An Orange Vice Will Always Bear Fruit

When it comes to workholding for prismatic machining there is very little to compare with the flexibility offered by the humble vice. However, if it is an Orange vice there is nothing humble about it. From the company’s latest bench vice right through to its advanced Delta IV 4/5-axis range, these fixturing systems are epitomised by the ‘built like a tank’ analogy. 

Workholding specialist, Leader Chuck International, is the European agent for the complete range and provide comprehensive pre- and post-sales advice as well as ongoing technical support. Orange vices are engineered to deliver maximum clamping force and repeatability with quick-change features built in. Designed and manufactured in the USA these vices offer the ideal balance of performance and longevity, and every vice is covered by a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and craftsmanship.

For Orange, a solid and reliable performance starts with the vice body, carrier slides, and master jaws all being machined from solid billets of Dura-Bar iron rather than cast to shape, with the vice body being hardened and subsequently precision ground on four sides.

The main screw is machined from high tensile alloy steel and threads are completely sealed from contaminants. Hard jaws are machined from alloy steel and case hardened to 58-62 HRc while smaller components are all machined from steel.

Managing Director, Mark Jones, explains: “The materials used throughout the construction aids vibration damping and low thermal growth. By using high strength components, it allows the vice range to withstand increased clamping forces of up to around 45 kN, and the sliding jaws feature a pull-down design to minimise part lift under these heavy clamping forces.”

The ‘Quick Change’ concept is integrated in every machining vice design offered by Orange. These include 6 inch single and dual station vices in various lengths, and the Delta IV range in 4 by 6, 4 by 7.5 and 4 by 9 inch sizes. An integrated interface allows the vice body to be mounted to a subplate or tombstone in seconds, with +/- 12 micron repeatability using the optional Orange ball couplers and receivers. The carrier slide assembly can be removed or installed in seconds for cleaning and setup changeovers. Master jaws and jaw plates can also be removed or installed in seconds, with the same +/- 12 micron repeatability.

Supporting increased loading and unloading efficiency is the Twin Delta vice pallet, whereby a set of special master jaws can be fitted to the vice to allow an aluminium pallet to be quickly loaded or unloaded while the vice remains bolted to the worktable or machine bed. A vee form dovetail interface between the master jaws and the pallet provide a robust and accurate location that naturally self-centres to within 12 micron. The aluminium pallet can be adapted to any fixturing method, such as being machined with location pockets for workpieces. Using two pallets set for Op1 and Op2 would allow any machine shop to keep the machines spindles running much longer as the parts can be preset offline.  

On the bench

Orange’s latest bench vice is ideal for precision assembly applications, as Mark Jones states: “It should not be used as an anvil, but if your application calls for precision machined jaws formed to fit your parts, with the ability to gradually apply pressure without crushing or scratching the part, the Orange Bench vice is just what you need. See the video of this vice being manufactured and assembled at”

This bench vice is designed to apply a linear clamping force based on the position of the handle after a workpiece is gripped. So, an eighth of a turn generates a holding force of 3.3 kN that doubles up 6.6 kN at a quarter turn and progresses all the way to a maximum force of just over 13 kN, limited by the axial load rating of the thrust bearing.

The bench vice uses the same dovetailed jaws as all Orange 3-axis CNC machining vices, making it fully compatible with the US made CARVEsmart quick-change vice jaw system also available from Leader. “CARVEsmart offers a complete dovetailed quick-change vice jaw system and provides a number of benefits. While conventional vices attach the jaws to the face of master jaws via cap screws, the CARVEsmart system uses master jaws with a female dovetail profile designed to accept vice jaws with a male dovetail profile.

“So, the jaws can be front-loaded or slid into the side of the master jaws, that are secured via clamping elements accessible at the top of the master jaws. With no face mounting cap screws to avoid the soft jaw extruded stock is fully machinable, making inexpensive cut to any length vice jaws,” says Mark Jones.

For multi-axis machining applications, the Orange Delta IV vices can be fitted with the Talon Grip jaws to allow Mitee-Bite low profile clamps and part stops to be used. These jaws are able to securely hold raw material or part finished components with as little as 1.5 mm of stock clamped, even during aggressive 4- and 5-axis machining operations.

Improving productivity even further, Orange vices are equipped as standard with the ability to use the company’s new Delta Zero ZPS (Zero Point System) baseplates which feature a Patent-pending, manually actuated zero-point design for +/- 5 micron repeatability. Made of hardened steel, ground on two faces the pallets come in two standard bolt hole patterns with custom patterns available as an option.

Mark Jones concludes: “Not only do Orange vices offer exceptional precision, flexibility and reliability across the whole range, they also support efficient machine shop operations. Using the Delta Zero ZPS vices can be very quickly exchanged within the working envelope, and each vice can be disassembled in just a couple of minutes for cleaning and maintenance, and quickly re-assembled for minimum downtime. Even the slide assembly can be rebuilt in under 5 minutes with off-the-shelf components and hardware.”

Productivity and Efficiency Enhancements Set ZeroClamp Apart from the Rest

Workshop benefits for milling include direct clamping of the component onto a base unit. Holes as sockets for the clamping studs are specified at the design stage. Components can be changed quickly and accurately across all machines for second ops and finishing.
In the case of turning operations the productivity increases are achieved with pre-balanced base units. Maximum safety at high forces comes from the additional retaining elements. EDM workholding functions reliably even under water or in dielectric. The base units are equipped with special drain holes so that the water can escape when the pots are opened.

Leader Partners with S F T

For the clamping of challenging workpieces, SFT Spannsysteme GmbH, located in southern Bavaria is synonymous for smart and innovative high-precision clamping technology. The company offers a wide range of intelligent and highly innovative multi-purpose clamping solutions for machining operations, including the 5-Axis Multiple Clamping device, as well as the Zentro and Smart vice ranges.

The new SFT two-in-one 5-axis or multiple clamping device has several innovative features. A highly flexible, modular jaw system with positive-locking jaw connection at 40 kN. A 4-tonne clamping force can be achieved with just 85 Nm of torque.

The SFT Zentro centric vice is said to be ideal for high-precision manufacturing with internal and external clamping capability. Repeatable accuracy is just 5 micron from the very high rigidity, modular jaw system design that offers 30 different jaw designs as standard. An enclosed spindle removes concerns of swarf ingress.

Convertible from centrical to double-centrical operation, or for clamping against fixed jaw and/or double-clamping against fixed jaw, the SFT Smart vice is ideal for clamping small parts with outstanding versatility. Offering up to 15 kN clamping force with jaw widths of 22, 32 and 42 mm.



Leader Chuck & Tecnologie F R B- Working Together to Get the Job Done

Manufacturing high quality face drivers for over 50 years, only one thing has never changed: the FRB patented balancing and holding system. Being completely mechanical and technologically advanced it still ensures absolute reliability, constant repeatability of the results and unparalleled holding capacity.

Over the same time period, the FRB live centres have been considered one of the best options for all mechanical processes using machine tools. Starting with the timeless FRB patented 65, 80 and 85 live centre series with axial load distribution, the company’s ongoing research and development has produced the latest 2000, 2006 and 2008 series. Today, a wide variety of revolving centres equipped with Morse tapers ranging in size are available, with standard or special features to fit any requirement.