Getting to grips with tower clamping systems

Posted on 01 Feb 2019 and read 1077 times
Getting to grips with tower clamping systems Hitchin-based Roemheld UK Ltd ( will launch a new range of Hilma compact three- and four-sided tower clamping systems (from Germany) at Southern Manufacturing (Stand E255).

Intended for use on four- and five-axis vertical machining centres as well as horizontal-spindle machines, the steel monobloc SCT towers, which are either mechanically or hydraulically actuated, are sealed against swarf and other contamination.

Applications range from use on manually loaded machines through twin-pallet-change centres up to fully automated flexible manufacturing systems.

The clamping range is from 6 to 210mm and the holding force is from 25 to 40kN — high enough to avoid the need to pre-machine workpieces, even when they are secured on just a few mm of material.

Versions in alternative lengths and with different mounting holes (including for zero-point clamping), together with a large selection of grip, pendulum, step, soft and Vee jaws suitable for different machining tasks, complete the offering.

Another work-holding system on show will be Hilma’s flexible range of three MC-P Z Balance vices, which have a floating clamping point to avoid stressing or deforming the component.

After operation of the spindle, the two slides concentrically approach the workpiece.

When the first jaw reaches it, just the second jaw advances until they are both in contact with the component.

Only then is the desired clamping force applied — up to 35kN for the largest vice — using a torque wrench.

From the group’s Stark division in Austria, various zero-point elements will be showcased, such as the compact Speedy Easy Clik for manual mounting with a 10kN retention force and pneumatic release in 0.1sec.

On display from the same factory will be module plate sets for off-line set-up and direct clamping to any machine table, providing a flexible and extendable entry-level system for machining larger components.

Dies weighing up to 500 or 1,000kg can be manoeuvred with Roemheld’s manually operated RW-series changing carts, the smaller version of which will be presented at Southern Manufacturing. There is also an electrically driven RWA cart to handle loads up to 1,600kg.

All versions feature extensive safety equipment, including an automatic docking station with slip protection. With the cart connected to the station, dies can be effortlessly guided and positioned on the changing table via ball inserts, which are lowered during docking to prevent slipping.

The height of the changing table can be adjusted hydraulically. An optional auxiliary drive is available for the manual carts, allowing a travel speed of 2kph.

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