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Thame Workholding will be showing its new ranges and sizes of soft and hard jaws at Mach 2010.

Other areas of expertise for the company include replacement chucks and special chucks; mandrels, collet chucks and steady rests; vacuum clamping; manual, hydraulic or pneumatic fixtures; vices and zero-point pallets; and modular automation.

One example of Thame’s standard jaws available from stock is the Inogrip jaw, which secures a workpiece by locking a precise tooth form into pre-stamped, defined indentations.

This form-closure technology gives a secure grip with minimal clamping distortion.

Soft jaws are available in more than 600 sizes and styles, and are the basis of a range of chuck jaws that includes hard and soft versions to suit chucks from all leading manufacturers.

In addition, Thame is able to design and manufacture dedicated workholding solutions for all types of machining application and virtually any shape of workpiece.

As well as in-house manufactured products, Thame works with Witte to offer standard and special vacuum-clamping solutions to secure workpieces that cannot be held by conventional clamping.

Vacuum workholding is an effective technique for holding thin, irregular-shaped or non-magnetic parts and, while parts with a large surface area are ideal as the holding force is also large, there are techniques for holding small parts as well.

Various types of fixture can be supplied, one example being the Vacmat system.

This transfers the vacuum to numerous suckers on a replaceable rubber mat, with each sucker helping to hold the part.

Not every part of the mat needs to be covered, so it is quick and easy to switch from one component to another of a different shape.

It is also possible to machine through the part into the mat and still maintain the holding power.

An alternative is the grid system that uses Neoprene cord in the grid grooves to provide an airtight seal under the part.

Thame is offering the Samchully range of premium quality standard chucks, which includes power chucks, hydraulic cylinders and scroll chucks.

The chucks are fitted to machine tools manufactured by manufacturers such as Doosan (Daewoo) and Hyundai-Kia, with Samchully also supplying overseas machine tool builders such as Haas Automation.

Samchully standard hydraulic chucks are available as closed-centre, standard-bore, large-bore and mega bore options, with all models available in two-, three- or four-jaw configurations.

Also available are large diameter (up to 2m) hydraulic chucks that are suitable for aerospace and heavy industry applications, with chucks of 1.6m diameter and larger designed to be used as a three-jaw hydraulic chuck or a four-jaw independent chuck.

Samchully also manufactures fully automated auto-indexing chucks that cater for multi-surface machining in a single clamping.

Thame also offers a route into affordable automation with Lang modular automation.

This contributes to the productivity of machining centres by way of a pallet system based on form-closure technology.

This method requires 3mm of clamping depth on a square or rectangular workpiece, while providing material savings due to minimal wastage, fast setup and unrestricted access for five-face machining, which facilitates the use of short cutting tools.

Once clamped in position on the pallet, workpieces are transferred via an integral vertical elevator into an Eco Tower, a space-saving vertical-configuration magazine capable of storing up to 120 Quick Point pallets.

Stored pallets slide down the Eco Tower’s spiral chute under gravity and are transferred as required to the designated machine tool by an Eco Feed handling unit.

The floor-mounted Eco Tower and Eco Feed units can be sited to provide a front- or side-entry load/unload capability for various makes and models of machining centre.

An alternative to the Eco Tower is the Eco Compact, which is the latest addition to the Lang system.

This is a cost-effective load/unload option specifically designed for small batch production.

The Eco Compact features a horizontal indexing table capable of holding up to 10 Quick Point pallets that are accessed by an integrated Eco Feed handling unit.

Whatever the eventual configuration of a Lang modular automation system, the low pneumatic drive forces involved mean a minimum requirement in terms of housing, enclosure or other form of man/machine safety barrier.

This is said to impose much less restriction as regards the operator’s freedom to access the working environment around the machine tool.

Thame Workholding

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