WORKHOLDING FIXTURING

ETW has been manufacturing special cutting tools for over 60 years. Over the years, we noticed that we needed to design our tooling around a fixture that has already been designed and built by the customers. This forced our tooling to be longer than ideal due to these prebuilt fixtures’ clearance issues. To get around these issues and to preserve the rigidity and quality of our tooling, in 1996, we decided to begin offering fixturing to our customers as well.

 

A brief overview of ETW fixture creation process:

  • With tooling in mind, all of our fixtures are designed around the piece-part
  • At ETW, we always start with the 3D solid model of the piece-part
  • If one cannot be provided, we have the design expertise to create it ourselves
  • We then construct the fixture around the piece-part while simultaneously figuring for standard tools. This reduces the need to create special tools for the machining process
  • Thus, our customers can reap the benefits of standard tooling through: 1) reduction of costs for tooling procurement and replacement, and 2) improvement of quality of their products

 

A few salient points:

  • During the design process, a 3D model of the fixture is available for customer review at any time in their desired format
  • All of the tooling (custom as well as standard) will be simulated during the design process to ensure that there are no interferences and clearance issues with the fixture
  • Simulation eliminates the possibility of fixture needing modifications in the field, or worse, needing to be sent back for rework
  • ETW’s philosophy is that the customer should be able to mount the fixture on the machine and start producing their product the same day without any issues
  • Because of ETW’s advanced manufacturing process, there is no need for any detailed drawings to be produced
  • In order to aid the programming process on the customer-end, we supply a 3D model of the fixture, complete with all the components and piece-parts, to be imported into the customer’s CAM software
  • For detailed drawings of certain components (at an additional fee), please contact our sales staff

MANUAL FIXTURING

Our manually-clamped fixtures are an inexpensive alternative to some of the more complex and costly hydraulic and rotary fixtures available today.

 

Benefits of ETW manual fixturing:

  • They are inexpensive, but still provide adequate clamping for your piece-part
  • We use many of these types of fixtures ourselves in our milling department. So, they are field-tested
  • Each fixture is designed around the part to be held, with tooling always taken into account, thus eliminating clearance issues
  • In order to make part replacement easy and inexpensive, every effort is made to use standard components as much as possible

HYDRAULIC FIXTURING

ETW also builds and designs hydraulic fixtures.  As with all of our designs, every fixture component is designed and tested using 3D modeling before the first component is cut. This ensures a smooth and streamlined process which allows faster manufacturing.

 

Benefits of using ETW hydraulic fixturing:

  • High speed of operation and consistent holding-pressure
  • All our hydraulic fixtures undergo rigorous testing to ensure that a constant pressure is maintained
  • We use standard hydraulic components to make replacement of worn-out components as simple as possible
  • We have the experience of creating fixtures for aluminum, steel, and cast iron, as well as a number of custom tombstone figures
  • Positive feedback from our past customers reinforces our assertion that our hydraulic fixtures are field-ready when they leave our shop

ROTARY FIXTURING

Often customers would like to machine multiple sides of their piece-part, but lack a horizontal machining center to do so.  Rotary Index fixtures are a great way to solve this problem.  At ETW, we can build these fixtures with either manual or hydraulic clamping.

 

Please see our video for a demonstration on hydraulically timed clamping.  The picture in the gallery shows the entire 3D model of this sample two-station Rotary Index fixture, used to machine aluminum castings.

 

Highlights:

  • ETW can work with any rotary table configuration and models all the fixture components as 3D solids
  • This helps in simulating the operation of the rotary fixture, even before the first component is cut
  • As always, we run simulations for all of your tooling needs including standard tooling, so that there are no interference issues

ETW Inc. 1338 Ellis St. Suite 1 Waukesha, WI 53186  •  Phone: 262-547-2241  •  Fax: 262-547-2899