The fundamental components of a workholding or modular fixturing system are the tooling plates and tooling blocks, which are also commonly referred to as fixture plates, grid blocks, or tombstones. The multipurpose holes (MTP holes) on both the grid style tooling plates and blocks allow for accurate aligning or fastening of other components in a number of locations. This allows for fast and easy modifications to be made to adequately hold a work piece in place. Furthermore, the locating holes on the tooling plates can be used to connect multiple plates of varying sizes together, which allows limitless size combinations to be created.
Flex plates offer the ability to work on any given fixture away from the machine, free from any space constraints. A flex base plate resides on a machining center pallet and will accept other flex tooling plates or blocks to be fastened onto it, which allows for fast changeover between applications. The two tapered pins allow for accurate and consistent locating when mounting other flex plates to the base.
A few of the immediate benefits from using a flex plate modular fixturing system include:
- Fast and accurate changeover
- Flexible mounting of a single fixture on different machines
- Machining a part from 5 sides on a single pallet
- Reduced setup time compared to other conventional methods
All tooling plates and blocks are held to tight dimensional and geometric tolerances and manufactured to the highest level of quality and reliability.
The ModLoc™ system is a modular tooling column assembly, as opposed to a traditionally solid, cast tombstone. Extremely simple to construct, ModLoc manifold and support brackets securely connect with fixture plates to form a precise integrated, high strength, rigid structure. In essence, the fixture plates become an integral part of the tooling column, thus, creating significant overall weight reductions. This reduced weight translates into much improved machining efficiencies and less wear and tear on the machine as tables can move faster without having to bear the weight that heavier columns represent. Furthermore, the open architecture permits easy hydraulic and electrical access to a multitude of tooling and fixturing components.