Start Improving Production With the Help of a Quick Change Workholding

  • Machine Tools

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, March 22, 2023 - 

In the world of manufacturing, time is money. Any downtime or delay in the production process can have a significant impact on a company's bottom line. 

This is where quick change workholding comes into play. Also known as quick change fixturing, this technology is a type of workholding system used in machining operations that allows operators to quickly and easily change out parts or workpieces without the need for time-consuming and costly setup changes. 

The quick-change workholding system leverages the unique capabilities of machine tools, such as their remarkable precision and high speeds/forces, and enables manufacturers to switch out fixtures quickly and easily, which leads to several benefits for their production processes. 

Streamlining Manufacturing Processes

When it comes to maximizing spindle usage, quick change workholding systems have proven to be a highly effective method for enhancing productivity. In the case of vertical turning lathes (VTLs), such as Shibaura Machine’s Model TUE-200(S), and horizontal boring mills (HBMs) like Shibaura Machine Model BTH-130.R24, this can be particularly beneficial because typical workpieces for these machines are generally more complex with larger dimensions and heavier weights.

Changing out parts or workpieces typically involves removing the fixture and all associated components, and then re-setting everything up for the new part. Quick change workholding, on the other hand, streamlines this process by using modular components that can be easily swapped out as needed. This technology typically involves the use of a quick change fixture plate system with a ball lock mechanism for locating and locking fixtures onto machine tables and subplates quickly and accurately.

Several benefits manufactures recognize with the use of quick change workholding systems include:

Increased productivity

Change out fixtures in mere minutes rather than hours, which means less downtime and more time spent on actual machining. 

Greater flexibility

Different parts and fixtures can be easily swapped in and out. This makes it easier to handle smaller production runs or make changes on the fly.

Improved accuracy

Because the fixture's location is already known within the machine, there is less chance for human error in setting up the workholding, allowing for  improved accuracy and consistency in machining.

Reduced setup time

The need for time-consuming and labor-intensive setup procedures is eliminated, which can significantly reduce overall setup time. This means that machines can be up and running faster, which is especially beneficial for shorter production runs.

Increased safety

These systems often incorporate safety features such as interlocking mechanisms, which can prevent accidents and injuries caused by incorrect setup or operation.

All of these benefits can translate into significant cost savings over time. This is especially true for high-volume production runs, where even small improvements in efficiency can have a big impact on the bottom line.

Customized for Your Shop’s Needs

There are several types of quick-change workholding systems available for VTLs and HBMs. The choice of system will depend on factors such as the size and weight of the workpiece, the accuracy and repeatability required, and the specific requirements of the machining operation.

Contact the Machine Tool team to learn more about developing a customized production solution for your Shibaura Machine VTL Model TUE-200(S) and HBM Model BTH-130.R24.

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