Custom Fixture Design for Manufacturing

Robust Holding and Precise Positioning

Many manufacturing processes require workpieces to be held rigid in very accurate orientations.  ESE can design and build the workholding fixtures for your production line.  We apply fixture designs at several states of production including: machining centers, assembly stations, workpiece transfer systems, and CMM’s.  We apply different workholding techniques based on the demands of the application which may require heavy hydraulic clamp pressure or manual toggle-clamps.

Our machining fixtures can be equipped in mills, lathes, grinders, broaches and other processing stations requiring heavy hold-down force.  Our fixture tombstones feature gun-drilled internal hydraulic clamping circuits.  This eliminates the need for external hydraulic tubing which easily accumulates chips over time.  We can include internal air confirmation circuits as well to verify proper workpiece load.  All of our hydraulic fixtures are tested for leaks and clamp functionality at full pressure with our in-house hydraulic pump.  For milling processes that require a 4th rotating axis, we can construct the workholding fixture directly on a trunnion and deliver as a complete package.  We strive to design our machining fixtures to nest as many workpieces as possible within available space to minimize load/unload times.

If the machining fixture is to be loaded robotically, ESE can also design the matching robot end-of-arm tool.  We can provide more complete solutions to manufacturers by designing the fixture and end-of-arm tool simultaneously to guarantee compatibility.  Learn more about our robot end-of-arm tooling capabilities here.

Transfer Fixtures may be required to progress workpieces through several operation stations for an automated cell.  Our transfer fixture design applications include pallet conveyors, pneumatic and servo shuttles, robot handoff stations, and assembly dial tables.  Many assembly machines require components to be introduced in specific orientations which can be accomplished by nest tooling traveling on a pallet conveyor.  A pneumatic or servo driven shuttle are used where the transfer fixture position requires control.  Some applications transfer workpieces from robot to robot where an intermediate handoff station is required.  The handoff station may be designed as a matrix of nests to serve as a buffer between robots or serve as an flip station where the downstream robot can pick the workpiece in a different orientation.  Applications demanding fast cycle times and several assembly operations will incorporate transfer fixtures on a dial table.  The dial table fixtures are designed to accurately hold the workpiece in position for each station while withstanding the assembly operations such as high press force.

Our transfer fixtures can be incorporated into our automation services and our specialized machine designs.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for how ESE can provide workholding fixtures for your application.
You can view our featured previous workholding projects below for more information:

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