Industry 4.0 vice monitors clamping force

Posted on 02 Nov 2018 and read 896 times
Industry 4.0 vice monitors clamping forceA new vice with intelligent sensors that enable safe clamping of workpieces on machine tools and real-time production monitoring has been developed by Roemheld, which has a UK subsidiary in Hitchin (

A prototype of the HPC machine vice was presented at the recent AMB 2018 show in Stuttgart.

This is the second Roemheld clamp with integrated sensors, following the introduction of a similarly equipped swing clamp in 2017 that measures — for example — clamping pressure, temperature and the cutting forces on the workpiece.

The company’s goal is to develop Industry 4.0-compatible work-holding equipment that increases manufacturing quality.

The HPC, which extends the functions of the proven Hilma NC 125 machine vice, incorporates electronics that measure clamping forces in real time and compares them with pre-set target and limit values.

The results are transmitted wirelessly to stationary or mobile receivers on which the associated app Hilma Process Control is installed. If the clamping-force values approach one of the limits, a warning is transmitted.

The data can also be communicated to the machine control for automatic intervention in the production process.

In addition to wireless transmission to the app, the Industry 4.0-standard OPC-UA software interface is used for data transmission. Measurements take half a second and detect changes in clamping force of 50N.

With the current version of the app, the operator can differentiate between up to four HPC vices simultaneously and control them on-screen. In addition, they can easily be calibrated via the app.

For example, to protect the work-holding system against premature wear, overloads are signalled to the operator with respect to nominal clamping force.

The user can also check maintenance intervals via a load cycle counter.

The monitoring system associated with these vices will be available as an option on the mechanical-hydraulic and fully hydraulic versions of the Hilma NC 125 machine vice; and with further sensor projects to follow, Hilma has designed the HPC sensor and app so that they can be used in a similar configuration on other clamps.

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