To introduce trainees to the most modern and lean approach to fixturing, the MMTS training team turned to quick-swap fixture plates and workholding. These allow for smoother transitions during contract inspections and when automating engineered turnkey solutions.
“We are constantly shuffling between CMM training classes, customer demos, and turnkey inspections,” says Tom Oakes, a quality applications engineer at Zeiss. “The quick-swap features of Loc-N-Load and Open-Sight Fixture Systems from Inspection Arsenal make moving between these setups quite simple and efficient.”
For real-world examples during the training classes, a variety of sample parts were set up on several Loc-N-Load fixture plates. This pallet-style fixture system allows trainees to quickly and easily load and unload parts onto the coordinate measuring machine (CMM). To automate stylus requalification, reference spheres were set up on a dedicated quick-swap plate.
Figure 1: Multiple fixtures can be added to a CMM, leaving granite exposed to check parts quickly and without interruption using an angle/stop plate.
“Reducing the time it takes to build and break-down inspection setups and faster recalibration means more time can be spent teaching about equipment features and programming techniques,” says Oakes.
As a major machine tool dealer, MMTS must perform inspections of turnkey parts during the setup, as well as meet customers’ quality requirements during the runoff. Having the flexibility to mount a part onto a pallet allows multiple jobs to run without breaking down setups or moving jobs to other machines to avoid scheduling bottlenecks.
“Inspection Arsenal also has a large complement of mounting and clamping accessories for the inspection of most parts,” says Oakes. “However, I sometimes need something they don’t have. Fortunately, their system allows me to use tooling from other manufacturers, so instead of limiting my tooling capability, it actually expands it.”
Fixtures with sample parts are set up and exchanged without delay. During advanced training, multipart fixtures are designed on a large Loc-N-Load plate to teach pallet programming. Training sessions also reinforce probe calibration, which is done quickly using a dedicated plate for the qualifying sphere. The dedicated plate locates the same every time. The machine is calibrated, and the sphere and plate are moved out of the way to free up the entire work surface for inspections. The same process is used for gauge calibration on multisensor machines, where this task is performed more often.
Figure 2: S Silver-Bullets with hole adjusters are used to fixture this part for inspection. Simple hole adjusters provide infinite adjustability between holes of the Loc-N-Load plates’ 1-in. × 1-in. hole pattern.