? Although zero-point does work well there, we’re seeing more operators get creative and uncover efficiencies across different manufacturing processes with the help of our UNILOCK system. In a world where a small efficiency advantage, multiplied over thousands of cycles, can have dramatic impacts on the bottom line, it’s important to seek out creative approaches that reduce process setup and changeover time without sacrificing accuracy and repeatability. Some examples include grinding, turning, welding, EDM, inspection, and assembly. 4 . How does BIG KAISER’S zero-point clamping workholding system work? Heavy-duty die springs drive clamping pins against a tapered clamping knob attached to a fixture plate, directly to the workpiece, or to any item. That system allows easy palletization of single or multi- chuck applications. While zero-point specifically references location, clamping holds the workpiece and prevents it from moving. With UNILOCK, this is done simultaneously as a retention knob provides both location and downward retention force. 5 . How can shops achieve maximum stability when machining large or odd-shaped parts? The importance of stability across the metalworking industry cannot be overstated – it impacts everything from profitability to employee safety. The modular UNILOCK Stabilizer System attaches to the worktable and the side of the workpiece to provide lateral support for tall parts during machining, welding, or assembly and can transfer loads down to the table or base. This is important because as the workpiece gets taller and further away from the table, cutting forces are pushing against it and the stabilizer helps to offset them. In place of modifying parts by moving them from machine to machine – introducing the chance for error – the stabilizer system can easily adjust to each new part.

CONTRIBUTOR John Zaya is the Product Manager Workholding at BIG KAISER Email:


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