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.”

Orange Vice Delta IV From Leader

Orange Vise Company was founded in 2012 with the ethos of ‘perpetual innovation of CNC workholding’. Following this philosophy, the UK launch of its latest line, Orange Delta IV compact vices and zero-point subplates for use in multi-axis and high-density milling set ups, will be exclusively sold by Leader Chuck International.

Focused 4/5-axis vices such as the new Orange Delta IV Compact ,are useful for applications involving 3+2 and simultaneous 5-axis machining and are highly effective for working with complex free-form shapes and difficult angles. They can help increase accuracy and therefore make processes more efficient by reducing tooling costs and labour time. These vices are designed to support 5-axis machining by allowing obstruction-free cutting on five sides of the workpiece. They have the benefit of a quick, single clamp setup and allow for continuous, high-speed cutting of pockets and 3-dimensional or sculpted surfaces.

Constructed from steel at 55 HRc, the patent-pending Orange Delta IV Compact vices feature a small 150 x 100 mm footprint and an integral zero-point interface, cross compatible with the company’s proprietary locating systems, as well as 52 mm pull stud interfaces from other brands. Steel Master Jaw sets for large or small parts or machinable aluminium soft jaws can be fitted, offering up to 44.5 kN clamping force.

Unlike self-centring vices common in the industry, the Orange Delta IV uses a unique serrated design that combines the best of self-centring vices and serrated fixtures, along with industry-leading gripping performance. In addition, the anti-lift jaw design typically achieves <13 micron of vertical deflection. The combination of these features makes the vice equally well suited for both first operations in serrated jaws, and secondary applications with machinable soft jaws. The ability to accurately locate parts in soft jaws opens up the applications of the vice to include use on horizontal 4-axis milling applications.

Soft jaws can be profiled to exactly match the form of the workpiece, even if it has complex features such as overhangs or flanged faces. Being cut in situ on the machine table also reduces any accumulated positioning errors to enhance the repeatability of the machining process part-to-part.

For parts requiring second ops, a datum face can be machined during the first operation that will be located against the fixed jaw making the repositioning more accurate. Although sacrificial, once the soft jaws have been profiled, they can be held in stock ready for when the job repeats.

Produced 100 per cent in the USA, Orange Delta IV Compact vices and Zero-Point subplates are cost-effectively priced. “With the CNC machining industry currently trending towards palletised automation with large numbers of pallets, the need for reasonably-priced workholding becomes increasingly important,” states Mark Jones, Managing Director, Leader Chuck International.