Machines Automatic Fixture Design
Traditional synchronous grippers China metal parts machining for assembly equipment move parts to the gripper centre-line, assuring that the parts will be in a known position after they arc picked from a conveyor or nest. However, in some applications, forcing the part to the centre-line may damage cither the part or equipment. When the part is delicate and a small collision can result in scrap, when its location is fixed by a machine spindle or mould, or when tolerances are tight, it is preferable to make a gripper comply with the position of the part, rather than the other way around. For these tasks, Zaytran Inc. Of Elyria, Ohio, has created the GPN series of non- synchronous, compliant grippers. Because the force and synchronizations systems of the grippers are independent, the synchronization system can be replaced by a precision slide system without affecting gripper force. Gripper sizes range from 51b gripping force and 0.2 in. stroke to 40Glb gripping force and 6in stroke. Grippers
Production is characterized by batch-size becoming smaller and smaller and greater variety of products. Assembly, China metal parts machining being the last production step, is particularly vulnerable to changes in schedules, batch-sizes, and product design. This situation is forcing many companies to put more effort into extensive rationalization and automation of assembly that was previouslyextensive rationalization and automation of assembly that was previously the case. Although the development of flexible fixtures fell quickly behind the development of flexible handling systems such as industrial robots, there are, nonetheless promising attempts to increase the flexibility of fixtures. The fact that fixtures are the essential product - specific investment of a production system intensifies the economic necessity to make the fixture system more flexible.
Fixtures can be divided according to their flexibility into special fixtures, group fixtures, modular fixtures and highly flexible fixtures. Flexible fixtures are characterized by their high adaptability to different workpieces, and by low change-over time and expenditure.
There are several steps required to generate a fixture, in which a workpiece is fixed for a production task. The first step is to define the necessary position of the workpiece in the fixture, based on the unmachined or base pan, and the working features. Following this, a combination of stability planes must be selected. These stability planes constitute the fixture configuration in which the workpiece is fixed in the defined position, all the forces or torques are compensated, and the necessary access to the working features is ensured. Finally, the necessary positions of moveable or modular fixture elements must be calculated- adjusted, or assembled, so that the workpiece is firmly fixed in the fixture. Through such a procedure the planning and documentation of the configuration and assembly of fixture can be automated.
The configuration task is to generate a combination of stability planes, such that fixture forces in these planes will result in workpiece and fixture stability. This task can be accomplished conventionally, interactively or in a nearly fully automated manner. The advantages of an interactive or automated configuration determination are a systematic fixture design process, a reduction of necessary designers, China metal parts machining a shortening lead time and better match to the working conditions. In short, a significant enhancement of fixture productivity and economy can be achieved.