recommends investing in a ball lock quick change mounting system to address a workshop’s challenges with vice setups.
Workshops, especially in the SME and job shop segments are required to produce a variety of parts in a range of quantities. Time spent performing multiple setups on different machining centres can cause pre-machining bottlenecks and adversely affect the bottom line.
Ball lock quick change mounting systems help reduce set-up time and speed up changeovers, generating significant savings for workshops. The ball lock quick-change fixturing system provides a method of quickly and accurately locating fixtures onto machine tables, enabling operators to easily changeover all mills or VMCs as needed to accommodate different jobs.
Key benefits of the ball lock mounting system include reduced setup times (by 20 to 50%), easier changeover, lower generation of scrap and improved machining accuracy. Scrap rates are reduced because the ball lock system’s extreme accuracy eliminates misalignment of vices or fixtures.
Dimac Director Paul Fowler explains that each vice needs to be indicated separately to find a zero location, which may take approximately 30 minutes for each fixture. Using a ball lock system, which is designed to speed up accurate locating and locking of fixture plates and subplates will ensure that all vices are properly in line and within tolerance once mounted to the grid plate.
Key components of the ball lock mounting systems include a locating shank, a liner bushing and a receiver bushing. Mounting is fast and easy thanks to the system’s ability to locate and secure the fixture simultaneously.
The system enables users to accurately lock and locate in the same motion, as long as the liners and receiver bushings are positioned correctly. With a repeatability of ±0.015mm, the system minimises the need to indicate fixtures. Once the points are stored in the machine system, the vice can be called up again and be quickly locked in position. Each shank exerts as much as 1,300kgf of clamping force.
The next vice or fixture can be set up for quick changeovers while the machine is still machining with a different set-up, minimising downtime and increasing the shop’s overall productivity.
Dimac Tooling offers customers everything needed to get started, including fixture plates, subplates and tooling columns with pre-installed receiver bushings and liners as well as vices designed specifically to work with the system. Ball lock systems configured for specific machine models are also available.