OK-VISE Oy, has introduced new, hydraulically actuated versions of its low-profile clamping products. A typical automated system was demonstrated using the manufacturer’s Multi Rail System RM at MACH 2016 on the stand of UK distributor, 1st Machine Tool Accessories.
OK-VISE clamps work on the principle that when tightened they expand, simultaneously pressing the workpieces against the guide to prevent any possibility of play. Small in size yet exerting a clamping force up to 150 kN, the clamps are designed to fit between workpieces and take little space on the fastening base, be it a T-slot table, base plate, serrated rail or other platform.
Fastening involves a single bolt located in the centre of each clamp, ensuring quick set up times. Normally carried out by hand, the procedure may now be automated using a hydraulic cylinder that sits under the fixture on a 3-axis machining centre table or behind the clamping faces of a tombstone on a 4/5-axis machine.
Standard clamp models are single-wedge with serrated jaws and have a hardness of 48-52 HRC, while smooth jaws can alternatively be specified. Double-wedge versions are available that create an additional pull-down action. Machinable jaw models for workpieces of irregular shape are available, as are special types to suit castings and wire EDM applications. Wedge and jaws are made of through-hardened tool steel.
Compared with traditional workholding, low-profile clamps do not take up as much space in the machining area. There is hence the possibility to put more components under the spindle, so tool changes per part are fewer, machine uptime is maximised and operator intervention is reduced.