The original: Floating clamps made by Erwin Halder KG
Gentle support and reliable clamping for complex and delicate workpieces
Vibrations are constrained
A challenge of particular magnitude is the clamping of thin and complex components in a way that, for instance, allows the components to be machined with as little vibrations as possible. While a suitable solution to accomplish this task, elaborate custom designs are not particularly economical. Standardised clamping elements, on the other hand, offer the unrivalled advantage of costing less both as an initial purchase and when purchased as replacement products: Erwin Halder KG is an expert in this field thanks to a level of experience that spans several decades. The company's floating clamps are the ideal choice when it comes to dealing with additional clamping points and to clamping thin components that easily warp under bending stress.
Machining complex components is part and parcel of the daily routine in many industries, especially in the aerospace industry, for example during the production of turbine parts. This manufacturing process requires utmost precision. Owing to their additional clamping points, clamping these components in a secure and reliable manner often proves a task that is difficult to accomplish. Clamping these workpieces in the proper manner requires more than three clamping points. Making matters worse, the fixture commonly offers only limited space.
"Floating clamps are the equipment of choice whenever you are faced with complex clamping scenarios. While the market does offer hydraulic models, these tools are costly and take up a lot of room. Mechanical models are few and far between. This is why our floating clamps tower head and shoulders above the rest. Thanks to their compact design, they are the perfect solution to the problem of securely supporting and clamping additional clamping points found, for example, on ribs, beads and shackles", says Bernd Hanner, Sales Manager at Erwin Halder KG, explaining the advantages of floating clamps.
Spring-loaded, the clamp makes contact with the component before clamping it, which is the reason why applying the classic three-point clamping approach is not recommended when using floating clamps alone. Bernd Janner: "The components can be clamped with superior reliability, while vibrations during the machining process are kept at a minimum. We also carry the appropriate solution for customers who need to clamp and support workpieces that are exceptionally thin-walled and, thus, prone to deform easily."
The floating clamps offered by Erwin Halder KG come in two models: one that includes combined and one that features separate clamping and blocking. The floating clamp that includes combined clamping and blocking boasts a red anodised aluminium housing, while the housing of the floating clamp with separate clamping and blocking is blue. Both the ground body and the clamping jaws are made of case-hardened steel that has been nitrided and treated with manganese phosphate.
For thin components
Separate clamping and blocking allow for the clamping of components that are extremely sensitive to bending. Just as users working with the combined models, the worker using the separate model starts by adjusting the clamping force using the hexagon nut after pivoting the clamping jaws. While the clamping jaws are clamping the workpiece, clamp and component are still "floating". Not until the WS10 hexagon collar nut is tightened as far as it will go is the clamp blocked with the permissible maximum torque of 10 Nm at a supporting force of no more than 8 kN.
The floating clamps are attached to the fixture via an M12 thread. Another option is to use a holder or a holding plate for down-hold clamps. The height limit stop and the rotating area of the adjusting sleeve can be adjusted and fixed in place using set screws. Once fixed in place, the adjusting sleeve will have a rotating area of 110°. Bernd Janner on that topic: "When setting the height limit, the user should consider the workpiece tolerances and allow for plenty of play. Customers dealing with extraordinary clamping scenarios, for instance, components with clamping points that require an increased clamping range, can also opt for our modified clamping jaws and replacement jaws."
The perfect complement
If, for instance, a complex component requires additional support at an additional clamping point in order to avoid oscillations or vibrations, customers will find that the supporting element included in Erwin Halder KG's portfolio represents the perfect complement to the company's floating clamps. Its body, again, is made of case-hardened steel that has been ground, nitrided and treated with manganese phosphate, while the red housing consists of aluminium. Turning the clamping cam with internal hexagon on the outer surface of the red protective sleeve causes the support pin to contact the workpiece with a slight spring load. Turning the cam further as far as it will go, i.e. by a total of 180°, brings the clamping mechanism to lock the support pin without any displacement. If space is limited, the element can also be lowered by up to 16 mm.
"Our floating clamps offer customers a special bonus: Special designs routinely involve the risk of the clamping part being difficult to procure again in case of complaints, damage or maintenance. The part is either not available at all or requires long waiting periods. This problem does not arise with our floating clamps. As they are standardised, our floating clamps are always available from stock. What is more, our developing experience has put us in a position that allows us to quickly and fully satisfy any special requests for custom designs including height-reduced models or modified clamping jaws.