Mechatronics Canada

February 4, 2021

If you think that the innovation potential of stationary clamping system is already ex-hausted, you should have a look at SCHUNK: The specialist for gripping systems and clamping technology continues its success story with the 5-axis vise KONTEC KSX-C2 and provides new impulses for high-precision 6-sided machining. At first glance the upwardly tapered outside contour is striking. It improves accessibility with standard tools.

Moreover, the new generation scores on a closer inspection with numerous benefits: with its active jaw pull-down the KONTEC KSX-C2 achieves excellent results in terms of plane-parallelism and perpendicularity, and therefore creates ideal preconditions for challenging 6-sided machining. The vise is also setting benchmarks with its adjustable center, even when it comes to set-up times: due to a tool-free jaw quick-change system, reversible jaws for enlarging the clamping area as well as a unique basic jaw stroke of 130 mm which is second to none on the market, the vise can be quickly and precisely converted for a new range of parts. A broad range of quick-change jaws is available for this purpose. Moreover, the clamping range can be enlarged with a standardized piston rod extension.

Integrated elastomer damping

A torque wrench is used for continuously adjusting the clamping forces of the KONTEC KSX-C2, and a maximum of 40 kN at a torque of 120 Nm can be achieved. Therefore, this expert vise in 6-sided machining has a lot of power for safe holding – even in the case of minimum clamping surfaces. The forces for clamping sensitive parts can be finely adjust-ed. The long guiding system and the arrangement of the clamping mechanism ensure in each case a rigid, dimensionally stable set-up. The integrated elastomer damping ab-sorbs occurring oscillations during machining, resulting in excellent workpiece surface quality and tool service life. As both, drive and adjustment mechanism of the 5-axis vise are fully encapsulated, the vise is perfectly equipped against chips, dirt and coolant.

Comprehensive standard program

The SCHUNK KONTEC KSX-C2 is maintenance-free and is offered right from the beginning in four base body lengths (330 mm, 430 mm, 500 mm, 630 mm, 800 mm) and in two different heights (175 mm, 214 mm). It seamlessly fits into the modular system for high-efficient workpiece clamping from SCHUNK and can be quickly combined with the quick-change pallet system SCHUNK VERO-S or exchanged at a maximum repeat accuracy on the machine table. The necessary clamping pins can be directly integrated in the base body of the 5-axis vise without requiring adapter plates. As clamping is done by tension, no bending load occurs on the base body if a quick-change pallet system is used.

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Featured Article: Decoding the Most Versatile Industrial Connector in the World


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If you were around in 1980’s you will probably remember walkmans, vcrs, mix tapes and big hair bands on MTV, amongst other things. The decade started with the release of PacMan, the Rubiks Cube and a Hollywood actor called Ronald Reagan winning the US Presidential election. It ended with the first episode of the Simpsons, Timothy Berners-Lee inventing the World Wide Web and the Berlin Wall coming down to symbolize the end of the Cold War.

Some notable 1980’s inventions included the first artificial heart, CD players, the Apple MacIntosh computer, Microsoft Windows, the Nintendo Gameboy and the first GPS satellite to be launched into space.

But there was one more invention of the 1980s that wasn’t really noticed by the general public, but ultimately paved the way for fast, easy and reliable electrical connections that we often take for granted in control systems today. We are talking about the M12 circular connector that was launched at the Hannover Fair in 1985 and has since become one of the most popular industrial connectors in the world.

These days, you will be hard-pressed to walk into any manufacturing plant without seeing an M12 connector. They are used to connect sensors to I/O modules, vision systems to Ethernet switches, light curtains to safety controllers and much more. Originally only available in 3-pole and 4-pole versions with an A-Coded keyway for power and I/O signals, the M12 connector is still evolving and has become one of the most versatile circular connectors available.

Now, more than 35 years since it was launched, there are many different types of M12 connectors for signal, data and power connections.

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Featured Article: Strategies for Increasing Production Line Modularity


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In today's competitive business environment, customization is key. Manufacturers in all industries are expected to provide a wide range of sizes, colors, styles and assortments, and they are finding it essential to implement flexible manufacturing strategies in order to stay competitive.

The goal of these strategies is to reduce the effort required to change over from one product version to another. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways in which this can be accomplished.

Find ways to minimize rigidity

To determine how to make a system more flexible, it helps to find particular elements that are highly rigid and see how these could be made modular with cutting-edge technology. One example of an inflexible element is a conveyor belt. If conveyors connect production line stations, it can be extremely difficult to rearrange the line or add new stations.

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