Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2017

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24 MMS September 2017 mmsonline.com RAPID TRAVERSE Machining Technology in Brief Demonstrated here on a workbench by John Zaya, the Unilock system consists of knobs added to the part that are clamped quickly and accurately into mating receivers. Quick change for reduced setup time is the aim for which the system was developed, but the underside clamping is a valuable side benefit in five-axis machining. company's Unilock system, which provides for repeatable, quick-change workholding using a receiver that clamps on a precision knob. Devel- oped and long used for setup-time reduction, the system is now finding applications in five-axis m a c h i n i n g , n o t p r i m a r i l y b e c a u s e o f t h e One simple requirement of the system is adding holes or employing preexisting holes to affix the clamping knobs to the work. quick-change clamping, but instead because it of fers a secure way to clamp the par t entirely from underneath. Access is an issue when clamping for five-axis machining, he says. A standard vise blocks the sides of the parts. A low-profile vise for five-axis machining leaves these sides more open, but grips only along the part's lower edge. Even a custom fixture for a five-a xis job is potentially problematic, he says, because of the danger of interference with the tool or spindle housing as the entire unit of part and fixture pivots through- out the workzone. However, the option to clamp exclusively on the underside of the part leaves the workholding essentially hidden—concealed from all these inter ferences by the workpiece itself. The system simply requires either preexist- ing holes in the part or the addition of holes for affixing the knobs used for this clamping. In fact, the k nob-and-re ceive r method of

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