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What Are Jigs and Fixtures?

Categories: Modular Fixturing

Modern manufacturing processes require custom-made part holders to accurately and efficiently create dynamic components. Whether working with an automotive prototype or a custom aerospace component, discover how jigs and fixtures can help your process. What are jigs and fixtures? Compare the differences and discover the benefits of custom-made fixtures in your industry.

Comparing Jigs and Fixtures

Both components offer distinct benefits to reach similar production goals. Review the specific features of jigs and custom-made fixtures to see which one best suits your manufacturing process.


These guiding tools help direct drill bits and other cutting tools in the manufacturing process. Compared to fixtures, jigs are typically more general in nature. Some jigs are capable of being used in multiple applications. A jig is best suited for manual operation. Many don’t properly secure the workpiece or include a centering feature for automated machines, so they may not be suitable with CNC machines or other automated processes.


More complex, precise, and specialized, fixtures act not only as a guide but also as a secure base for the workpiece. Clamps, vacuum points, stabilizers and other features support a piece before your automated system takes over. Fixtures are designed to reduce lead time, so they usually have pins, buttons or other features that allow for quick placement and accurate orientation of workpiece after workpiece.

Common Industry Uses

Both jigs and fixtures are used throughout the manufacturing industries. Find out how you can update your manual drilling process with a jig or create custom fixtures for your automated processes. These manufacturing steps are used in the automotive, aerospace, defense, manufacturing and other industries.

Manual Drilling

A common use of a jig is during manual drilling and installation processes. If you’re constructing cabinetry or other hand-made items in a commercial facility, a jig makes it easy to drill holes at the precise location, angle, and depth. You may have to orient the workpiece or jig for every application, so it may not be suitable for more complex machining.

CNC Machining

Virtually every automated process relies on fixtures to orient and secure workpieces. Your CNC machine, automotive assembly line and other automated processes need a secure workpiece placed at a precise location. A jig isn’t suitable for this task, so you need a custom fixture for your workpiece and machining process.

The Benefits of Custom Fixtures

Whether you’re creating a handful of custom pieces or thousands of generic parts, custom fixtures improve your bottom line. Find out how a fixture designed for your specific workpieces can create complex components in less time and for less cost. Enjoy these benefits when you work with Rayco Fixture to produce affordable, custom-made fixtures for your industry.

Reduced Complexity Restrictions

Few automated manufacturing processes are practical without fixtures. A fixture allows you to manufacture components that wouldn’t be possible with injection molding or traditional machining techniques.

Improved Turnaround Time

Work with a leader in custom fixture manufacturing to receive the tools you need quickly. Once you have the exact fixture or fixtures for your automated process, the manufacturing process becomes much more streamlined. This reduces the time and energy it takes to cut, drill or otherwise process your workpieces.

Reduced Costs

A fast process is an affordable one. Shaving time off the manufacturing process results in reduced overhead, allowing you to create more components with the same amount of labor and time.

A fixture or jig can also reduce the cost of your manufacturing line by reducing waste. Jigs and fixtures hold workpieces and tools where you need them, so you can expect fewer mistakes and inaccuracies in the process.