Are you looking for a way to improve the efficiency of your manufacturing and design projects? If so, modular fixturing for machining might be for you. At Rayco System, we can help you customize your options to meet your needs. If you want to maximize the productivity of your departments, allow our team to guide you. Learn more about a modular fixture for machining below.
Are you looking for a way to make it easier to hold and position the piece you are working on during the manufacturing process? If so, you may want to use a tooling plate. Tooling columns and plates provide clamping and mounting surfaces for holding your work pieces. They can be made from a wide variety of materials including aluminum, granite, steel, and iron. If you are looking for the best tooling place to meet your needs, then rely on the team from Rayco Fixture. Learn more about these tools below, and reach out to a member of our team to learn more about these devices.
Tooling Plate Materials
One of the best parts of using tooling plates is that they can be made from a variety of materials. That way, you can customize them to meet your needs. For example, if you are looking for a relatively lightweight tooling plate, then you may want to go with aluminum, one of the most versatile options available.
If you are looking for a tooling plate that gives you the aesthetic appeal you’re looking for, then you may want to go with granite. You might also be interested in a tooling plate that is made out of iron.
If you want something that is resistant to corrosion, then you may want to go with stainless steel. This is also a strong, heavy, durable material that can help you meet your needs.
If you want to find the best tooling plate to help you, then you need to work with a team that has experience in this area. At Rayco Fixture, we can help you find the best tooling plate materials to meet your expectations.
Why Use a Tooling Plate?
As you take a look at your manufacturing processes, you may be wondering why you should use a tooling plate at all. The biggest reason why you should use this material is that your fixtures are always in well-defined locations. You can lock your workpiece into place, and you always know where it is located while working on it. This makes it much easier for you to work with your materials.
Furthermore, not only is the fixture in the same place, but it is always oriented in the same way. This can save you a significant amount of time during the setup process. You do not want to waste time aligning vises with the machine’s travel. This is a critical difference that can save a lot of time.
In addition, if you use a tooling plate, there is always a clear path for the chips and coolant to escape. This can protect your table from dings, scrapes, crashes, and other types of damage.
Finally, a tooling plate can also make it easier to work with machining parts that are otherwise too big for other devices. For all of these reasons, take advantage of a tooling plate from Rayco Fixture.
Installing a Tooling Plate
If you want to get the most out of your cooling plate, you need to install it properly. The steps include:
- First, you need to unbox the tooling fixture plate from the crate.
- Then, you should clean the table to get rid of any debris and chips that would otherwise damage the table.
- Make sure to put down some material to prevent rust from developing on the table. Make sure you are generous with this step.
- Pick up the tooling plate, position the bottom side up, and lay it on the machine table.
- You should install the two required key dowel holes on the bottom of the plate.
- Make sure to install the T-slow nuts.
- Position the tooling plate right side up on the table and align the nuts with the right holes.
After this, you’re tooling plate should be ready to go. It is a relatively straightforward process to install this tooling plate. Rely on the team from Rayco Fixture to help you.
Rayco Fixture Your Tooling Plate Supplier
If you are looking for the best to link late to meet your needs, you should work with a professional who has experience in this area. At Rayco Fixture, we have connections throughout the industry that we can use to help you get the best possible materials at the lowest price. A member of our team will work with you personally, ensuring we meet or exceed your expectations every time. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.
Fixture plates can be an important part of your manufacturing operation, no matter how large or small it may be. Fixture plates, which are often known as tooling plates, are available in a modular configuration. Read on to learn more about fixture plates.
What is a Fixture Plate?
Fixture plates are used to hold parts during the manufacturing process. They are usually built using aluminum. Aluminum fixture plates are simple, low-cost items, so they are often custom-made for a specific job and quickly discarded afterward. Steel and cast iron fixture plates, however, are often used for long periods of time. Fixture plates are often made using CNC machining technology, which allows many plates to be made in a short period of time.
Fixture plates hold parts during manufacturing with many threaded holes in the plates. These holes are usually protected by screws that are inserted into the holes. These screws can be removed when the holes need to be used.
As fixture plates are designed to help keep your manufacturing process organized and efficient, they are often engraved with letters and numbers. These letters and numbers can help you keep track of all the parts you use in your manufacturing process. They can be especially helpful if your fixture plate must hold several different types of parts at once.
Benefits of Using a Fixture Plate
You may be wondering why using a fixture plate is necessary if you can simply use T-slots to hold your parts. However, fixture plates offer many benefits over using T-slots. The most important benefit is that fixture plates hold parts firmly in place, while T-slots do not. This means that your CNC machine knows exactly where the part is when you are using a fixture plate. Not only can using a fixture plate increase manufacturing accuracy, it can also decrease the time you have to spend making something. If you use a T-slot, you have to install the fixture, measure exactly where it is, and then put a work offset into your g-code. This can take several minutes per fixture. Multiply that by 20 or 30 fixtures, and you could be talking an hour or more. You can save this time by using a threaded fixture plate. If you do use a threaded fixture plate, you only need to measure once. After measuring the first time, you don’t need to measure again if you use the same holes.
Another benefit of using a fixture plate for machine fixturing is that you know the parts will be oriented in the exact same way. You no doubt have noticed that fixtures can be cocked at a slight angle when using T-slots, even if you have the fixtures clamped down tight. Using a fixture plate for machine fixturing ensures that this won’t happen. This can save you time and money, as you may otherwise have to throw away some poorly machined fixtures and start over.
While machining accuracy and quicker manufacturing times are the most well-known benefits seen from using fixture plates, there are several other benefits that you can see from integrating a fixture plate into your machining process. Firstly, the holes in the plate allow metal chips and coolant to escape the surface more easily. This shortens clean-up times. Fixture plates even protect your machine’s table from damage. Fixture plates also make machining large parts much easier, as you can manufacture large parts section by section. It is not possible to machine large parts this way if you are using T-Slots.
Fixture Plate Materials
Fixture plates are most commonly made of aluminum, but many vendors also sell steel plates. A few even sell cast iron plates. Each material is best for different applications, so you should consider what kind of jobs you’ll be using your fixture plate for before you order one.
Most fixture plates on the market today are made out of aluminum. Aluminum has a few advantages over steel. First, it is much cheaper. Second, it is much lighter.
However, aluminum is relatively weak. Also, it does not dampen vibration as much as a steel plate. Finally, it expands and shrinks more in response to temperature changes than steel does.
Many of the high-end fixture plates on the market today are made out of steel. Steel is much more expensive than aluminum, but many professionals feel that the extra cost is worth it. This is because steel is less likely to get warped or damaged than aluminum. This leads to enhanced manufacturing precision. Steel also dampens vibration much better than aluminum. Finally, the threading in the holes of a steel plate is much more durable than aluminum threading. Aluminum threading can wear out or become damaged relatively easily.
Cast iron is sometimes used for fixture plates, though it is not commonly seen. It is even tougher and more durable than steel. It also dampens vibration even better than steel. The main drawback of cast iron is that it is extremely heavy.
How to Install a Fixture Plate
Installing a fixture plate is a relatively simple process. It shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The main challenge when installing a fixture plate is moving the heavy plate safely and precisely. This is less of a concern if you are using a relatively light aluminum plate, but steel and cast iron plates can be difficult to move around. Don’t hesitate to get assistance if you feel that it might be necessary. The last thing you want is to injure yourself when you are attempting to install your fixture plate. Follow the steps below to ensure that you install your fixture plate correctly.
The first thing that you want to do is to clean your machine’s table thoroughly. Ensure that all of the chips and debris on your table has been removed. You should also stone away any nicks. Once you’ve cleaned your table, you should spray it down with a rust preventative. Not only will this keep rust away, but it will also lubricate the table so it is easier to slide on the fixture plate.
Next, slide the fixture plate on your table upside-down. Install the keys in two of the dowel holes. Slide the fixture plate so that the T-slots on the right side are exposed. Screw a nut into each of the three holes. Do the same thing with the T-slots on the left, but only screw nuts into the top and bottom holes.
Flip the plate right side up so that the keys are as close to this middle T-slot as possible. Slide the plate until it is flush on the right side and in the back. The keys should drop into place. Use a drift to reach through the holes in the fixture plate and align the T-slot nuts. Finger tighten the cap screws as much as you can. Use a hex key to finish tightening the five cap screws.
What Are Modular Fixture Plates?
Most fixture plates are standardized. However, standardized plates are unable to take on specialized machine tooling jobs. This is where modular fixture plates, like those manufactured by Rayco, can be useful. The plates used in a modular system are highly specialized. This allows them to be used for working on prototypes or other short-run jobs. Circular fixture plates are one example of a specialized plate that can be used in a modular system.
Of course, the fixture plates themselves are only one part of the modular system. The functionality of these plates can be extended with clamps, magnetic devices, and stands. The modular design means that it is easy to screw-in or unscrew any combination of these devices. If you are using a modular fixture plate system to work on a prototype and you need to tweak the prototype, you simply need to change the accessories to make the necessary alterations.
As modular fixture plates are used for high-precision machine tooling, it is vital that the plate be customizable. Leading fixture companies like Rayco are able to make customized fixture plates for specific jobs. The pros at Rayco have a great deal of experience with creating customized modular fixture plates, so all you need to do is give them the details of your machine and of the project you are working on. They will help you come up with a customized plate that will make working on this project much easier and more efficient. Their modular plates are even sturdy enough to be used in a high-volume production run after you have perfected your prototype.
Use Rayco Fixture for All of Your Fixture Plate Needs
Rayco Fixture is the leading manufacturer of fixture plates. We offer several different models to fit any needs you may have. Order your fixture plate from Rayco Fixture today.
Rayco Fixture is heading to the 2021 Quality Show in Rosemont, IL from October 26-28! We’re excited to see you all again, and hope you’ll stop by our booth to learn more about what we have to offer! Click below to find our most up-to-date exhibitor information, and stay tuned for information on upcoming discounts!
October 26-28, 2021
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
5555 N. River Road Rosemont, IL, 60018
Exhibit Hall Times:
10am to 5pm Tuesday, 10/26
9am to 7pm Wednesday, 10/27
9am to 2pm Thursday. 10/28