Intelligent clamping technology makes a huge contribution to effective production processes

Under the title of “Production optimisation with intelligent, flexible clamping concepts”, the High-Precision Tools Association in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) will on 24 February 2016 be hosting the Clamping Technology Forum at the METAV in Düsseldorf (23 to 27 February 2016).

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Four manufacturers of clamping devices, one user, and Hanover University will each be spotlighting their own clamping concepts for enabling production processes to be optimised to best effect. Subjects addressed will include RFID in tool clamping systems or the “feeling machine” in the context of Industry 4.0, plus quick-change systems for workpiece clamping.

To quote Hans-Joachim Molka, Chairman of the Clamping Tools Special Section in the association: “In the interaction between the machine and the tool, innovative clamping technology assures stability in the production process and high levels of machining accuracy. Nonetheless, clamping technology is frequently underestimated.” The approximately 60 members of the Clamping Tools Special Section in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) can offer tool clamping options for metal-cutting tools and forming tools, workpiece clamping options both rotational and stationary, mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical … plus innumerable clamping components and systems. Dependably automated solutions and machine concatenations are no longer conceivable without query mechanisms at the clamping element, is Hans-Joachim Molka’s firm conviction. An innovative clamping element can adapt to any specific machining situation.

The sector is, however, facing multifaceted challenges. Falling batch sizes with a large number of variants, high levels of workpiece complexity, complete machining in a single set-up, cost downsizing, unmanned manufacturing, networked production, lengthy useful lifetimes describe the multifarious priorities involved. With Industry 4.0, too, clamping devices are much in demand. They have to be communication-capable if effective production processes are to be assured. With increasing frequency, customers’ requirements can be met only by providing sophisticated, technically advanced special solutions. The Clamping Technology Forum at the METAV aims to raise awareness of what precisely manufacturers of clamping tools can contribute towards their customers’ corporate success.

“In actual fact, when firms are investing in production equipment, they often think about the tool clamping technology much too late,” reports Hans-Joachim Molka from daily business experience. Then, he adds, either the budget has been used up, or machinery, space or workpiece constraints now permit only a compromise solution. In order to map out for users how they can achieve optimum results with early advance planning, the Clamping Technology Forum is being held at the METAV for what’s already the second time. “At the last METAV, our Clamping Tool Forum was extremely well received, with more than 50 people attending. We aim to build on that,” says Hans-Joachim Molka in conclusion. “We want to see a closer dialogue with the users from the machine tool industry, and offer expertise and corporate competence in terms of clamping tools.”

www.metav.de

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