Last Christmas, we purchased our oldest child a pair of expensive, brand name headphones as a gift.
When he received them, he immediately sensed something was different in the quality from the pair he had previously owned.
Shortly thereafter, they stopped working.
When we called the manufacturer for a repair, replacement or refund, we discovered that they were not the named brand headphones we thought we had purchased but instead, just an expensive copy.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery unless you are trying to select a specific/appropriate product, even more-so if that product is required to fix a manufacturing bottle neck, improve quality or make a process more efficient.
There are now a number of zero-point products available that look so similar to one another it can be difficult to discern the difference.
Here are some critical functions of a modular zero-point system (like our Quick Point system) that will get you into trouble if you are not careful.
Compatibility: Compatibility isn’t necessarily a two-way street. Read the fine print. More importantly, be sure to test products if possible. Here is an example from a zero-point system company’s product description:
Compatible with both Lang and Jergens 96mm quick change products.
This company is correct. All testing corroborates the claim that their products work in the Lang Quick Point 96. However, the same testing shows that if you try to use a Lang fixture in this zero-point, you will run into a multitude of issues; repeatability, fixtures getting stuck in the receiver, etc.
Repeatability: One of the most important functions of a zero-point system is the repeat accuracy. Systems may look identical, but feature vastly different repeatability. Higher quality zero-point systems will feature a repeat accuracy of ≤ 0.005mm (0.0002”) or better. Imitation systems typically advertise 0.008mm (0.0003”) or worse.
Material: A key component to a good ROI for a zero-point system is the process reliability the system will give you. When it comes to durability and longevity, you simply cannot beat good ole’ case hardened steel. When reading the product description, check what material the devices are constructed from.
It is important to speak with the dedicated sales and applications teams. Request detailed product information, including a formal quote to ensure you are buying the correct product.
Eric J. Nekich
Operations, Technology & Inside Sales
Lang Technovation Co.
Pre-Stamping, or Form Closure Technology is a clamping methodology that is unique to Lang. The goal is to provide great accessibility to the workpiece without jeopardizing holding power. It can be applied to most applications to reduce the amount of workpiece preparation time, make them more efficient or even replace current workpiece prep operations. We field a lot of the same/similar technical questions frequently.
Here are some of those questions…and answers!
1. Do I have to stamp on the saw cut?
No. You can stamp on either the saw cut or the stock “cinder” layer as long as the side you are stamping meets all of the hardness, parallelism and radius requirements. Of special note: Often times the stock or “cinder” layer can be harder than what the material data sheet states. Take this into consideration when determining if the stamping unit is right for your application or when determining stamping unit settings.
2. How big of a piece can I stamp?
For this question we suggest following the limitations set forth for the vise itself. A Makro•Grip® vise can support three times its width (centered) and twice its height in a workpiece. Makro•Grip® 125mm is our largest vise, workpiece dimensions larger than what this vise could support would require a double unit.
3. How parallel does my workpiece need to be for stamping?
≤1mm parallelism over 125mm in length. This information can also be found in the product instructions.
4. How large can the corner radius of my workpiece be?
Standard parallels that are sold with a unit or with a pair of replacement stamping jaws can support a maximum corner radius of 2mm. You can modify these parallels to support a larger corner radius. To determine the new clamping depth, a good formula to use is corner radius + 2mm. As an example: if the corner radius of my workpiece is 3mm, I need to adjust my parallels (typically by milling them) to 5mm. Of special note: As a rule of thumb, adjustments made to the parallels of a stamping unit will need to be mirrored on the Makro•Grip® vise.
5. How often should I use the gauging blocks?
It is suggested you use them whenever you would conduct tooling inspections on the machine tool or in the production cell.
6. I have broken teeth; can my jaws still be refurbished?
The short answer is yes. Minimum required material for reconditioning is 15mm from the back of the jaw to the lowest height of the broken tooth/teeth. Of special note: Although new technology may allow us to refurbish even broken teeth, it does reduce the amount of times a pair of stamping jaws can be refurbished, respectively. If you are unsure, it is best to contact us for assistance.
7. How do I know if I am stamping deep enough?
Memorize the following rule; the harder the material, the lighter the stamp (control/witness marks should be barely visible to invisible), the softer the material…the deeper the stamp. In addition, there are detailed instructions available for making this determination you will need to review.
These answers are not intended to replace a full review of the product instructions included with every stamping unit purchase.
Our technical support team is available 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday (7 am – 7 pm CST) to assist should you ever have questions or technical needs with any of our products.
11 years after the initial introduction of the original 5-Axis Vise, there are developments to our Makro•Grip® product line. If you joined us at IMTS in 2018 or have already perused our 2019/2020 product catalog, you may be aware of these changes. If not, no worries…
Since most of the new generation vises are in stock or will be in stock on or around March 1st of 2019, we will revisit these changes in this blog entry.
The new generation Makro•Grip® product line will replace the previous generation which has already been discontinued. However, we will continue to stock parts such as replacement spindles and jaws for these older models. It is important to note that none of the features that make the Makro•Grip® product line unique have been changed or eliminated. Our patented Form Closure Technology, reversible jaws, integrated Quick-Point, zero-point studs, 3mm clamping depth, etc. remain unchanged.
So, what has changed? Here is a list of what, and more importantly...why;
• The 46mm Makro•Grip® now has a larger spindle diameter and thread pitch. This increases the maximum actuation torque and respective holding/clamping force while maintaining the incredible accessibility this size vise has always provided.
• We have optimized the geometry of the jaw guide to increase rigidity.
• We have added a spring-loaded feature to the jaw guide to increase the consistency of the jaw parallelism while clamping on smooth faces and finished parts.
• We have fully encapsulated the spindle centerpiece to reduce debris sensitivity.
• We have added a lateral coolant, chip, swarf, etc. drain to the vise base.
• Some Makro•Grip® vises now feature a gripper and storage interface for use with our RoboTrex automation system.
There is a high level of compatibility when using older vise jaws on new style bases and new style jaws on older vise bases. However, some scenarios present limitations in clamping range so it is always best to check with our technical support team prior to ordering.
Technical support can be reached via phone numbers that be found on the “contact us” portion of our website, www.lang-technovation.com, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also note that when ordering replacement components for your Makro•Grip® vise we will now request the item number of the Makro•Grip® vise you are ordering parts for. This helps avoid any confusion and/or false orders. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
These changes will improve upon phenomenon common to self-centering vise technology as a whole and will ultimately provide you with a better manufacturing experience. Thank you for choosing Lang!