Clearance and rigidity are the primary considerations when choosing the best vises and fixtures for 5-axis machining. There must be adequate clearance for the cutting tool and part in their position to the table, providing sufficient space for the Y-axis, the fixture height and size of the part.
The goal when switching from a 3-axis machine to 5-axis is to reduce handling, tooling changes and cycle time. It is all about a single set-up, or Done-in-One. Because there is less handling in 5-axis machining the chance of error is minimized, providing more consistent quality parts.
Five-axis is often thought to be overkill for many shops that depend on 3-axis machines. Yet, there are many operations where 5-axis is found to be more efficient for jobs where 3-axis is the norm. The increase of accuracy and labor savings from reduced handling can outweigh the cost differential and provide a significant ROI. As long as all components; fixture, vise, part and cutting tool are firmly set in place with enough clearance, 5-axis machining is by far the most accurate and efficient.
With the right multi-axis quick change system up to 90% of set up time can be saved by implementing a quick change fixturing system for a fraction of the cost of the cutting tool investment. The Jergens Fixture-Pro® Multi-Axis Quick Change Fixturing workholding system gets the spindle and cutting tool close to the work piece in the optimal machining position. This can be achieved regardless of the machine or workpiece. Fixture-Pro’s modular approach provides a combination of subplates, risers and top tooling that is right for any set up.
One manufacturer virtually eliminated set-up time, from three hours to just minutes. The operation realized a cost savings of tens of thousands of dollars and additional machine capacity of 750 hours annually.