04 February 2012
Set-up time slashed 70-80% with Chick
DMM Engineering's has calculated that its Chick Workholding fast-acting vices have cut set-up times by 70-80% making its vertical machining centres (VMCs) 30-40% more productive. Machinery reports
DMM makes outdoor products including precision-machined safety critical mountaineering equipment at its factory in Llanberis, North Wales. It has been using Chick Workholding component clamping solutions from 1st Machine Tool Accessories of Salisbury for about 15 years, ever since it took delivery of its first machining centre.
Kevin Edwards, CNC manager at DMM, commented: "After considering several alternatives, we concluded that Chick Multi-Lok and Qwik-Lok systems from 1st MTA are among the most robust, yet versatile options available, combining the benefits of traditional tombstone fixturing with the advantages of interchangeable jaws and a wide variety of workholding accessories.
"Our first Chick system proved to be quick to assemble and easy to use. As operators became more proficient, they found ingenious ways to reconfigure the equipment to meet a multitude of diverse applications.
"It soon became evident that the vices were increasing our productive machine time by more than we originally anticipated, often reducing lead times from days to a matter of hours, resulting in very fast payback on the investment."
The company now has 24 of the fast-acting vices plus five tombstones. Advantage is routinely taken of the ability to clamp components quickly using Chick's QwikChange snap-on/snap-off jaws which can be used with an extensive range of dedicated fixtures, resulting in reduced set-up times for both new and repeat jobs.
Sometimes two or four components are clamped at a time, enabling twice or four times the number to be processed per cycle. The system effectively cuts by a factor of two or four the frequency of tool change, reducing non-machining time and speeding cycle time per component.
A majority of components are machined from aluminium forgings, while solid billet currently accounts for some 15% of throughput, work that was previously subcontracted out but is steadily being brought back in-house."
First published online
This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.
1st Machine Tool Accessories