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Pneumatic clamping for welding fixtures

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TUNKERS GmbH has developed the Alpha series of power clamps for welding fixtures, available from Romheld Australia . The Alpha series has evolved from the encapsulated flat clamp which is specified in automotive plants worldwide.

Incorporating an integrated pneumatic cylinder to reduce size and weight, the new clamp design also features "curve mechanics" to provide a wider full power clamping range and higher clamp forces from the same size of cylinder. In many fixture applications it is possible to reduce the number of clamps, obtain superior performance and lower the cost of production.

The clamps also include simple field adjustment of the clamp arm opening angle, similar to the Vario-Clamp range. This allows for optimum setting of the opening angle to provide the shortest cycle times without interference during load/unload. A linear encoder with teach function is used to establish the clamp closed position where there is a variation in material thickness to be clamped.

In automated processes it is vital to confirm the clamping sequence. The teach function establishes the clamp closed position and closing time, both of which can be process monitored and can also provide early warning of clamp wear. The Alpha series offers easier installation and maintenance due to the zoning of mechanical, electrical and pneumatic connections, overcoming the cluttered arrangement of most clamps. Position detection switches are in cassette format so that changeover can be achieved in just a minute or two.

Tunkers also manufactures a complete range of underbody clamps, retract and expanding pin cylinders, plus clinching, forming and riveting units for use in automated lines. A modular robot gripper system utilising the Tunkers clamping technology is also available.

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