Adaptable vice jaws for speedier bespoke milling

Leader introduces the Norgren Adaptix vice jaws
Leader introduces the Norgren Adaptix vice jaws

Leader Chuck International used the GTMA’s Manufacturing Solutions event held mid-June 2022, in Limerick, Eire, to launch the Norgren Adaptix vice jaws to attendees looking to improve the productivity and eliminate waste from their machine shops and toolrooms.

The jaws are an innovative new method of transforming the way any machinist holds and grips parts for milling. With sliding fingers, it can be adapted to any part geometry to provide the necessary clamping forces to hold workpieces and can radically reduce the time and cost involved in the design and development of vice jaws or bespoke fixturing.

Designed to be as robust as standard vice jaws with regards to high clamping forces, repeatability and toughness, Adaptix jaws offer more flexibility. The fingers adapt to the part shape to provide time and money savings, simplifying the process overall.

Leader Chuck’s managing director, Mark Jones explains how the jaws can benefit almost any workshop: “For many, the challenge of securely holding shaped material requires vice jaws machined to match the workpiece geometry; whether it is a cast or forged billet, a pre-machined part for second operation, or even a component being repaired or reworked.

Adaptix vice jaws can be adapted to any part geometry
Adaptix vice jaws can be adapted to any part geometry

“Every production or workshop manager knows this takes time, firstly to produce a CAD file or drawing and then to obtain the materials for the bespoke jaws and machine them. All before you can start cutting the part and making money.

“With the Adaptix Vice Jaws you simply set the fingers against the workpiece and lock them in position,” he explains. “You can be cutting material within a few minutes compared to half a shift lost to producing machined bespoke jaws which improves productivity. And there’s no waste as the Adaptix vice jaws can be reset time and time again to suit any job that comes in.”

The centre fingers are locked and used to datum stop against the workpiece before the remaining fingers are simply positioned forward and locked in place with a side clamp. From a one-off part to a low volume batch run, the jaws can support any milling operation, and there is no need to store boxes full of machined jaw inventory in the event they might be needed again.

Mr Jones affirms: “Resetting the jaws is so quick and easy it eliminates the need to hold jaw material stocks. Plus, the design of the Adaptix jaws allows increased cutting tool access as the fingers can be repositioned during the machining cycle (with the machine stopped) to provide clearance if it is required on certain locations. Which could possibly save an extra set-up and operation.” 

Adjusting the jaw to fit the workpiece
Adjusting the jaw to fit the workpiece

The exchangeable tips of each finger can be replaced if they are damaged or sacrificed during the milling operation. They are available in various materials, including aluminium, steel, plastic, brass and so on to facilitate clamping different shapes, step profiles and workpieces or components where the surface finish is a key characteristic, all with pinpoint accuracy and repeatability.

Leader Chuck International is so confident in the gains presented by the system that it is offering a free 30-day trial for any company that meets the product mix criteria; and is currently producing soft jaws and wasting valuable machining time.

Mr Jones says: “For any machining operation relying on profiled jaws the time, material and set up savings that can be made results in an ROI that will be measured in a matter of a few weeks. Simply use the Adaptix vice jaws free for 30 days, and then purchase or return them.

Locking the clamping fingers in position
Locking the clamping fingers in position

“The jaws are especially well suited to companies that have a high product mix and carry out CNC production in low volumes or are in the rapid prototyping arena or manage assembly/bench deburring and run inspection processes. For all manufacturing businesses in technically demanding sectors operating high-end CNC production equipment, such as expensive 3-axis CNC machines, where machine uptime and fast job turnaround is of the essence this workholding solution is ideal.”

He concludes: “With the drive for businesses to reduce waste and maximise efficiency, as well as address the current raw material supply chain issues of exponentially increasing costs and scarce, inconsistent availability, the Norgren Adaptix vice jaws provide an elegant solution to age-old problems and address all of these business performance goals.”

Leader Chuck International 

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