Since the 2020 pandemic, many of our customers are considering what it takes to transition their shops to automation. Whether they are using cobots or full automation cells, questions regarding the necessary workholding often come up in conversation. With the increase in demand for autonomous workholding in mind, we have developed standard automation packages for a variety of HAAS machine tools featuring the best workholding products the industry has to offer. In this piece, we are going to walk through each component featured in the workholding system and discuss their benefits.
The Workholding Foundation
As our friends at Advanced Machine and Engineering say, every workholding system needs to start with a solid foundation. There are many ways to achieve a repeatable solution for your mill, and a fixture plate with a standard grid pattern is certainly one of them. Our foundation plates for HAAS machine tools feature a 2" grid pattern with 1/2-13 tapped holes and .501" ID bushings to allow for accurate and fast setup change over between jobs. It locates straight into the T slots of your machine tool and is held flat within .001" over the entire length. This foundation is absolutely vital to any high mix shop that is tired of wasting setup time with traditional t-slots. Many other workholding companies have solid options for repeatable setups, and we would be foolish to say our system is the only one available. You can use RockLock bases, VERO-S workholding, and other systems to achieve this foundational setup for your automation solution.
The 4th Axis Trunnion
Our bread and butter, the original Stallion Trunnion was originally made for a simple Kurt vise. Today, it's been outfitted with a variety of autonomous workholding systems. We are using the Stallion 9/23 in this setup, which is perfect for reaching multiple sides of your parts and keeping your robot from handling your workpiece more than necessary. It is cast from class #35 iron, making it rigid and capable of superior vibration damping to traditional steel. This system is also outfitted with pneumatic lines to feed air to your vises as well as the necessary rotary union on the HRT-210 to keep everything compact and tangle free.
The Workholding Vises
The SCHUNK KSP3 160 pneumatic vise is, in our humble opinion, the best pneumatic vise on the market for automation. If you are looking for a long lasting, high clamping force vise for your robotics solution, this is the line to go with. It has 45kN of clamping force with .01mm repeatability and can be mounted straight to the deck of our Stallion 9/23. All of the pneumatic lines, rotary unions, and other fittings will be supplied and tested by our team before shipment.
Optional Braking System
While this option is typically used on our larger trunnion models, it is a great solution if you for-see needing to take heavy, off center cuts on your fixture. When machining far from centerline of rotation or from the faceplate of the rotary table, it is often the case that the standard rotary table brake needs additional support to eliminate any movement while machining. Our TS1200 hydraulic braking system utilizes a squeeze bushing design, an outboard support held to .0003" of the rotary table center height, and an air over oil booster. The air over oil booster connects straight to the solenoid valve of the rotary table, making any additional machine parameter changes unnecessary.
If you or one of your customers is in need of workholding support and consultation for a robotics or automation application, do not hesitate to reach out to our team on this website. Thanks for reading!