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Increase machine utilisation with improved workholding set-ups


A WNT ESG mini 4V clamping column, equipped with four ESG mini single vices

A change of set-up can be completed in under three minutes

WNT’s workholding systems are proving to be highly productive by allowing greatly reduced set-up times and maximising the machine tool’s capacity through use of its MNG Zero Point base plates.

A typical changeover from one set-up to another can be achieved in under three minutes using the MNG Zero Point base plates, which would equate to a saving of 10 hours per week when compared to a conventional workholding set up time, or 480 hours per year. These significant time savings are further enhanced by the productivity savings that can be generated by the versatility of the WNT workholding system.

The MNG Zero Point base plates form the foundation of the workholding system and come in a variety of sizes including base plates with one, two, three, four, six, and ten location points. The plates themselves are only 30 mm deep so have very little impact on the axis travel of the machine tool. To these base plates can be added single or multiple vices, as well as tombstone-style fixtures. For the latter the set-up time using a WNT ESG mini 4V clamping column, equipped with four ESG mini single vices including workpieces is in the order of two minutes. 

One of the key advantages of being able to have multiple vices or fixtures attached to the MNG Zero Point system is the ability to run for extended periods unmanned. Furthermore, when the workpieces have been machined, replenishing the vices is also quick and easy as, for example, the WNT ESG mini-40 vice features permanent workpiece datums via its fixed jaw location and the vice, as with others in the range, is also completely encapsulated, meaning there is no swarf ingress to interfere with the changeover.

Several key features of the MNG Zero Point base plate system mark them out from their competitors, these include no requirement for power (hydraulic or air), zero maintenance costs, no peripheral equipment required to operate them, freely selectable positioning of vices and vices can be centrally mounted without the need for an intermediate plate. “The simplicity of the MNG system combined with the versatility of the WNT workholding products ensure that productivity is maximised by generating additional production hours, through reduced downtime and also optimising the machine tool’s capacity by virtue of multiple set-ups and extended unmanned operation,” says Tony Pennington, Managing Director, WNT (UK).

The MNG Zero Point base plates, WNT vices, clamping consoles and clamping towers can all be purchased as individual items to allow users to create their own ideal set-up. Alternatively, WNT has created a number of pre-selected starter sets, ranging from a basic MNG Zero Point 400 x 400 mm grid plate with accessories to which workholding can be added, through to sets that include multiple vices and jaws. As with all of the WNT products, customers can call on the expertise of WNT’s external and internal technical sales engineers, and if the project requires more in-depth applications input.

The MNG Zero Point and WNT workholding systems are equally at home on multi-pallet, five axis and three axis machining centres, with solutions available for a wide variety of clamping solutions. The system provides ease of access, with all of the MNG Zero Point base plates being operated from the front, the WNT vice system guarantees repeatability down to 0.01 mm and, with the WNT 160° quick clamping system that requires no winding of handles, parts can be clamped and unclamped in under one second.