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Chick workholding brochure - .PDF file.

Tranquil PC, a designer and producer of low-energy information technology systems based in in Trafford Park, Manchester, has found that by using Chick workholdings from 1st Machine Tool Accessories (MTA) it can benefit from higher production without having to invest in new machine tools, as well as greater accuracy, less scrap and lower operating costs.


The family-run company secures its computer housings for machining in Chick equipment, but used to clamp parts in conventional wind-up vices. Winning a Royal Mail contract for the supply of 2,500 digital signage computers meant the company had to focus its attention on improving workholding efficiency.


To fulfil the order, the company bought its third XYZ fitted with a fourth-axis indexer and tailstock for supporting a four-sided Chick System 5 Multi-Lok. Twin jaw sets on each side enable two components to be held simultaneously.


It is also now possible for the company to access two faces of a component in one clamping at each of the eight stations of the Multi-Lok. Previously, the top, bottom, front and back of the aluminium housing had to be machined in four separate setups, whereas now they are completed in two.


Another XYZ machine in the factory is fitted with Chick workholding, but in this case two One-Lok quick-acting clamps. They employ a ratchet system to avoid having to turn a normal vice handle up to several dozen times to secure the component. The One-Loks can be used separately on the machine table or in tandem to hold a large aluminium billet.



Key benefits of product application



  • James Thompson, who operates the company’s three XYZ machining centres, estimated that metalcutting cycles are reduced by five per cent due to fewer tool changes.

  • Improved accuracy and repeatability of workholding compared with conventional vices leads to fewer out-of-tolerance parts, and a 50 per cent reduction in handling lowers the risk of damage. Scrap rates are therefore five per cent less overall, rising to 15 per cent for some Tranquil products.

  • The Chick System 5 Multi-Lok has twin jaw sets on each side, enabling two components to be held simultaneously, meaning the company can fixture eight computer housings at a time, reducing the number of tool changes and releasing the CNC setter/operator for extended periods to attend to other jobs.

  • This walkaway time, which is typically two-and-a-half hours, is a big factor in reducing production cost per part. It has allowed Tranquil to maintain an 8.30 to 17.30 shift, whereas during busy periods the firm often used to work up to 17 hours a day, seven days a week, to cope with the production volumes.

  • Setups have been halved, again promoting accuracy by reducing accumulative errors each time a part is reclamped. Setting up is in reality even faster, as the soft machined jaws on the Chick clamps are accurate enough to be relied upon for workpiece positioning. In contrast, positioning stops have to be fitted to the firm’s other vices to achieve similar precision, which entails extra time for workpiece placement.

  • The One-Lok quick-acting clamps provide repeatability that is just as high as with the System 5, unlike with Tranquil’s traditional vices that provided less control and often required offsets to be entered into the machine control. Overall, there is far less operator interaction with the machine.

  • The workholding units have a sealed design that discourages the ingress of swarf, which can result in components not sitting properly in the jaws.

  • With tolerances down to 0.1mm specified for the computer housings, accurate and repeatable clamping is highly beneficial.

1st Machine Tool Accessories

1st Machine Tool Accessories Ltd specialises in high quality workholding equipment and associated products from the world’s leading producers.

1st Machine Tool Accessories Ltd specialises in high quality workholding equipment and associated products from the world’s leading producers.

1st MTA:

·         provides technical assistance via trained representatives including site visits and demonstrations where possible;

·         is constantly expanding and updating the product range to give customers the best possible choice;

·         offers bespoke/customised solutions;

·         provides the easiest and most efficient way to order all your machine tools and accessories by phone, fax or on-line.

The product range includes:

·         Kitagawa:

o   Chucks: power, collet, manual, speciality and all accessories.

o   Cylinders: hydraulic and pneumatic.

o   NC Rotary Tables.

o   Vises: precision machine.

·         Fixturing and Clamping Parts.

·         Collets:

o   Varibore,

o   Spring,

o   Emergency

o   Pull back.

·         Chick Workholding: the leader in modern workholding for modern CNC machines.

·         Brighetti Reduction Bushes:

o   Slotted

o   Cylindrical

o   Conical

o   Elastic

o   Fixed by dowels.

·         OK Vise: low-profile clamping.

·         Mitee Bite: versatile, cost-effective clamping – fast and easy operation.

·         Cooljet High Pressure Coolant.

·         Magnetic Filtration

·         Bison:

o   Chucks: manual and power;

o   Hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders;

o   Precision machine and bench vises;

o   Rotary tables and indexing fixtures

·         Abbott Workholding:

o   Pie jaws;

o   Tooling columns.

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