WHETHER YOU’VE BEEN TASKED WITH DESIGNING FIXTURES OR SOURCING THEM FOR YOUR COMPANY THERE ARE SEVERAL DETAILS TO CONSIDER.
By Catherine M. Phillips
Whether you’re machining or inspecting, the profits are in the speed of the swap. Like CNC machining, it should no longer be a question of if you need inspection fixturing, but what type – simplistic or complex – made in-house, ordered off-the-shelf or custom designed. Inspection successes are in the speed and repeatability of the part swap – getting inspection data back to the shop floor quickly to keep spindles running accurate parts…continuously.
Metrology equipment salespeople echo these sentiments.“When customers are spending capital money on the latest and greatest inspection technology, they want their equipment to measure parts on day one. This is easily accomplished with standard and custom fixture solutions. Managers love to walk by and see their investments in technology measuring parts repeatably over and over right out of the gate!” Kenney Howayeck, Senior Account Executive at MSI-Viking Gage
The combination of inspection equipment and software features allow inspectors to mimic the shop floor fixturing techniques. Palletizing, pre-loading fixtures off-line, and avoiding the need to build, break down and rebuild setups throughout the shift improves the entire production pipeline. Repeatable fixturing also can eliminate the need for manual alignment on future part runs. Advanced features also offer the potential for some “lights-out” or unmanned inspection routines.