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Flexible machine workholding system removes need to buy new fixtures

24th June 2021

Where hundreds of individual fixture pieces would normally be required to machine new designs, MicroLoc’s modular system can significantly reduce cost and save time in procurement. As a result of the system’s flexibility, it’s also a rapid and cost effective way of machining prototypes or one-off items.

Designed for milling machines and machining centres, the MicroLoc system clamps metal work pieces with a modular approach and can be used across vertical, horizontal or multiple-axis machines. Including a base plate with t-slots, clamping units are inserted relative to a known datum position to securely hold square, rectangular, round or irregular shaped parts. Clamping like a vice, MicroLoc can rotate base clamping elements through 90 or 180 degrees, giving wide positional flexibility.

MicroLoc clamping designs can be recorded and reproduced when required in future, increasing the speed of machine set-up. By introducing more than one base plate and set, systems can be used across multiple machines, thus reducing the time in set-up and increasing productivity. This approach also allows operators to work across more than one machine at any one time.

“If you regularly make new parts, with a coinciding requirement for new machining fixtures, MicroLoc can save significant cost for future designs and prototypes,” says John Marshall, Technical Manager, WDS. “By using two or more sets together, with one set used on the current machine and the second set ready in place on the next machine, set-up time is reduced, giving faster productivity.”

WDS stocks the full MicroLoc range, including base plate t-slot pitches of 50, 60, 75 and 100 mm. The torque lock, quickly fastened by hex key, applies to a variety of jaw styles, including aluminium soft jaws as well as hardened steel jaws, which clamp components across X, Y and Z axes. Jaws are ground to ±10 microns relative to the tenon keys, and machine baseplates are produced to a similar tolerance over one metre, giving a system repeatability accuracy of ±25 microns.

WDS is the UK’s major stockist of MicroLoc and can also advise on bespoke kits and components. In addition to complete kits, WDS also provides individual MicroLoc components including clamping units, locators, jaws, base plates and various accessories. Same day despatch is available and international shipping is available.


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About WDS Components Ltd

WDS Components is the home of standard parts and machine accessories. Established in 1952 ‘Woodside Die Sinking Company’ made jig and die parts to speed up production in tool rooms, WDS Components has grown from humble beginnings to become a leading European manufacturer and global distributor of high quality durable parts at competitive prices. We supply components, standard parts and machine accessories to original equipment manufacturers, maintenance engineers, small businesses and individuals all over the world. Over 98% of our range is available from stock and can be shipped the same day from our global distribution centre in the UK, using best in class worldwide logistics companies.We provide unrivalled choice and unequalled availability.

WDS Components are proud to support some of the most prestigious engineering companies and brands in the world, who all trust WDS Components to service their needs.

We are committed to engineering excellence and continuous improvement. Our team of in-house engineers has expertise spanning several decades and is a blend of highly experienced and new generation graduate engineers who focus on the latest developments in design and manufacturing technology.

Our entire range of products is available to purchase on our website WDS COMPONENTS.COM where designers and manufacturers alike can download 3D models of all components in the widest range of formats available.

WDS Components provide solutions for customers who require a wide and growing range of high quality, competitively priced products, coupled with incredible product availability and same day despatch, backed up by easily accessible technical support.

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